Hyundai plans long-range premium electric car in strategic shift
Hyundai Motor Co said on Thursday it was placing electric vehicles at the center of its product strategy – one that includes plans for a premium long-distance electric car as it seeks to catch up to Tesla and other rivals.
The South Korean automaker is planning to launch an electric sedan under its high-end Genesis brand in 2021 with a range of 500 km (310 miles) per charge. It will also introduce an electric version of its Kona small sport utility vehicle (SUV) with a range of 390 km in the first half of next year.
More promises about things a legacy car maker is going to do at some point in the distant future. How about if Hyundai made it’s Ioniq EV available nationwide, instead of just some dealerships? If you want to compete with Tesla, try actually selling EVs you make. Also, while the Kona CUV is a nice start, but there is a lot of smoke and ommissions.
First, the 390 KM range (242 miles) is a fairy tale. It is based on the shamefully misleading Japanese driving cycle, not the more realistic EPA stndard. When all is said and done, that range will probably drop to 150-180 miles. Not shabby, but less than the existing 238 for the Chevy Bolt. Also, they claim the car will be available the first half of 2018, but neglect to say if they mean the Asian market or the U.S. market. So, what will definitely be available in the U.S. next year?
Hyundai unveiled a near production version of its new fuel cell SUV with a driving range of more than 580 km per charge, compared with the 415 km for its current Tucson fuel cell SUV.
The mid-sized SUV will be launched in Korea early next year, followed by U.S. and European markets.
That’s great, if you happen to live near the two dozen or so hydrogen fueling stations in the U.S. (most of which are in California). If you don’t, this vehicle will not be available to buy. And if you do live near these fueling stations, you can’t drive anywhere greater than 50% of your range unless your destination has an H2 filling station.So far, Hyundai has sold just shy of 700 of its Tuscon HFC vehicles (introduced in 2013) and hopes to sell twice as many of this new one next year. Not exactly record-breaking numbers.
Hyundai’s existing Ioniq EV, has been getting rave reviews despite is modest 124 miles range. Hyundai would be better served with figuring out how to make more Ioniqs while increasing their range.