Hyundai stops engine development and reassigns engineers to EVs

Enlarge / Hyundai’s Namyang R&D center in 2003. (credit: Hyundai)

Last year was challenging for many reasons, but 2021 wasn’t entirely bad. Despite the pandemic and the chip shortage, it was a great year for new battery electric vehicles. So much so that more than half of our top 10 drives of the year were BEVs. That’s good for consumers looking for a new car—assuming they can find one in stock.

End-of-year top 10 lists are extremely subjective, and no one should read too much into them. But if you want proof of the impending extinction of the internal combustion engine, consider this: On December 23, Hyundai Motor Group (parent company of Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis) shuttered its internal combustion engine research and development division, according to The Korea Economic Daily.

Park Chung-kook, the new head of Hyundai’s R&D efforts, explained in an email to Hyundai Motor Group employees that “our own engine development is a great achievement, but we must change the system to create future innovation based on the great asset from the past.”

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