Journalism is not only about presenting answers. It is fundamentally about asking questions that need to be addressed. One of them relates to the Hyundai Ioniq 5 world premiere's multiple postponements. There have been two already, and we are still not sure it will happen on February 23, the latest date for us to finally see the car. What is going on?
If you have not followed the story, we wrote an article back on January 26 about its world premiere. The video now made private by Hyundai said the presentation would happen on February 2 in South Korea and Germany and on February 1 in California. A while later, it was scheduled for February 16 in South Korea and Germany and February 15 for California. Now the unveiling perspective is for February 23 and February 22 – you already know where.
The unofficial excuse for that would be that there were concerns about the pandemic in Europe, one of the most important markets for the car. If that were really the case, we would not have seen so many other remote presentations happen as well – or they would also have suffered delays.
Coincidence or not, rumors on the South Korean media about the investigation on Kona Electric fires have emerged on February 10. Hyundai would have discovered that the fires were caused by defects on the LG Energy Solution’s cells.
The Korean supplier already officially denied any official result blaming its batteries for the fires. Still, the Chevy Bolt EV uses the same supplier and has the same issues. The only common element between these two vehicles is their battery supplier.
We got in touch with Hyundai to understand what is going on with the Ioniq 5 presentation and are waiting for their official reply. The company has still not disclosed who delivers the cells it uses on the electric hatchback but there are rumors that they will come from SK Innovations.
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If it is LG Energy Solution, the delays could be related to solving the Kona Electric fires before the Ioniq 5 reaches all the markets in which it will be sold. If it is really SK Innovations, the recent ban due to an LG Energy Solution lawsuit with the ITC (U.S. International Trade Commission) could have something to do with it.
At this point, we have no idea why the car presentation is being postponed. However, the constant rescheduling has been a public display that something needs to be addressed before it happens. Hopefully, Hyundai will be able to give us a candid answer for that.