First, there was the Chinese-made Dacia Spring, and then came the Citroen e-C3. These are some of the cheapest all-electric cars you can get your hands on in Europe, but the wave of affordable electron-powered vehicles is just getting started because Hyundai is getting ready to play the game on the Old Continent.
Say hello to the Hyundai Casper EV, shown in these photos without a charging port because the car isn’t exactly ready for prime time but will be by the end of this year, according to reports from Automotive News Europe and Auto-Moto.com.
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Another cheap EV heads to Europe
Hyundai will launch an entry-level, sub-$22,000 EV in Europe toward the end of the year. Dubbed the Casper in its home country of South Korea, the diminutive hatchback will join the ranks of the Dacia Spring, Citroen e-C3, and upcoming Renault Twingo as one of the cheapest EV on sale on the Old Continent.
The Casper, which is a tiny four-door urban runabout, has been manufactured by Hyundai in South Korea since 2011 with a 1.0-liter gasoline engine, but it will get an electric powertrain for the European market, according to Hyundai France boss Lionel Keogh, who said that the pint-sized EV will be priced around 20,000 Euros, which is about $21,500 today. This includes VAT, which we don’t have in the United States.
Besides its diminutive size–it measures just 141.5 inches long, 22.5 inches less than the Chevy Bolt EV–the low entry price of the Casper EV also has to do with its rumored lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery pack that will supposedly be able to offer between 125-187 miles (200-300 kilometers) of range on a full charge. Which is plenty for big European cities.
When it arrives in Europe sometime in the third quarter of this year, the Casper EV might be about 10 inches longer than its combustion-powered counterpart, which would help with interior space. As for the location of the charging port, it will most likely be at the front of the car, as seen in spy shots of a European development prototype last year.
Gallery: Hyundai Casper 2022
It’s good news for Europeans, but we can’t help but feel a bit envious because we have precisely zero choice for a brand-new electric car under $25,000 in the United States now that the Chevy Bolt EV and EUV have been retired.
But even if Hyundai’s tiny EV would somehow make it stateside, would anybody buy it? One study found that the rate of EV adoption in the U.S. would be higher if there were more affordable battery-powered compact SUVs on the market, but the Casper is much smaller than a compact SUV.