Hyundai-Kia To Double Total EV Production Following Launch Of Kona & Niro In 2018

3 months ago by Domenick Yoney 19

Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid – Full Electric Version Coming

Hyundai-Kia don’t intend to take a back seat when it comes to electric vehicle production.

According to a report in Business Korea, the twinned South Korean brands of Hyundai and Kia intend on becoming the “second-largest eco-friendly car [manufacturer] in the world by 2020.” Production of all-electric vehicles will, of course, play an integral part in reaching this goal, and the company expects to double its output next year with the introduction of battery-powered versions of the 2018 Hyundai Kona and Kia Niro.

Hyundai Kona

With forecasted production of 25,000, (13,000 units of the Kona EV, 12,000 of the Niro) the plan is to hit 50,000 with the inclusion of the Kia Soul EV and Hyundai Ioniq Electric. Currently, those latter two models are on track to hit 20,000 this year, boosted by strong demand and increased production for the Ioniq Electric. Unmentioned in the report is the Kia Stonic — sister to the Hyundai Kona — but we imagine the quoted figure includes both.

The automaker also produces a micro van, the (somewhat pokey) Kia Ray EV, though it is only available through special order at this point (and only in some countries), and won’t really impact future figures.

In addressing its ambitions, an official from the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group said (and no, the number doesn’t make sense to us either):

 “We ranked third in sales of electric vehicles among automakers by selling more than 2 million units last year. If we launch a new electric vehicle, we will be able to take second place.”

Source: Business Korea

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19 responses to "Hyundai-Kia To Double Total EV Production Following Launch Of Kona & Niro In 2018"

  1. Terry Lee says:

    “selling more than 2 million units last year.” – no way Hyundai sold 2m electric cars…pipe dream or the report is wrong

    1. David S. says:

      Agreed. The source article also states this:

      “According to IHS, a US market research company, Hyundai sold 108,000 eco-friendly cars last year, ranking fourth, continuing from 2015, but fell short by raking 11th in electric car sales. Hyundai and Kia sold 12,292 electric vehicles last year.”

    2. AlphaEdge says:

      Hyundai/Kia sold 7.88 million vehicles in 2016. I doubt a quarter of that was hybrid/PHEV/EV’s.

    3. Domenick Yoney says:

      Although that is a quote from the source article, I imagine that he was actually referring to “eco-friendly” vehicles, so throw all the hybrids from both companies in there too. Lost in translation, me thinks.

      1. Tom says:

        The actual quote I read the other day somewhere else is that they are ‘third among major automobile manufacturers who have more than 2 million units per year’. In other words of large traditional car companies (those with more than 2 million sales per year), Kia/Hyundai is behind only BMW and someone else (forgot if it was GM or someone else).

        Also of note in this explosion, it should be noted the hybrid versions of these vehicles are absolutely tearing it up on sales worldwide. And if you think mass producing and selling a vehicle that cuts emissions by half and building hundreds of thousand of them per year isn’t progress you are a moron. It also reduces price of the general platform by volume which helps bring the BEV and PHEV of these same units to market cheaper. As stated yesterday in the article claiming Hyundai was ‘conservative’ which is a false claim, these guys could barely build regular cars 15 years ago. They just barely started hybrids and this year introduced the hybrid Ionic which blows away the specs of a Prius when Toyota has been at hybrids for 20 years. And the Niro smacks it straight out of the park. These CUV releases will do what no manufacturer has had the vision to do. I say again by this time the end of next year the combined hybrid, phev, and BEV sales of Hyundai/Kia is going to be formidable.

  2. John says:

    Toyota watch out! With all electric vehicle,you don’t have advantages any more! Competition is good! No wonder Toyota chairman is forced to form a unit for pure electric cars! But by the time it is out, I won’t be buying it because Toyota’s half ass dragging policy on electric cars are no less different than other major car compaNies who make models only to get CAFE standards.

  3. John says:

    This is good for environment and people’s pocket book

  4. unlucky says:

    Doesn’t announcing 2 more cars in the class and only doubling total production mean they will actually make less of each model than they are now?

    1. Domenick Yoney says:

      It seems they expect sales of the Ioniq Electric and Soul EV to go from 20,000 this year to 25,000 in 2018, with the two new models making up an additional 25,000.

      So, more than double this year’s numbers.

  5. DJ says:

    Only 12,000 of the Niro’s? Aww man, I was hoping it would be a higher volume offering. Who knows if we’ll even get here in the US seeing as I’m sure they could sell that many in Korea alone 🙁

    I also wonder if that # is just their BEVs or if it includes the PHEV variants (which I’m guessing it does).

    1. Tom says:

      I think BEV. If you look at the Niro hybrid they are selling nearly 10,000 per month worldwide and having a hard time with the furious demand. They just announced a 50% increase in BEVs too. They are launching a lot of product all electrified. No a hybrid doesn’t take the same batteries but when you introduce 3 variants of 2 different models then back it up by saying you’re going to do that again with 2 CUV’s you have some ramping complexity to handle. You’re obviously going to divide your battery supply into the most vehicles you can manufacture with the most margin (hybrids) and prioritize that and work to play catch up in the other areas. So when we see total hybrid numbers you are looking at 250,000 or more potentially in 2018. That’s a serious challenge.

  6. IQ130 says:

    Technically the Kia Stonic is not a sister from the Hyundai Kona, it is built on another platform and won’t get an electric powertrain.

    1. Domenick Yoney says:

      The Stonic is built on the Kia Rio platform, and the Kona is on a new platform, though they have been referred to as sisters in some press.

      According to this article (in Korean, link below), the Stonic will get an electric version. Probably not coming to the US, though.
      http://www.etnews.com/20170323000270

      1. IQ130 says:

        But according to this article:

        “No hybrid or electric version of the new Stonic is possible as the SUV is based on the same platform as the Rio supermini. Sister brand Hyundai, however, has confirmed an electric version the Kona is on the way as that model is based on a new electrified platform.”

        http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/kia/niro/99815/new-kia-niro-ev-to-join-line-up-in-2018

  7. Don Zenga says:

    Big target, big thinking: But how about reducing the price of plugin & hybrid versions of Sonata/Optima. This will raise the sales of these 2 sedans whic has been shrinking of late. Plugin & hybrid version has given a big boost to Ford-Fusion because of affordable pricing.

    Crossovers are continuing to march ahead and of late GM is planning to terminate sedans like Impala, LaCrosse, XTS, CT6 and we want sedans like Sonata/Optima to survive.

  8. Nix says:

    This is a very solid offering that actually seems to be on trend with the CUV/SUV body that ICE car buyers are looking for. Very big thumb’s up.

    1. Tom says:

      Love it.

      1. Terry says:

        Now _that_ is how to do a BEV commercial. Love it too!

  9. Steven says:

    Proposal:

    Different wording should be used to differentiate between offerings for sale in California/compliance states and those offered Nationwide.

    I can’t be the only person in the East Coast frustrated by the fact that a vehicle I would be interested in purchasing, isn’t being offered by the manufacturer in a state I can (easily) get to.

    Stop right there.
    This is different than a Dealer’s association preventing a brand from being sold, this is about an entrenched brand with numerous outlets simply not offering something they sell, everywhere they sell.

    And in my opinion, anyone who says “Move to California”, is part of the problem.

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