When South Korean automaker Hyundai announced that it was bringing an all-new car to market which would be offered only as an electric car, plug-in hybrid or hybrid model, we had hopes that it would make its first entry into the electric car market a moderately priced mid-spec model with range of at least 200 miles per charge. Instead, the car it shared with the world — the all-new 2017 Hyundai IONIQ — came with an all-electric variant capable of around 110 miles per charge.
At the time, we wondered out loud if the Hyundai IONIQ EV would target a lower price point in order to attract buyers currently priced out of the new electric car marketplace. Noting that it would certainly not compete against cars like the Tesla Model 3, Chevrolet Bolt EV and longer-legged, next-generation Nissan LEAF EV unless it came with a significantly lower MSRP, we’ve remained hopeful that Hyundai’s 110-mile IONIQ EV wouldn’t be the only electric vehicle from the brand. That’s because while we’re fans of automakers building more affordable electric cars with 100-mile ranges to appeal to those who currently can’t buy a new electric car, we feel in an ideal world that automakers should offer both.
Today, via our friends at GreenCarReports, we got wind that’s exactly what Hyundai appears to be planning, with the news that it is making plans to introduce an all-new electric SUV to the market some time in 2018 that will have a range of at least 200 miles per charge.
Citing a recent story written by the Korea Herald, the site explains that Hyundai confirmed on Monday this week that it is working on a brand-new electric SUV. While rumors suggest that the vehicle will have a range of up to 320 kilometers (200 miles) per charge, Hyundai is declining to confirm range estimates at this time, partly we presume because the car in question is still very much still in development. We should note too that any range estimates are likely to be on the overly optimistic South-Korean test cycle, which doesn’t accurately represent real-world mileage particularly well. On the stricter U.S. EPA test cycle, that 200-mile claimed range could be far smaller, perhaps as low as 160 miles per charge.
While not confirmed by Hyundai itself, the Korea Herald also claims the new vehicle will be built on a brand-new dedicated SUV platform which, unlike the Hyundai IONIQ, will be designed for zero emission drivetrains. As a consequence, suggests Hyundai-Blog, Hyundai could even offer a 483 kilometer (300-mile) longer-range variant in order to better compete with cars like the Tesla Model X and upcoming Audi Q6 e-tron quattro — a car which will enter production around the same time as Hyundai’s as-yet unnamed SUV.
However rumor of a longer-range model is pure conjecture at this point.
What we can guess however is that the new platform is most likely going to be made available to Hyundai’s sister brand Kia, where it will most-likely sold as a kia-branded vehicle with slightly decontented interior and lower sticker price.
Another, possibility, albeit conjecture rather than fact, is that Hyundai could be using the all-new SUV platform as the basis for its next-generation hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. As we confirmed last month, Hyundai’s successor to the limited-production Tucson mid-size fuel cell SUV will be another crossover SUV. It makes sense that both vehicles would share a common platform or at least, some shared technology.
We’re bound to hear more of this new, unnamed model in the coming months, but in the meantime we’re curious as to what you think about this surprise announcement. Does this mean Hyundai is shifting further towards electric vehicles, away from hydrogen fuel cell technology? Will a 200-mile range SUV be enough in two years’ time? And how much would you pay for it?
Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.
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