Transport Evolved 2017 Hyundai IONIQ NYIAS 16

Hyundai Says 110-Mile IONIQ To Be Followed By 200-Mile EPA-Rated EV By 2018, 250-Mile EV By 2020

Earlier this year when Hyundai announced the all-electric variant of the 2017 IONIQ — a brand-new model designed to be offered with only hybrid, plug-in hybrid or electric drivetrain — would offer a just 110-miles of range per charge, we were more than a little disappointed. At the time we argued that while it was okay for an older electric vehicle model to offer a similar range in the hope that it would soon be superseded by a more competent, longer-range second-generation model, designing a brand-new vehicle with just 110-miles of range  — a vehicle which would be on the market for at least five years or more before getting a second-generation replacement — seemed nothing short of brand suicide.

Following the IONIQ, Hyundai has plans for longer-range electric cars.

Following the IONIQ, Hyundai has plans for longer-range electric cars.

Unless of course, it was offered alongside a longer-range variant and sold at a price point far more affordable than the $30,000, long-range electric cars being planned by Tesla, Chevrolet and Nissan. That’s something Ford has already made a commitment to, alongside more expensive, longer-range electric models.

But now it seems Hyundai might be thinking along the same lines, with the news that it plans on launching an electric car capable of 200-miles per charge by 2018, and an electric car capable of 250 miles per charge by 2020.

Rather than just 110-miles, these new cars will offer 200 and 250 miles of range respectively.

Rather than just 110-miles, these new cars will offer 200 and 250 miles of range respectively.

That’s according to Autobloggreen, which published an exclusive interview yesterday with Byung Ki Ahn, Hyundai’s director of eco-vehicle performance development group in which the executive reiterated company plans to bring 26 new models to market in the next four years involving some form of green or electrified drivetrain.

Not all of those vehicles will be fully-electric of course: the term ‘green’ can mean anything from a mild hybrid system through to a fully-electric drivetrain, as can the term ‘electrified’. In Hyundai’s case however we — and Autobloggreen – take the term ‘green’ to mean plug-in hybrids, hybrids, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and of course, battery electric vehicles.

Following the official launch of the 2017 Hyundai IONIQ EV later this year, Ki Ahn said we’ll see a longer-range electric car from Hyundai a few years later offing a promised 200 mile range. Sadly however, there’s no detail as to what test cycle that range is achieved on. Nor is it clear if the promised 200-mile model for 2018 will be a revised form of the IONIQ EV or a brand-new electric model.

Given how new the IONIQ EV is, we’d guess that it’s more likely that the IONIQ EV will be marketed as a moderately priced short-range electric car, while the promised longer-range vehicles will be sold as a more premium choice, perhaps as a mid-size sedan.

Usually, we’d throw in a statement here about the differences between the various fuel economy tests around the world, citing how important it is to know just which fuel economy test cycle a car is being tested on in order to calculate a likely real-world range. Luckily in this instance however, fuel economy tests in South Korea are close enough to the EPA test cycle that any quoted figure is likely to represent an achievable range figure rather than an outlandishly impossible theoretical maximum — as is the case with both the Japanese JC08 and European NEDC test cycles.

The new vehicles would put Hyundai in direct competition with the Bolt EV, next-gen Nissan LEAF and Tesla Model 3

The new vehicles would put Hyundai in direct competition with the Bolt EV, next-gen Nissan LEAF and Tesla Model 3

We checked with Autobloggreen on the quoted range, and were told that the quotes were made in Michigan while specifically discussing U.S. market models. This gives us hope that the quoted figures should be fairly close to actual EPA ratings. We’ve also reached out to Hyundai for further clarification, so if we hear anything back clearing up the confusion, we’ll let you know.

Assuming the quoted figures are actually what we’ll be able to get in real life, the announcement is big news for Hyundai (and by association, its sister company Kia, which shares a lot of Hyundai’s platforms).

[Edit:] Having just heard back from Hyundai’s U.S. press team, we can confirm the quoted figures are indeed based on EPA test cycles, meaning real-world ranges in excess of 200 miles per charge should be possible. 

A car with a 200-mile range on the EPA test cycle would put Hyundai well in line with automakers like Tesla Motors, General Motors and Nissan, all of which should have 200+ mile electric cars on sale by the end of 2018. A model with 250 miles or range for 2020 meanwhile, seems like a logical progression to this, perfectly in line with what we’re seeing from other automakers along a similar time frame.

And given Hyundai’s long-standing 7-year warranty program, we’re hopeful that any future electric vehicles from the brand will be a good buy — assuming they deliver on those promised ranges, of course.

Would you consider a 200-mile electric car from Hyundai? And what would you pay for it?

Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.


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  • Chris O

    EPA rated ranges of 200-250 miles are quite the quantum leap but insideEVs noted:

    Just this past February, Hyundai was pegging the IONIQ all-electric at 155 miles of range, which ended up being some ~41% more than the actual rating of 110 miles of real world/EPA driving distance.

    Using our “Hyundai mileage decoder ring” we translate the future benchmarks as follows:

    200 miles (320 km) 142 miles (229 km) range BEV by 2018

    250 miles (400 km) 177 miles (285 km) range BEV by 2020

    It’s all just pointless speculations though as this is all just press releases at this stage, no doubt intended to boost Hyundai’s credibility as a competitive force in the plug-in segment and all aspects of it including the range promises of Hyundai’s *press team* must be taken with many grains of salt until we get to see something real.

    • CDspeed

      Grain of salt, being Hyundai I think I’ll drink from the sea for my salt 😉

      • Chris O

        One does have to wonder what Hyundai is fanatically pursuing hydrogen for if at the same time it’s developing the sort of BEVs that make them utterly redundant. Doesn’t really fit the “EVs are only for city/small distances” narrative we typically hear from the hydrogen lobby.

        But who knows maybe the next press release will be about Hyundai putting its hydrogen program on the back burner. Many carmakers have done just that at this point as they realize they have to catch up with Tesla rather than be stuck in the hydrogen quagmire.

    • Martin Lacey

      Publicity? Or suicide… why buy a 110 range EV when it will have twice the range in two years? This could end up being added to the “marketing – how not to do it” list.

      Nissan Leaf is struggling to sell in a marketplace which continues to hear whispers of a 60KWH battery pack and model refresh coming sometime soon.

      Ghosn did well to keep the original Leaf under wraps at the time all the other makers were rushing out compliance cars. Is he doing the same now? As the world and his dog are announcing 200 mile range EV’s and Tesla are rushing to finalize the design and specs for the Model 3 – will Nissan announce a $40k 300 mile range competitor?

      • Chris O

        Hyundai talking about longer range variants while the 110 mile Ioniq isn’t even on sale yet shows how disruptive Model 3 is. Clearly Hyundai feels it needs to do the “me too” thing even if it ruins any chances the 110 mile Ioniq might have had. It looks like Hyundai has written this car off as a non starter before it even hit the market.

        I think it’s right because I’m convinced people want the range unless there is more discounting than would actually make these cars worth their while to their compliance seeking makers.

        Nissan reportedly struggles even to sell its 30KWh Leaf as it is preparing the next gen Leaf, though I doubt that will be a big surprise in terms of range.

  • CDspeed

    I’ll believe it when I see it……………..

  • James Lawless

    The Chevy Bolt is mostly Korean made , I cannot see how Hyundai could not come up with a 200 mile plus equivalent vehicle by 2018 using the same battery LG Chem (I assume) as their battery supplier and by 2020 with the annual incremental improvements in battery technology a 250 mile range seems logical.

  • evfan

    We already have an international unit to specify the capacity of a battery, it is called kWh.

    I wish the automakers would use that rather than vague range statements without specifying how they are measured.

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