Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: February 9, 2024
Marianela Taborelli
By Marianela Taborelli
Latin America

Hyundai Trucks & Buses anticipates the arrival of new minibus and electric models in Chile

The launch of Hyundai's new electric truck model will be in the second half of 2024, while in 2025, the Korean-origin company will enter the electric minibus segment.
john novoa chile

The Chilean market will soon have available a new model of truck and a minibus, both electric, from the Hyundai brand.

“We are introducing in the second semester a new medium electric truck with a loading capacity of 4300 kilograms, a range of 300 kilometers, and fast charging in less than 70 minutes,” confirms John Novoa, Division Manager of Hyundai Trucks & Buses Chile, in dialogue with Mobility Portal Latinoamérica.

The executive assures that, like the truck already on the market, it will have the best autonomy in its segment nationwide.

“We are confident that with this introduction, we will have access to a market that needs greater loading capacity and volume, opening up to other types of companies that we were not reaching,” he adds.

This is the Mighty Electric model, which joins the lineup that already includes the Zedo 300 EV.

“The difference with the already available model is quite noticeable regarding the loading capacity and the autonomy it offers. The Mighty Electric can be a very good product,” Novoa remarks.

It is worth mentioning that the macroeconomic conditions in Chile last year had consequences for a decrease in the sale of electric trucks.

“The market for electric trucks is incipient compared to the development that electric passenger vehicles have had,” reflects Novoa.

And he mentions about the sales data for 2023: “There was a drop in the electric truck market of around 44 per cent compared to 2022 sales.”

This decline was also reflected in the market for combustion trucks and buses.

Regarding projections for the current year, the executive mentions: “We are thinking that the growth should be between 10 per cent and 15 per cent compared to 2023.”

This does not imply recovering the sales volume of 2022, but it would demonstrate an improvement.

It is worth noting that Hyundai, as part of Indumotora, markets the first and only refrigerated electric truck in the country that comes from the factory with the body suitable for these purposes.

Hyundai Zedo 300EV, the model already being marketed in the country.

Regarding the other short-term launch, Novoa mentions: “We are projecting the incorporation of an electric bus in the minibus category for the year 2025.”

“We can be a relevant player in the electric bus sector, primarily in private transport,” he says.

Once this offer is available on the market and if the technical specifications fit any tendering process of the Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications, participation in public tenders is not ruled out.

Regarding the decision not to offer products in segments of public transport, Novoa argues: “While it is true that Hyundai globally and in its domestic market has electric and hydrogen trucks and buses, compared to Chinese alternatives, the prices are currently a bit high to consider incorporating them into the lineup in the Chilean market.”

Thus, for now, there are no plans to compete in the public transport bus market due to pricing and the brand’s significant presence in the Korean market, considering that production capacity is highly demanded there.

On the other hand, the executive tells Mobility Portal Latinoamérica that there are already some confidentiality agreements in place to evaluate the incorporation of hydrogen trucks in Chile.

He mentions: “We are making good progress towards achieving this.”

Portfolio expansion decisions partly respond to guidance from the parent company and partly as a response to market needs observed in the country.

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