Hyundai is looking to eclipse the competition in producing the longest range electric vehicle yet.

The Korean auto manufacturer is aiming to produce a car that can go 500km (311 miles) on each charge. At the moment, its range lags behind competitors, which include GM’s Bolt and Tesla’s Model 3, which both go in excess of 350 miles, compared to Hyundai’s current 280km top distance, produced by its Ioniq model.
Electric vehicle
Along with its affiliate Kia, Hyundai is planning 31 eco-friendly models by 2020. Hyundai’s environmentally-conscious new additions will include three plug-in hybrid vehicles, eight battery-powered cars and two fuel-cell vehicles.

The company also has plans to develop its first dedicated facility for pure electric vehicles, which will allow it to produce a variety of cars with longer driving ranges.

Hyundai’s latest push into the electric market comes amid growing global competition for electric cars. In addition to electric-only manufacturers such as Tesla and Faraday Future, major US, Japanese and European carmakers are now offering electric options.

According to the International Energy Agency, new registrations of electric cars hit a record in 2016, with more than 750,000 sales.

While electric cars have the highest market share in Norway, far more are sold in China.

China accounted for more than 40 per cent of the electric cars sold last year, more than double the amount sold in the United States.

Latest data shows that  Chinese manufacturers produced 43% of the 873,000 electric vehicles built worldwide in 2016, with subsidies helping China take pole position.

Meanwhile the rare earths sector has been boosted by the accelerated development of electric vehicles. The expansion of electric vehicles and the renewable energy industry are partly behind this year’s renaissance for the 17 minerals, which are also used in smartphones and consumer electronics.

Mainly mined in China, it is the role of rare earths in permanent magnets used in electric vehicles and wind turbines that has reignited interest. The price of two rare earths, neodymium and praseodymium, has soared more than 50 per cent this year, sending investors into shares of the Chinese companies that mine such minerals.