Hyundai To Launch Long-Range EV In 2018: Will It Compete?




The medium-range Hyundai IONIQ Electric will take you 124 miles on a charge.

The world’s fifth-largest automaker, Hyundai Motor Company, aims to release its first long-range EV in the first half of 2018.

Hyundai is seeing a consistent decline in overall vehicle sales, as its May report shows a 14 percent year-over-year drop. This is despite the automaker’s recent move toward electrification with the release of its IONIQ sedan, which the company touts as:

Hyundai Kona based on Intrado Concept (Image Credit: flickr via Supauto. RU)

“The world’s first model . . . that offers three electrified versions [and] was recently recognised as the most fuel-efficient vehicle by the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] in the US.”

The medium-range Hyundai IONIQ Electric was the first major push by the company, in an upcoming string of EVs including the Hyundai Kona SUV (which may, in fact, be the long-range vehicle the automaker is referring to), and several other offerings by Hyundai’s sister company, Kia Motors. The two companies are hoping to become a dominant force in the EV segments in the U.S., China, and Europe.

Although Hyundai is ahead of many automakers with the release of the IONIQ (although it can’t seem to as of yet supply many of the all-electric versions anywhere outside of South Korea), and it has set plans inside of the next year, some analysts don’t believe it’s enough. Lee Hang-koo, a researcher at the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade, said:

“They (Hyundai) are belatedly trying to catch up with overseas rivals but the new car is unlikely to become a game-changer unless it is really price competitive.”

“There are already good electric vehicles like GM’s Bolt and Tesla’s models sold in the domestic market and it will be difficult for Hyundai to slash the price of its new model given the high manufacturing cost.”

“It seems to have more of a symbolic meaning that the carmaker is serious about following future trends, especially as the new South Korean government has been promoting electric vehicles to help clean up polluted air.”

The IONIQ comes at a time when we have healthy competition in the Chevrolet Bolt and the upcoming Tesla Model 3, both of which will have been out for quite some time before Hyundai’s longer-range models appear. Added to this, while the company is working toward more range (the company has hinted at a ~200 mile Ioniq EV option in 2018), it hasn’t committed to providing vehicles that can compete with that of the above offerings. Kim Jin-woo, analyst at Korea Investment & Securities explained:

“The focus is on who can quickly develop mass long-distance electric vehicle models at more competitive prices.”

“Hyundai has been lagging behind its rivals in this race and it is important to catch up fast before Tesla increases its Model 3 volume next year and China strengthens its EV policy.”

Daiwa Capital Markets analyst, Chung Sung-yop, believes that Hyundai will have better luck focusing on the markets in the U.S. and China. He shared:

“It is not going to work in South Korea. There is not sufficient infrastructure and it is not convenient. In China, the overall market is growing and the government is backing it up.”

Unfortunately, Hyundai isn’t experiencing high sales’ volumes in China as of late, due to Chinese boycotts stemming from political discord.

Regardless of Sung-yop’s skepticism, the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association recorded an increase of electric car sales in South Korea of over 600 percent for the first four months of 2017 (mostly Ioniq Electrics). About 3,200 EVs have been sold in the country in 2017, and only 454 were sold by this time last year.

No matter which market it chooses, or where Hyundai’s electric vehicles find the most success, it’s always refreshing to learn that the number of major automakers leaning toward electrification is growing, and production dates are being pushed forward.

Source: Financial Times

Categories: Hyundai

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29 Comments on "Hyundai To Launch Long-Range EV In 2018: Will It Compete?"

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I traded my Kia Soul for the Bolt recently. I always pushed on my dealer before the Bolt reveal that they should have upgraded the range. I loved the Soul but range was a problem in the end. I came in my Bolt and showed it off and my local dealer told me Kia Niro too is getting a long range EV in 2018. So I put down a order. All they could promise was a 62kw battery and delivery Q3/18.


Why do you trade do much?, Don’t you lose money on each trade?


If you’re alluding to leasing, maybe some people actually mean what they say when saying “my car”. You don’t have that privilege when you lease because it’s not your car.

Warren M

I would rather have constant payments and a new car always. (Lease). Especially with EV tech. I can’t imagine how pissed I would have been if I purchased my $38,000 2012 Nissan LEAF SL instead of leasing it. But that was 5 EVs ago. I’m already on my 4th i3. In fact, on my 2017 i3, I elected to go with a 2yr lease instead of 3yrs.


That is because you have owned EV cars with to small range and not enough computer power.
I have a 4 year old Tesla and as it looks now I will be driving this car for another 10 or maybe even 20 years from now. And at a very low cost as I have owned it from day one.


Demand is high, but the dealers treat theire EV’s and PHEV’s lineup like missfits. I can get a better price to sell my car directly because there is no need to prove that the dealers dont sell theire cars. The good cars sell themselves. Thats only true because they still look at it as a disruptive technology. Service prices are low, warrenties are better etc. EV’s and PHEV’s have a lower resell value at the moment because of the cheap gas, when prices rise to 4$ per gallon again people are finaly gonna find it the better choice and just do the math.


Thanks for sharing the info on the Kia Niro EV.


Hyundai is still mainly a compliance player.


You mean like IoniqEV selling in Europe before selling in US? You mean like selling out in Europe and Asia, so they ran out before selling many in CA?

Hyundai underestimated the demand, but what they did is far removed from compliance play.


Dropping the C word is a way of dismissing, that does not make it true.

Rob Stark

Saying it is not a compliance play does not make it true.


you mean the Volt?


Will you please stop using that picture for the Kona? That is the Hyundai Intrado concept and it looks nothing like the Kona.


Thanks for sharing / correcting!


I’m sorry to hear Hyundai is down 14%. Hyundai made a smart investment to move into hybrid/PHEV/EV. Now they have to deliver. Out of 5 Hyundai dealers around me, there’s 2 Ioniq hybrids in stock (total). No EVs in stock. To state the obvious, Hyundai can’t sell what they don’t manufacture. They certainly can’t take on the Prius if they can’t provide inventory.

IMO – Going forward, they have to quickly get the EV range increased to 200+ or come in at an enticing price point for sub-200+ mile range. They should get Very Bold and deploy this same hybrid/PHEV/EV strategy in Every CUV/SUV vehicle they make by 2020.

Making strategic moves like the Hyundai Kona isn’t a way to regain market share. The Kona looks like a purposely
crippled offering designed to prevent cannibalizing even 1 CUV/SUV ICE sale. IMO, whoever made this strategic decision should resign. This design looks like a niche of a niche of a niche vehicle and has money pit written all over it. *shrug* Maybe I’m off and it will sell well in Korea and EU.


Based on Legion’s comment above, I retract my last paragraph.


I was lucky to get an Ioniq EV on May 1st. After 2000 miles, I’m really happy with the car. I have long commute (70 mile round trip) and the no limit lease is a great deal. One night I forgot to plug in and drove to work anyway with 50% on the battery. I got 140miles showing 10 miles remaining.

What you pay monthly?


My lease $322.

0 down?


Forgot to mention that Hyundai is paying for my charging for 1st 50000 miles. Just got a notice saying they are crediting my lease account $70 for first month rebate.

Congrats, that offer is one of the most ridiculous I have seen. People with long commutes or doing Lift and Uber would be stupid not to take this. Unlimited miles and free fuel for 50k miles…wow!


I don’t believe that Hyundai is building a new EV from scratch if it’s for next year. I’m expecting it to be just an Ionia EV with a beefed up battery.


I got only bad experiences with Hyundai.
When I did a test drive before I bought my current car, the paper said it has like the same engine power etc. as e.g. Megane III. But during the test drive I felt like in a car with much less power.
When I did a longer trip through Germany, I had to use a similar Hyundai as I drove during that test drive, but with more power (rental car). Then the power was ok for that car. But the car made problems when I was driving home – of course at a time when most stations were already closed… 🙁



Actually, it seems to me that Nissan and Hyundai/Kia are at the front of the affordable EV game.

Saying Hyundai is trying to catch up with overseas rivals doesn’t add up.

Hyundai and Kia with the Ioniq and Soul EV have some of the few mid range EVs on the market at this time!!!


Hyundai in the front of the affordable EV game? I sure don’t see it. The Ioniq is hardly available, hasn’t even sold 100 copies in the US as of the end of May. The Soul has never sold as many as 200 in any given month.

The Fiat 500e has been a much bigger seller than the Soul EV. VW eGolf and Chevy Spark also outsold it.

Nah, the Ioniq is a good effort, but I’ll wait until they ramp up volume to north of 1,000/month to say they’ve joined the leaders.


Good enough, there haven’t been volumes of Ioniq’s sold, but there aren’t many EV models just simply available in the 100-120 mile range.


Hyundai should look at giving the buyer of their next ev the option of trading in their car (at very little cost to the owners) for the longer range ev that Hyundai will bring to the market in 2019/2020, under certain use condition. Call it future proof ins for the buyer while it captures/steal the ev market for Hyundai. If not they will find it very hard to catch up with companies that have cars with battery range greater than 220 miles on the market this year.


Fun fact. It will be call Kauai in Portugal. Kona (cona) in Portuguese is the female genitals.