SSANGYONG WILL LAUNCH electric variants of its models by 2020, according to UK boss Paul Williams. Williams revealed that battery-powered Tivolis are currently being tested and hinted that a partnership with a bigger brand would be the best strategy for Ssangyong’s EV future. “Ssangyong has got a strategy for hybrids and EVs, and the next generation of models will show this,” Williams said. “I have seen the plans for electric vehicles and we will see them on the market around 2019 or 2020.”
The manufacturer is set to Iaunch three new models over the next three years, and all could eventually feature electric powertrain options. A production version of the SIV-2 concept, a Nissan Qashqai rival shown at Geneva, is expected to be one of those cars, but its release has been pushed back by a year to 2019 in order to coincide with the new Korando. Ssangyong parent company Mahindra has invested heavily in the electric e2o city car, and the South Korean brand is expected to benefit from that technology, according to Williams.
However, he suggested its EV future would involve a deal with a bigger brand in order to provide Ssangyong with batteries for its larger models. “When you’re small, you can’t afford to take those risks [associated with investment in EV tech],” Williams said. “Nissan and Renault have invested a lot, for example, but had to wait a long time to see a return. Ssangyong could tie up with another brand, like BMW.” While hybridisation is also part of Ssangyong’s future, Williams said all-electric vehicles are the focus in the longer term.