Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia want to step up their EV game with new vehicles next year, but they are being very careful about their production capacity, according to a new report.
The vehicle is the first significant all-electric effort from the automaker, aside from the Kia Soul EV from its subsidiary – though that vehicle was a compliance car based on an existing model.
Now they want to keep their momentum with two new small electric SUVs coming out next year.
Hyundai is reportedly planning a battery-powered version of the Kona (left) and Kia is launching its own electric version on the Niro (right):
The vehicles will reportedly be equipped with a 50 kWh battery pack, which could bring their range close to 200 miles on a single charge.
They are expected to launch at a price point of about 35,000 euros (~$39,000).
Now Business Korea reports based on unnamed industry sources that the automakers plan low production volumes for those vehicles:
“According to industry sources on October 23, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors set their annual production of the Kona EV and the Niro EV to be launched next year at 18,600 and 21,000, respectively. The figures grew 38 percent and 66 percent, respectively, compared to their earlier plans last year.”
While this is being presented as a significant increase in EV production capacity for the Korean automakers, we are still talking about relatively low volumes.
But the total numbers are starting to get up there between all the models in their slowly growing EV lineup.
In total, with the Ioniq EV, Soul EV and their upcoming new models, Hyundai and Kia are expected to produce 100,000 electric vehicles in 2018.
It’s still a fraction of what other automakers like Tesla, Nissan, or GM, plan to produce next year, but it’s significant for Hyundai when you consider where they were in the EV space just one year ago.