Hyundai wants to join the compact EV segment with affordable electric cars, but they are unlikely to come to Australia.
Hyundai is developing two small electric cars that will bring compact dimensions and an affordable price tag, however, the cars are being prepared for the European market only with a sub-€20,000 price tag proposed – around AUD$29,000.
The as-yet-unnamed cars, expected to be successors to the Hyundai i10 that was released in 2020, will join 10 other EVs that Hyundai plans to release in Europe by 2030.
It’s expected that one will be a city car and another a chunkier variant in the vein of the upcoming Volkswagen ID 1. Production is earmarked to begin in mid 2023 and late 2024 respectively.
The cars will be powered by BorgWarner electric motors, the company has confirmed, with peak power hitting 135kW, although power and torque can be scaled by the manufacturer.
Hyundai will be rivalling similar projects being undertaken by the Volkswagen Group, which will release small EVs at around the same price under its Cupra, Skoda and Volkswagen brands.
However, production-ready versions of the Korean brand’s cars are still a little while off, Hyundai Motor Europe marketing chief Andreas-Christoph Hofmann told Automotive News Europe.
The move towards affordable small cars, especially electric ones, comes as manufacturers look at ways of releasing new models but staying within new, tighter emissions regulations.
Hofmann said that city cars “are tough to sell profitably”, due to their low pricing and the technology needed to electrify smaller vehicles.
Despite a worry over profits, Hyundai is currently toasting the success of its second-quarter results which is seeing uptake of electric cars soar, as it increased its European sales by 8.2 per cent, with EVs accounting for 16 per cent of this.
Locally, Hyundai will launch the Hyundai Ioniq 6 next year and hope it pushes local EV sales further, priced similar to the Ioniq 5 at around $70,000.