LOS ANGELES -- Hyundai Motor Group, the umbrella company that includes Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp., plans to launch a Kia-badged small electric vehicle by year end and follow with more EVs starting in 2014, the company said this week.
The announcement did not say whether the new EVs eventually would be sold in the United States.
Kia has dubbed its EV effort the TAM project. Kia's first EV will be a small vehicle based on the platform underpinning the Hyundai i10 minicar. The company plans to produce 2,000 units in 2012.
Hyundai announced its plans this week at the Green Car Symposium in Gwangju, South Korea, according to a company press release.
Kia also plans to add a compact EV in the first half of 2014, while Hyundai plans to launch a compact EV in the second half of 2015, according to the announcement.
In South Korea, Hyundai has been testing a small fleet of the i10-based BlueOn EVs, which debuted in September 2010. Based on those tests, the company says it's ready to begin small-scale mass production of EVs for Kia's TAM project.
Despite lagging competitors such as Nissan, Mitsubishi and General Motors in EV and plug-in hybrid development, Hyundai is looking to incorporate EVs in the company's overall strategy to meet toughening global emissions standards.
The automaker released its first electrified vehicle, a hybrid version of the Hyundai Sonata mid-sized sedan, this year. Kia also began selling its Optima Hybrid in limited numbers this year.
Officials from Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motors America were unavailable for comment today.