Even though the Hyundai Ioniq is available with three different powertrains – electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid (Malaysia gets the middle one), the company is looking to create a new dedicated electric vehicle (EV) platform.

This was intimated by Lee Ki-sang, head of Hyundai Motor Group’s eco-car powertrain division in a report by Reuters. The new EV platform will allow for battery packs to be installed in the vehicle floor to accommodate more battery capacity and maximise cabin space, Lee stated.

“The electric-vehicle platform will require high up-front investments but we are doing this to prepare for the future,” he said. With tougher fuel economy and emissions regulations being enacted in markets such as the United States, Europe and China, it only makes sense for carmakers like Hyundai to develop fuel efficient or zero emissions cars. Tesla has long been involved in such endeavors, and Mercedes-Benz recently set up its own electric vehicle sub brand – EQ.

Even though said platform will not be completed anytime soon, Lee disclosed that Hyundai and its affiliate Kia plan to launch several small electric (SUVs) based on an existing architecture next year. These vehicles are said to offer a range of more than 300 km per charge, and would be “more competitive” than competitor offerings.

Other efforts include plans to introduce a plug-in hybrid version of an yet-to-be-named Genesis model in 2019, followed by a new luxury electric vehicle under the premium marque in 2021. Lee expects EVs to account for nearly 10% of total global vehicle sales by 2025, an increase from 1% currently.