Hyundai Motor to launch electric vehicle with 500 km range after 2021

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SEOUL (Reuters) – Hyundai Motor Co said on Thursday it will launch a long-range electric vehicle with a driving range of 500 km (311 miles) per charge after 2021, seeking to address investor concerns that it is lagging rivals in the green car race.

The automaker and affiliate Kia Motors Corp, which together rank fifth in global vehicle sales, also said they are planning 31 eco-friendly models by 2020, up from a previously flagged 28.

Battery-powered cars offered by the likes of Tesla are gaining traction faster than fuel cell vehicles backed by Hyundai Motor and Toyota Motor Corp.

Last year, Hyundai launched its first mass-market pure electric car IONIQ, but the vehicle’s per-charge driving range is much shorter than offerings from Tesla and GM.

Hyundai also said it will introduce a small electric sport utility vehicle (SUV) with a driving range of 390 km in the first half of next year.

Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Additional reporting by Maki Shiraki in TOKYO; Editing by Edwina Gibbs