LG Chem Can’t Keep Up With Unexpectedly High Demand For Hyundai IONIQ Electric

3 months ago by Eric Loveday 98

2018 Hyundai Ioniq

2018 Hyundai Ioniq

It seems Hyundai underestimated the demand for the IONIQ Electric and didn’t order enough batteries from LG Chem.  Now, it pays the price.

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric is currently a region-limited (think CARB) offering

That’s a problem, but there is a solution.

Business Korea reports that Hyundai initially told LG Chem that it need batteries for up to 7,000 IONIQ Electric cars. It’s not clear if that’s an annualized figure, or just a partial number by year’s end.

Here’s the wording from Business Korea:

“Hyundai Motor initially ordered 6,000 to 7,000 EV batteries at LG Chem to produce the Ioniq EV.”

It now appears as though demand for the IONIQ Electric is far higher than anticipated. As a result, Hyundai is attempting to increase production on its side, but LG Chem won’t be able to match that with increase battery production, at least not immediately.

This is a unfortunate reality that InsideEVs has explained on many occasions whenever OEMs tout the ability to quickly “increase production” due to unseen demand (which as we know, rarely ever actually materializes) – without accounting for the fact they don’t have an existing commitment to a 3rd party battery supplier for those cells.

3rd party battery suppliers aren’t idling sitting by with 2x or 3x capacity ready to go (and without an open contract for) just in case an automaker needs it; instead batter suppliers sell all the available capacity they can to maximize profits.

Hyundai IONIQ Electric In Marina Blue

Business Korea states:

“…the company has difficulties in production as the demand of the Ioniq EV turned out to be two times higher than expected due to the EV syndrome at EV contests held by local governments earlier this year. In particular, LG Chem is seeking to boost production to meet the growing demand, but it is struggling to supply batteries to Hyundai Motor as well as other automakers.”

It’s unclear what the new target is, and there’s really no indication that LG Chem can push out additional batteries for the IONIQ Electric all that quickly.  Something we have seen we incredibly tight supply so far this year.

Our previous report on the IONIQ Electric suggested that Hyundai was upping production substantially – but still well below demand:

“In Hyundai’s home market of South Korea, where the IONIQ Electric has already become the best selling all-electric model, customers are now looking at wait times up to 4-5 months to get the car.”

“In the US, good luck finding hardly any in customer’s hands today (99 sold through May), let alone in dealer stock.”

“With 5,581 sales in South Korea though the end of April, and a waiting list a mile long at home, clearly Hyundai’s aim right now is to service its domestic market before refocusing on the rest of the world.”

“Thankfully, Hyundai is not only aware of the problem, but intends to remedy the situation somewhat with a 50% production boost from 1,200 a month to 1,800 a month.”

“Half of that production is ear-marked for South Korea (600 today, soon 900). The automaker says it will take until July at the earliest to see those extra EVs start to arrive, meaning for the rest of the world, the Ioniq Electric drought will likely continue until at least September.”

Hyundai IONIQ Electric

But now all of that may be difficult to achieve (or increase production further) due to lack of batteries from LG Chem – or rather a lack of accurate forecasting by Hyundai. Car production can’t increase without battery packs to power them. We’ll see how this plays out soon.

As for Hyundai’s take, they say there is no shortage, as Green Car Reports reached out to Hyundai late last month and got some response from the company’s PR department:

“We’ve seen nothing to indicate any shortage. I don’t know how that started; [Hyundai in Korea] can’t find anything to support it.” – Jim Trainor, acting public-relations director at HMA

With due respect to the fellow whose job it is to spin the news at Hyundai, we’d say given fact there has been no inventory over the past ~6 months, and that there is wait times of 4-5 months for new orders in South Korea, and the max global production for the balance of this year is capped at just 1,800 units/month says otherwise, there is definitely a shortage of Hyundai Ioniq Electrics.

To be fair, we suppose it could be the windshield wipers that in short supply slowing things down?  (all three versions of the Ioniq are built in the same Hyundai facility in Ulsan, South Korea).   But those wipers seem to be available for Ioniq Hybrid sales – perhaps its just those chrome badges that say “electric” that is the hold up?

Source: Business Korea

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98 responses to "LG Chem Can’t Keep Up With Unexpectedly High Demand For Hyundai IONIQ Electric"

  1. reader says:

    It looks like a great, affordable car, so no surprise. Leaf has a credible challenger

    1. La Frennia di Mamata says:

      Hyundai Can go to the Bolt’s battery supplier & have them pick up the slack .. Since the demand For Bolt has fallen off & Bolt production has been put to a stop….

      1. Jen says:

        Makes sense. LG Chem is Bolts supplier

        1. Bonaire says:

          Nissan chose LG Chem for the Leaf recently as well – to replace their own Tennessee battery plant product.

      2. bogdan says:

        Don’t know if the demand has fallen, but the Bolt isn’t available anywhere around the globe. Only in 3 or 4 corners of US and 1 corner of Norway.
        GM dosen’t really want to sell Bolts.

        1. JeremyK says:

          The Bolt is nearly available everywhere in the US at this point. I just received an email from GM saying that the Bolt IS now available in MI (2 months ahead of schedule). I verified that several dealers in the Detroit Metro area now have Bolts in stock and we were in the last group of rollout states.

        2. Tom says:

          Og you order GM ampera e (Opel branded bolt) i Norway you will have the car sometimes i 2019!! Meanwhile bolt does not sell i US.

      3. jerry says:

        I’d bet GM has maxed out it’s order plus different modules have different
        shapes.
        EV batteries are available in any amount you want, you just need to order them 2 yrs in advance to build everything from mines to refineries to factories as all production already is bought.

  2. Assaf says:

    Weren’t they planning to roll out a 200-mile version in 2018?

    I hope they ordered batteries in advance 🙂

    1. JeffD says:

      I am wondering if that is why their estimates for the current Ioniq ended up too low. Maybe they figured more people might hold off until the higher range model comes out. Either they were wrong and people want it now, or they were right and totally underestimated the amount of demand they could get for both models.

      1. Tom says:

        My take on this is that this is that they intended to sell SOME of these vehicles and use them to get feedback and performance data and then the 2018 longer range version was the real planned mass market version.

        I’d also like to point out that when the article says battery companies can’t just sit around ready for 2 or 3 times volume ready ‘just in case’ but also the flip side of that is equally true and this point keeps getting lost on this forum. It is equally irresponsible (and opens them up to litigation by shareholders) for a car company to estimate high, line up all that volume including batteries, then have a misfire on sales. The shortage can get explained to shareholders as a minor missed opportunity that can be corrected in a timeframe with a known horizon. Eating 10s of millions in supply chain cost on the assumption sales are going to be high, isn’t correctable and will get you sued and rightly so.

        1. BenG says:

          This sounds right, Tom.

  3. SparkEV says:

    It seems GM could take advantage of IoniqEV availability by sending US Bolts to Korea.

    Seems like Deja Vu of SparkEV situation in 2015. After selling 920 cars in Apr. 2015 from norm of about 100 per month, they were pretty much sold out for the rest of the year, and took almost a year to catch up to the demand. I wonder if that was also due to battery constraint: ordered for about 100 cars per month, but a single sales spike took over 9 months of inventory.

    1. DJ says:

      Or even simpler with the factory shut down just reassign some of those LG Chem batteries from Chevy to Hyundai 😀

      1. SparkEV says:

        IoniqEV may not use same battery chemistry as Bolt.

      2. Daniel says:

        Or form factor.

    2. Mikael says:

      They can’t even send a enough Ampera-E to satisfy a fraction of the demand in Europe.

      If they at least could get the waiting time to get your order down to under a year…

      1. SparkEV says:

        Ampera-e is more complicated due to that “other company”. Korea is lot easier since they’re still GM. Same is true with Canada.

    3. Driver says:

      Chevrolet Bolt and Volt use LG Chem’s batteries too, so all EV vendors using LG Chem’s batteries are stressed.

    4. Don Zenga says:

      +1. Yes GM should send some of the Bolts in inventory to korea.

  4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Auto makers who want to rapidly ramp up production of EVs are in a Catch-22 situation: If they go to an alternative battery maker for additional batteries on a “we need it now” basis, then they almost certainly get cells not specifically designed for the car, and thus an imperfect fit to the engineering of the EV powertrain. Alternatively, they could tell their primary supplier to ramp up production faster, which means they would have to pay the supplier more money per kWh of batteries.

    In the first case, the additional cars produced won’t perform as well, and in the second case, the additional cars produced will have a higher per-unit cost and thus a smaller profit margin for the auto maker.

    Neither is an attractive option for the auto maker.

    Note that ramping up battery production faster than expected would affect even Tesla’s Gigafactory 1. Tesla will have contracted with suppliers for raw materials. Unexpectedly increasing that supply will at the least incur “rush delivery” costs, and may have problems with short-term lag between supply and demand, as well as possible quality issues with raw materials from alternative, untested suppliers. And inside the factory, Panasonic will have to pay workers overtime to produce more batteries than they had hired workers to produce. Ditto the Tesla employees assembling the battery packs.

    All these factors would drive up the per-kWh cost of batteries from Gigafactory 1, and possibly cause quality issues.

    * * * * *

    This seems like a good place to repeat what InsideEV’s editor Jay Cole said about this subject:

    “There is no battery supplier that will let a company make a set order, then guarantee 2X expansion of that order over the short term/’just in time’ model if that OEM finds unexpected demand. Especially not LG Chem, who is first to market with inexpensive/2nd gen batteries and currently has ~21 different OEM contracts. They would of course say they will do their best to oblige as best they can, but that would be it… there is no leverage.”

    — Jay Cole, comment at InsideEVs.com, May 30, 2017

    http://insideevs.com/nissan-close-to-exiting-battery-business/#comment-1214733

    1. unlucky says:

      Asking for 7,000 packs was just insanity. If they were planning on making so few they sure wasted a lot of time giving it such good press visibility.

      I agree once you pick a number there is no realistic “quick fix” to get a lot more packs now.

      7,000 for the entire world? Even if that was until the end of the year it’s ridiculously low.

      1. Mark.ca says:

        They didn’t believe in their product enough. Hard to understand why since it generated lots of interest.

        1. menorman says:

          To be fair, the automotive press was very critical of the ~125 mile range of the IoniqEV and with Hyundai already promising a 200+ mile version fairly soon afterwards, I can understand why they would think they didn’t need to plan to see a LOT of them sold.

  5. Sean says:

    It blows my mind that LG Chem are not more aggressively expanding their battery manufacturing capabilities. They are clearly one of the more advanced battery suppliers in terms of product quality, and they have no shortage of OEMs who are looking to buy their product. It seems to me that they are going to be one of the biggest bottlenecks in mass EV adoption in the future.

    I realise they are currently building a plant in Europe and expanding another one in the U.S. plus their Asia operations, but you would think that with the demand for their clearly superior product, they would go ahead and start adding multiple tens of GWhs of capacity and become the number one OEM reliable supplier before they all start looking elsewhere to somebody who can give them the capacity they require reliably.

    1. trackdaze says:

      Doubling year on year is probably good enough.

      With poland coming online and michigan expanding soon. Korean production that is going to bolt will be reassigned to ioniq i imagine.

    2. Nada says:

      It takes goverment policy, business foresight and big balls to spend billions and billions on battery factories even when you know they will be needed…
      So it is not really suprising that the Chinese are building the majority of the new battery factories and will then sell them to the countries businesses and people who lacked what it takes to do the job themselves…

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “It blows my mind that LG Chem are not more aggressively expanding their battery manufacturing capabilities.”

      It’s beyond my comprehension, too. I realize that battery makers have a “once burnt, twice shy” attitude about rapidly ramping up production, since several of them did that a few years ago (circa 2010-11?) and got burnt by a glut on the international market. But surely LG Chem should realize that it has an opportunity to vastly expand its market over the next several years, with several auto makers targeting 2020 as “the year of the EV”, and probably accelerating EV production in years beyond that?

      It really baffles me. I wonder if LG Chem is afraid that somebody is gonna suddenly put some sort of more advanced battery into production (perhaps a solid state battery?), one which will make their current product obsolete. I can’t think of any other reason why they are not expanding production even faster than Tesla/Panasonic are with the Gigafactory 1 project.

      As it is, only BYD seems to be actually competing with Tesla/Panasonic in expanding battery production, and BYD is clearly a distant second.

      http://insideevs.com/ev-battery-makers-2016-panasonic-and-byd-combine-to-hold-majority-of-market/

      1. BenG says:

        The link you provide actually indicates BYD is leading the world in production of Li-ion batteries for EVs, if you include buses, trucks, etc …

        “Interestingly, if one where to include the commercial business (specifically buses with their huge battery packs) BYD would be #1 in the segment overall…and we guess, it doesn’t really matter what type of EV the cells go into – in the overall EV battery-making game, BYD is now on top.”

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          That had not stuck in my mind. Thanks for pointing it out!

      2. Confused says:

        That is a huge investment and therefore huge business risk. Much worse for a CEO to have idle factories because they missed something than have the luxury of too much demand.

    4. JeremyK says:

      LG got burned badly about 6 years ago with all the EV hype. They overbuilt capacity that they are just now able to fill.

  6. unlucky says:

    Can’t tell that around here. Still haven’t seen a single one. I see Cadillac ELRs. I see Fit EVs. I see lots of Ford Focus Electrics. But not a one Hyundai IONIQ Electric.

    I guess Hyundai greatly undersupplied on this car.

    1. DJ says:

      There are a few I see around me. The unlimited mileage lease option is really attractive. If they truly do bring a 200+ mile offering next year and keep the price and the unlimited mileage lease around I could see it selling quite a lot.

      I really hope they have the same mindset for their Kia Niro EV. We would put a crap ton of miles on that thing and extend the life of our Prius V a couple more years at least I would think 😀

      1. Mark.ca says:

        It’s not just unlimited miles, it’s also free charging for 50K miles…all for about $300/month (3K down?)…super deal for people with long commutes.

        1. menorman says:

          Don’t forget that it’s only available in CA and CA provides a $2500 rebate. That makes it super attractive, especially since Californians do drive quite a bit.

          1. unlucky says:

            California’s rebates are means-tested now and have been for a year. You can get $4000 if your income is low enough. And if your income is high enough you get nothing.

            I can assure you by looking at where EVs sell well (SF Bay Area) that a lot of buyers are getting nothing from the state.

            Oh yeah, and the program ran out of money again so for now it’s possible no one is getting money from California..

            1. Mark.ca says:

              We also have the utility rebates…I’m waiting for $450 from SCE next month.
              The Cali rebate will get funded since cap and trade was voted to stay.

              1. Confused says:

                I got $500 from PG&E. Bought used too.

      2. Asak says:

        Eh… whether the unlimited lease is attractive or not is very mileage dependent. It’s quite unattractive for those who don’t drive that many miles. You’re basically paying the same price as a Bolt for a car with much lower range. Then again, if you don’t drive many miles the Bolt also isn’t that attractive compared to other lower range alternatives.

        I suppose all that matters is whether they find enough people to lease at the offer they are presenting. But it’s not like the unlimited lease deal is definitely a good deal for everyone.

  7. ModernMarvelFan says:

    So they only planned for 7,000 and now asking for 7,000 more?

    Geez, anyone can have so much demand when you only plan for 7,000 car.

    Bolt already sold that many and have almost 5,000 of them sitting on the lot.

    Bolt pack is more than 2x the size too.

    1. Priusmaniac says:

      So LG has a problem to produce an extra 0.196 GWh of batteries! What’s it gonna be when they need to make 50 GWh?

  8. S'toon says:

    The problem is Hyundai thought NOBODY wants BEVs.

    They thought, and still do, that what people REALLY want are FCEVs. Somehow they haven’t clued in that there is 0 demand for FCEVs. Tunnel vision thinking.

    1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      7000 cars in 70,000,000 market is hardly a definition of “wants” unless you spend all your time in enthusiast echo chamber.

      Ioniq may be great car for its time, but next month introduction of 2nd generation SUV by Hyundai may be much more interesting showing the cutting edge of technology.

      “Industries are saying that Hyundai Motor Company broke down price barrier, which is considered as the biggest obstacle in FCEV markets, by localizing high-value major technologies that had been imported in the past. On top of this, it began hiring 300 South Korean and foreign fuel cell developers and producers, who have either Master’s degree or Ph.D. degree, since early this year besides 200 FCEV engineers who are already employed in order to focus on enhancing its technologies.

      Hyundai Motor Company’s ‘FE fuel cell car’ can drive more than 800km with just single charge, which takes 3 minutes, and it will be 20% lighter than FCEV called ‘Tucson ix’. Also we have greatly increased level of completion of FE fuel cell car by reducing volume of system y 20%, which is done by making fuel cell stack and fuel cell system such as driving device, inverter, and high-voltage junction box into modules.”

      http://english.etnews.com/20170713200002

      1. Stimpy says:

        No one wants a FCEV. They want BEVs that can be recharged anywhere the grid exists. MOST IMPORTANTLY inside their private garage.

        1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

          Stimpy,

          I understand your personal charging convenience perfectly well.
          But please get out of the echo chamber and understand that half of the world population doesn’t have any private garages or luxury electrified parking spots, nor can afford to pay extra $10k for a battery and wait for an hour or few while it charges at who knows what rate electric utility monopoly will decide to charge. Many places don’t even have reliable electric grid.

          1. Mark.ca says:

            But they are ok paying 20k more for a FC?

            1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

              >>> But they are ok paying 20k more for a FC? <<<

              Most of them certainly are not ok paying $20k extra for whatever car. That is why Hyundai/Honda/Toyota is pursuing FC among other technologies, because they can see clearly that it can be produced without $20k premium once scale is increased. The same conclusions be read in DOE cost calculations – system cost may be $30-$40 per kW of FC. It a bit strange to read assumption that pilot production or whatever random price tag must be the same as mass production.

          2. SparkEV says:

            They are ok with even less reliable H infrastructure and H costing several times that of gasoline? For all the arguments against EV, they apply even worse for FCEV.

            FCEV echo chamber make it seem like fueling time is a big deal, but it isn’t. There is (was) already a way to “charge” in 2 minutes via battery swap. People didn’t want that, instead opting for lower cost “hours of charging”. And this is Tesla S crowd that presumably get paid far more per time than average people. If charging time is a big deal, battery swap would be successful, no need for FCEV.

            1. Nick says:

              Well said.

              It effectively takes longer to fuel a FCEV since you need to make a special trip.

              It takes about 10 seconds to fill my EV, since I simply plug it in at home. 🙂

              I’ve experienced the high pressure fueling story in the past when I owned a CNG powered van. It says “5 min fill”, but it actually took closer to 15 mins for an 80% fill at the lame local station near us. I suspect H2 fueling would be similar. That’s not even considering the special trip to the fueling station.

              1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

                Nick:
                ‘I’ve experienced the high pressure fueling story in the past when I owned a CNG powered van. It says “5 min fill”, but it actually took closer to 15 mins for an 80% fill at the lame local station near us. I suspect H2 fueling would be similar.’

                You can certainly find some old experimental level stations from last decade that work slower. But all the currently opened H2 stations meet retail level standard that demand to do 0-100% within 3-5 minutes. It is tested in practice by many people already, no need to speculate here.

            2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

              SparkEV:

              I certainly don’t feel like this is FCEV echo chamber 😉 More like Tesla fanboy and cult member chamber 😉

              You should had tried that Tesla swap station (not the first, Better Place tried swapping before). Tesla invitation only program, you needed to schedule appointment in advance, schedule the same in advance on your way back to retrieve battery. Some guy manually would swap your battery. Total BS for the sake of exploiting CARB credit loophole for “fast refueling” feature. The loophole was later closed to some extent, and sure it resulted in “no demand”. There is no chance of competition between swapping 1000+ lb of batteries and 5 kg of fuel.
              If refueling would not matter as you are trying suggest, you would not have 99% of new car buyers choosing it instead of convenience of charging overnight. You would not see 100 kW batteries at huge premium, defeating environmental purpose of electric cars. Range does matter, and it matters because you can’t replenish it quickly enough.

              1. SparkEV says:

                Cult of SparkEV! 🙂

                If you’re going by “future pricing” of H, you can also go by “future automation” of battery swap. It doesn’t matter if it’s 1000 lb battery. 10,000lb hydraulic ram is only few hundred dollars at my local hardware store. Actual hardware to implement is pretty cheap, provided the manufacturer made provisions for it (which none did except Tesla and dead Renaults).

                Compare that to high pressure H pump + tank, and the pricing is not even close to battery swap.

                The only reason the battery swap shut down is because of pricing. As I mentioned before, the negativity with pricing is even worse with H.

                If people cared more about quicker fueling over cost, they would’ve signed up for Tesla battery swap en masse, and begged (demanded?) Tesla open it up. Obviously, that did not happen, because battery swap would be just as expensive as 25 MPG gas car. If people who can afford $100K car won’t sign to pay 25 MPG for 5 minutes fueling, there’s no way “normal people” will pay extra for quicker fueling.

            3. G2 says:

              Well put SparkEv

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “7000 cars in 70,000,000 market is hardly a definition of ‘wants’ unless you spend all your time in enthusiast echo chamber.”

        Wow, you like to throw around orders-of-magnitude exaggerations with abandon, don’t you, “fool cell” fanboy? Well, in defending the embarrassing, tiny number of fool cell cars sold per year, I guess you think you have to be that untruthful. How sad for you.

        Fortunately, we plug-in EV fans do much better by sticking to actual facts and the truth:

        “Total [plug-in EV] sales for 2016 amounted to 774,384,which was up 40% year-over-year.” (source 1)

        How many fool cell cars were sold worldwide in 2016? I dunno, but the #1 seller, the Toyota Mirai, was targeting a production of 2000 units for 2016, and I see an “analyst” forecast for all FCEVs of ~5000 units for 2017. (source 2)

        Color me unimpressed, fool cell fanboy!

        source 1:
        http://insideevs.com/world-ev-sales-hit-record-103000-deliveries-in-december-almost-800000-for-2016/

        source 2:
        http://news.ihsmarkit.com/press-release/automotive/global-hydrogen-fuel-cell-electric-vehicle-market-buoyed-oems-will-launch-1

        1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

          Best wishes to Tin Foil Industry shills, Pu-pu 😉

          1. ffe 1 says:

            Silly fool cell fan boy, you and the other three of you knocking around in a vacuum of an echo chamber somewhere on some other planet love to hear yourselves talk. BEV tech is here, getting cheaper everyday, and the preferred mode of automotive propulsion. Charging times are not an issue. Most people charge at home. The Tesla supercharging system is huge and growing everyday. When on a trip most people want to stop for 15 or 20 minutes every couple of hundred miles -what doesn’t work about that? You fool cell fan boys are shills for big oil and just want to substitute gas stations for fool cell hydrogen stations. They are expensive, unavailable, and do nothing to help us escape the stranglehold of big energy companies. Let the damn technology die just like the beta max did and move on.

    2. Dave86 says:

      LOL – I had the same sarcastic thought when I read the article. And that is, Hyundai underestimated demand for their BEV because they thought everyone really wants FCEV.

  9. mg says:

    The story was already danied by Hiunday several days ago. Moreover it is contradictory to story about Bolt production halt. That world actually freed a lot of production capacity at LG.

    1. buu says:

      I hope you do realize that Ioniq uses “power” cells, while Bolt uses energy dense which likely the same as in Zoe. And its quite unlikely you can easily shift line for 2 weeks for other cells production

    2. Jen says:

      I want what this poster is having. Holy cow. Mix in an English class with your football games.

    3. unlucky says:

      There’s no reason that a production halt at the Bolt factory would free up anything at LG Chem. The battery packs are not interchangeable. It’s clear the chemistry isn’t even the same.

      And there’s no reason to think GM wouldn’t want the packs to install later. The shutdown at the Orion plant wasn’t because they had too many Bolts.

      1. Dave86 says:

        I’m intrigued: what do you believe the reason is that gm shut down Bolt production?

        1. BenG says:

          That factory mainly produces the Sonic, which has seen sales fall by 1/2 this year resulting in big oversupply.

          I expect GM is on track to produce just as many Bolts as they planned at the beginning of the year. They are probably not pushing to increase production beyond initial plans due to high inventory, but they contracted with LG for XX thousand Bolts and they will build them.

          1. Confused says:

            Will the fate of the Sonic impact the Bolt? Especially if the Bolt remains niche.

            1. BenG says:

              I doubt it. GM has said that they are going to build additional vehicles on the Bolt platform, so I’d say it has a future.

  10. Nada says:

    Asking for 7k batteries == COMPLIANCE CAR
    Asking for 7k additional batteries simply means they got great press from it but still dont want to really sell them…

    1. Priusmaniac says:

      Indeed I was initially confused when reading 1200 produced a month. I thought it was per day like one would expect.

      Haven’t they realized that just after the Tesla Model 3, the Hyundai Ionic Electric is the next best EV that is affordable, seat five and looks great?

      1. Priusmaniac says:

        And, I forgot, has an hatch and a driver display like many seem to regret on the Model 3. It is also not affected by the all too imposed self driving rhetoric that tends to plague the Model 3. It is a real car for drivers not intended as a taxi. In a sense it is too bad we need to buy the Model 3 to have longer range and supercharger access because the Ionic would be the best car.

        1. Confused says:

          Agreed. I also am waiting to see about battery cooling. I would buy an Ionic over a Tesla even at the lower range if the battery pack proves resilliant.

  11. David Murray says:

    I have to wonder if Hyundai simply believed 7,000 cars would be all of the demand for the vehicle. Or, is it a non-profitable compliance car so they wanted to limit it to 7,000 vehicles on purpose?

    Well, we will find out over the next year or so. While LG Chem may not be able to increase production over night, I would imagine a year should be plenty of time.

    1. reader says:

      This analysis makes zero sense. Ioniq has a range of different drivetrains, not just the EV. They wouldn’t need a PHEV and a hybrid for any compliance, and they certainly wouldnt need a full platform built just for this.

      Also, it would make no sense to price it that low if it was a compliance car.

    2. BenG says:

      I think it’s reasonable to suppose that Hyundai considered the first year Ioniq EV as a combination of compliance car and test-bed for the technology they intend to roll out for the 200 mile version. So they didn’t expect very high demand, and they didn’t want to produce a ton because it’s a new platform and they want to iron out issues while producing at low volume.

      1. Confused says:

        They are also using the platform for other models, adding more fuel to the testing theory.

  12. Mikael says:

    1200 per month would be 14400 per year.
    1800 leads to 21600 per year.

    They have sold about 3k in Europe this year and probably ~8k in South Korea by now.

    They will most likely need to double that level to be able to send EVs to North America too.

    Imagine if it were a 60 kWh car instead… Then things would go bananas.

    1. menorman says:

      Well, when they released this 125-mile version, it was roundly criticized for lack of range, so I’m not surprised to see that they didn’t think it would sell THAT many copies because people would really be waiting for the 200-mile version.

    2. Tom says:

      The 7000 figure noted in the article appears to be both speculative and doesn’t fit anywhere into the reality of the numbers. They’ve clearly already sold more than 7000. Note also they are pumping out the Niro hybrid (same company guys…) like a Pez dispenser and also launched the Niro PHEV in Europe and If I’m not mistaken launched the Ioniq hybrid. Those all take batteries too folks. They have not one but an entire basket of smash hit vehicles and frankly are ramping quicker than anyone else it would seem. Also in defense of LG Chem, it is unwise of any company to grow at a rate of more than 100% per year. My understanding is that this is the pace of LG growth. Business history is replete with the carcasses of companies that thought that the dangers of excessive growth did not apply to them. Have any of you ever even worked in a company that grows that fast? Forget product. Think about all those new hires and what a mess that will make a company. I’ve seen it. I worked at a company around the year 2000 that could have grown faster but purposely restricted growth to 30% per year. They had done that 7 years straight. I asked a couple execs why not make more money? Why leave money on the table? Their answer was basically ‘because we’ve all lived through that hell before….it always ends badly’. There were 15000 people in that company. And if you think of it probably only 10,000 had worked there more than a year (there’d be attrituion too right?). Maybe 5000 more than 2 years. Even at that rate I had 9 bosses in 2 years. There’s no way to maintain company culture, no way to build company level expertise or consistency in basic things like project management methodologies. You end up with a whole bunch of useless people and lots of ‘wheel spin’ because the growth forces you to hire people you regret later.

  13. kuk says:

    Jeebus, start build Giga you losers!

  14. zzzzzzzzzz says:

    4-5 month delay for custom ordered new model car? Since when it is unusual? It sounds blown way out of proportion.

    1. Nick says:

      custom ordered?

  15. Alonso Perez says:

    I saw this car at the Geneva Motor Show and was surprised. It’s nicer and bigger than I thought from pictures. A great value and efficiency king on top of that.
    My only question is whether Hyundai is serious about selling them. We will soon find out.

  16. Don Zenga says:

    Sad state. Is this the reason why the Ioniq Hybrid sales are low. Hope they help LG chem produce more batteries so that both EV & Hybrid version of Ioniq’s are produced. Ioniq-Hybrid has a high 55 MPG that beats the Prius 52 MPG and can help cut down pollution.

  17. Michael says:

    I bought an Ioniq. -My 2012 Volt died last month. Thought about another Volt but hate the new design and hate GM for all the crud I went through with my lemon volt. ugh what a disaster, towed too many times and in the shop constantly. It finally completely died. Battery sensor went out so it was a $7,000 repair, and no I’m not lying like the posts said after I reported this last month. Anyway NEVER another VOlt and NEVER another GM. LOVE LOVE LOVE my Ioniq. Been a great car now for 8 weeks and 2300 miles. Getting on avg 62.2 MPG omg that’s awesome right! As far as I drive to work and trips my volt only got lifetime of 82 mpg after 125,000 miles. So I’m not too far off from my plug in. I drove a prius before the volt. When i was in the Florida Keys i drove for four hours to Key west and back and got 82.4MPG. Granted the average speed is about 45mph but wow 82MPG my gas gauge didn’t move! lol The ioniq even goes into EV mode doing over 70 mph when the battery is charged enough. So impressed with Hyundai!! I see a huge demand for this car. And everyone says to me “Oh and it looks like a normal car!”. Love my Ioniq!! But I do have a Tesla 3 on order. I’m number 300,001 I think lol so i figure next summer. Until then the Ioniq will keep me happy!

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Glad you’re enjoying your Ioniq EV!

      I’ve never seen one in person, and don’t know that much about the car, but I’ve certainly read that it gets good press from those who have had the opportunity to test drive one. Seems the car’s biggest problem is demand greatly exceeding supply!

      Generally I look down my nose at EVs built off a gasmobile platform or a multi-use platform; in general, I think compelling EVs are built from the ground up.

      But as they say: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.” If Hyundai has created an exception to the rule, and made a compelling PEV (plug-in EV) in the Ioniq EV, then I certainly hope they will ramp up production to whatever the market will bear, and…

      Go Hyundai!

      * * * * *

      “…and no I’m not lying like the posts said after I reported this last month.”

      I’m sorry you have been untreated so unfairly. It’s too easy to make snap judgments about someone you’ve never met, just from one or a handful of internet posts, and I’ve certainly been guilty of that myself from time to time.

      In general the Volt has not had many battery problems reported, but every model of car has the occasional lemon, and it looks like you, unfortunately, got one.

      1. BenG says:

        I dig the enthusiasm, but he was reporting on his new Ioniq Hybrid … apparently not even a plug-in hybrid, which is fine but is not an Ioniq EV.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Yeah, okay, my bad, I didn’t read all of his post and didn’t see him bragging about MPG… which means no, it’s not an Ioniq EV, which is a BEV.

    2. JeremyK says:

      Failing to understand why this “sensor” wasn’t covered under the Voltec warranty. You had over 100K miles?

      1. Nick says:

        In his post he said 125k miles.

  18. Matthew Fabb says:

    In Canada I know people who bought the car in May and are only expecting to get it in August. Strangely enough Hyundai sold more Ioniq Electric cars in Canada than the US in May. I’m guessing that might be just because Hyundai Canada somehow got more cars allocated.

  19. Jean-François Morissette says:

    Apart from the bad planning, I have a question for you guys. Is anyone here knowledgable about how well does the battery production scale? Is it easier to ramp up production? Because it is one thing to have clear order, but the day the automakers will ask to double or triple the production in the next year, will they be able to do it? Isn’t there the danger ahead that the battery production scaling could be a bottleneck slowing the acceleration of the S-curve?

    1. unlucky says:

      Yes. There is plenty of reason to believe they can double or triple production in a year if they have reason to do so.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      I certainly don’t claim to be an expert on the subject (or any subject here), but I do know that a couple of years ago, LG Chem was requiring orders for its new, cheaper batteries to be made two years in advance.

      Also, see my post above with an extended quote from InsideEVs’ Jay Cole on the subject.

      In general, the faster the ramp up, the harder it’s going to be to do it without wasting a lot of money. Tesla has been ramping up car production at about 50% per year, and that’s much much faster than other auto makers of any size.

      How fast can battery makers increase production? Well, here is some evidence:

      “…BYD… noted the highest growth of the major battery makers, growing by 143% last year to 4 GWh. Only Samsung SDI can boast a similar growth rate (130%), but on a smaller scale…” (source below)

      However, that was almost certainly factories which had been planned and built in advance coming on line. I think your question is more along the line of “If a battery maker or car manufacturer suddenly decided they wanted to increase production, how fast could they do it?”

      The rule of thumb is that it takes about two years to build a factory and fine-tune it for efficient mass production; either a battery factory or an auto assembly factory. If you want to throw a lot of money at it, you could probably bring it down to 18 months for the battery factory, and Tesla did put the NUMMI assembly plant back into production after only about 18 months, but it’s said a lot of the original equipment was still in place and in usable condition, so they got a head start, and initial production was rather low.

      Come to think of it… I don’t think that fits my description of “build a factory and fine tune it for mass production”. Arguably, the fine tuning was something Tesla did after production started. So, we’re back to two years as a rule of thumb.

      source of quote above:

      http://insideevs.com/ev-battery-makers-2016-panasonic-and-byd-combine-to-hold-majority-of-market/

      1. unlucky says:

        That’s really not the rule of thumb. You said it last time. It still isn’t.

        If you want to built a plant to do more of what you’re already doing a year is more than enough time. If you build a factory just like the one you already have running at the same rate you double capacity. And you can do that in a year without developing any new techniques or processes.

        Forecasting sales a year in advance is hard enough. If you had to start your factories 2 years in advance it would make an even bigger mess of things.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “If you build a factory just like the one you already have running at the same rate you double capacity. And you can do that in a year without developing any new techniques or processes.”

          How about citing some real world examples to back up your assertion that you can double production in a year with no advance preparation, Unlucky? And to be clear: I mean in the business of li-ion battery manufacturing, not making pencils or some other very simple production process.

          I swear, if I said 2+2=4, you’d find some reason to argue simply because I said it.

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          unlucky said:

          “Forecasting sales a year in advance is hard enough. If you had to start your factories 2 years in advance it would make an even bigger mess of things.”

          Well then, you need to tell LG Chem that they’re really making a mess of things by requiring orders two years in advance of delivery. I’m sure you know their business better than they do.

          /snark

  20. Pete says:

    Renault produced 4000 Zoe last month, thats a number!

  21. Steven says:

    Just imagine the demand if they were sold nation-wide.

    1. a says:

      If they do like Tesla did with the model 3 I am sure they will get millions.

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