As more and more automakers look towards electrification, diesel engines are falling out of fashion for some of them. That's mainly because of stricter emission regulations in Western countries and the increased demand for hybrids and EVs.
Now, another car company is weaning off them. Recently, Hyundai announced that it will stop developing diesel engines in its latest move to shift toward zero emissions. Based on a report by Korea JoongAng Daily, the company has suspended the development of new diesel engines from the second half of last year. That means the company will not be launching any new diesel engines from here on out.
But that doesn't mean Hyundai will stop making diesel engines right away. The company will continue to make improved versions of existing turbo-diesel engines. These include the R and U series of diesel engines in models such as the Tucson, Accent, Santa Fe, and Grand Starex.
As for the gasoline engines, Hyundai said that they will continue to develop them further since they are used in hybrid powertrains. But given Hyundai's ultimate goal of achieving zero emissions, even the gas-fed engines are in danger of being replaced by electric motors.
With the Ioniq name now serving as Hyundai's EV sub-brand, the automaker is serious about investing and developing more electric vehicles. Next month, Hyundai will be revealing the Ioniq 5 – a midsize crossover EV. It will be followed by the Ioniq 6 sedan in 2022, and the Ioniq 7 SUV.
Hyundai aims to have 23 fully-electric vehicles on sale by 2025. With this in mind, it's no surprise that the company has decided to stop developing new diesel engines. But what does this mean for markets like the Philippines where diesel is still popular?
As mentioned earlier, we will most likely get improved versions of existing turbo-diesels for the local market. The thing is, Hyundai can't keep doing that forever. If all automakers stop building diesel engines, it seems that we'll have to accept the idea of EV vans and pick-ups in the future. For now, though, the Hyundai diesel gets a stay of execution.