The race to churn out compelling electric vehicles that will transform the auto industry over the next decade clearly has a leader. First-quarter numbers show another Tesla blowout as luxury buyers flock to its high-tech vibe. But pricey Teslas with their questionable build quality and contentious CEO, Elon Musk, aren't for everybody.
The battle among mainstream brands for second place is just getting started. And there's now a surprise front-runner among legacy automakers in key areas of EV excellence such as range, efficiency, charging speed and future-forward styling. The new darlings of the EV market, corporate siblings Hyundai and Kia, are already reaping rewards as they climb the sales charts.
South Korea's Hyundai Motor Group was comfortably No. 2 in U.S. EV registrations in the first three months of the year — and has a long-term plan to become a global EV leader by the end of the decade. The group will make a Genesis EV at its Alabama factory this year and build a new U.S. assembly and battery plant for Hyundai and Kia models.