Hyundai Motor India has consistently featured on the top ten best-selling cars list in India, month after month for years now. If there’s one slice of the market the brand, like several others, hasn’t been able to crack, it’s the budget EV segment, which has shockingly few entrants at the moment.
While the Kona made Hyundai one of the first brands to enter the EV space in India, its relatively high price tag ensured that it wasn’t a big seller. Now, however, it appears that things are about to change. Hyundai is scheduled to bring in new EVs under its “Ioniq” sub-brand. The “Ioniq” prefix will accompany all other EVs Hyundai will produce, much like “EQ” does for all-electric Mercs and “e-Tron” for e-Audis. Can Hyundai’s EVs drastically alter India’s EV landscape?
The Ioniq 5 is the first car under the Ioniq label to roll out. It’s got a design language that separates it from all other Hyundais and is based on a skateboard platform that’s modular and forms the base of Hyundai’s future EVs. In its present iteration, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 will come with the option of a 72.6 kwh battery or a 58 kwh battery. This essentially translates to 169hp of power and 350Nm torque for the smaller, single motor version and 306hp of power and 605 Nm for the dual-motor one. While this isn’t likely to help the Ioniq brand fall under the “budget EV” category, it will offer a much-needed rebuttal to the supremacy of Teslas and European EVs.
Europe is a market that Korea is very keen to dominate, with Hyundai having announced that it will only sell EVs there by 2035. In order to keep up with the latest in battery technology, the brand is investing heavily into tech that can extend the car’s range. Word is that Hyundai has also invested in lithium-ion battery technology that will extend the range of its Ioniq cars to nearly 800km on a single charge.
Hyundai’s Vice President of Energy & Environmental Chemicals System Chang Hwan Kim said that the brand has made a $100 million investment in a lithium-ion battery research start-up called SES. The US-based start-up is, according to Hyundai, has made inroads into technology that can greatly enhance the range and charging cycle capacity of batteries.
The Ioniq 5 is expected to enter the Indian market as a completely built unit and will cost more than the Kona electric. It will be brought in limited numbers, and until Hyundai can gauge the viability of building and assembling EVs locally, it will be sold only as a demonstration of the brand’s EV-making prowess in the country. That said, Hyundai is considering making an affordable EV SUV in India, one that’s expected to be priced between Rs 10 lakh to Rs 17 lakh but isn’t likely to surface until 2024.
This here is the full-monty. The Ioniq 7 serves as a halo car, displaying everything that a Hyundai EV can offer. It’s the biggest EV made by the company and therefore will come with a much larger battery. There’s also the Ioniq 6 sedan which completes the Ioniq range at the moment and will set between the 5 and the 7, in terms of power, space and luxury.
For the moment, Hyundai is focused on bringing the 2022 Kona to the market, which will come with the option of a bigger 64kWh battery along with the standard 39.2 kWh option, with the former delivering 201 bhp of power, 395Nm of torque, and a range of nearly 484 km.