The all-electric version of the Hyundai IONIQ (it’s also available in PHEV and HEV) is reportedly finally coming to the US this week after deliveries in Korean and Europe last year and being fairly well-received around the world.
Mike O’Brien, Vice President of Product Planning for Hyundai Motor America, announced it to WardsAuto last week:
“Our focus was on developing a great compact car that happens to be electrified. There were around 1.1 million buyers who shopped for an EV last year, but because of cost or maintenance or durability…or that they felt the car was too underpowered…they didn’t buy one. We are offering a no-excuse electrified vehicle that measures up to compact vehicles in the segment,”
Indeed, the IONIQ Electric could be competitive in its segment. It will depend on the price. Pricing hasn’t been announced in the US yet, but it starts at £28,995 ($37,900 USD) in the UK – making the vehicle somewhat competitive with the Nissan LEAF, BMW i3 or VW e-Golf.
With an EPA-rated range of 124 miles on only a 28 kWh battery pack, the vehicle is the most energy-efficient all-electric vehicle out there. After EV incentives and gas savings, it could be an interesting offer for someone wanting to go electric and preferring a more normal-looking car over the LEAF or i3.
Though it will be more difficult to justify if it is priced above the Chevy Bolt EV or the Tesla Model 3. Hyundai’s O’Brien refused to give sales estimates other than he expects the hybrid version to be more popular than the all-electric version.
It will also be interesting to see the overall availability of the vehicle and see if all versions are available in all states, including those without zero-emission mandates.
While Hyundai recently announced that it is working on 4 new all-electric cars to come to market by 2020, the company also admitted that they “are only making electric plug-ins until hydrogen fuel cell vehicles take hold”.
Therefore, their approach to electric vehicle is still not entirely clear, to say the least, but the launch of the upcoming Ioniq Electric could give us more indications.