Hyundai Australia may be without any diesel-powered models as soon as 2028 as it rolls out more hybrid and electric models.

    “We’ll be phasing [diesels] out over time. The goal is to move people into hybrid and then into full EV, and that’s the logical step, and I think it’s safe to say that our ambition is to move away from diesel into hybrid,” said Bill Thomas, general manager of corporate affairs at Hyundai Australia.

    “[It will be] over the next five years or so,” he added.

    Hyundai Australia’s hand is also being forced by head office.

    “We can only sell what is built for us,” he said, also noting there can be surprises when it comes to supply.

    “We actually got a good influx of diesel Tucsons for example because we were able to secure diesel engines that were bound for Russia.”

    Hyundai Australia says it has seen demand for the outgoing Santa Fe shifting from diesel models to hybrids – so far this year, the hybrid has accounted for 22.1 per cent of sales – and the upcoming Tucson Hybrid is also expected to account for a significant portion of sales for the model line.

    “We expect Kona to be most popular as a hybrid. There’s no reason to expect Tucson will be any different,” said Mr Thomas.

    The next-generation Santa Fe, due in Australia in 2024, has been revealed exclusively with petrol, hybrid and plug-in hybrid power. The company has yet to confirm whether a diesel option will return.

    Hyundai Australia now only offers diesel engines in the Tucson, Santa Fe, Palisade, Staria and Staria Load. Reports suggest the next Palisade will gain a hybrid option and lose its diesel, which will mean one fewer diesel vehicle Australia can get its hands on.

    The i30 diesel was axed for 2021 and has subsequently been phased out in other markets, while the new Kona lacks a diesel option.

    While Hyundai last year refuted reports it had closed its engine development department, it didn’t clarify at the time whether existing combustion powertrains would continue to receive improvements.

    There are still various Hyundais, including the Indian-built Venue, Creta and Alcazar, that offer diesel engines but there are more that have entered their latest generations without an oil-burning option.

    Hyundai Australia introduced its first diesel-powered model in 2005 with the Terracan SUV. In addition to the aforementioned models, it has subsequently offered diesel powertrains in the i40, iLoad, iMax, ix35 and Sonata, and even briefly offered diesel-powered versions of the Accent and Grandeur.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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