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that while it was okay for an older electric vehicle model to offer a similar range in the hope that it would soon be superseded by a more competent, longer-range second-generation model, designing a brand-new vehicle with just 110-miles of range — a vehicle which would be on the market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.
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.
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.
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?
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