Hyundai Motor launches first electric sedan, taking on Tesla

The logo of Hyundai Motor Company is pictured at the New York International Auto Show, in Manhattan, New York City, US, April 13, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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SEOUL, July 14 (Reuters) – Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS) on Thursday launched its first electric sedan, Ioniq 6, which the South Korean automaker is betting will help it grab a bigger share of the electric vehicle (EV) market dominated by Tesla Inc .

The Ioniq 6 is one of more than 31 electric models that Hyundai Motor Group – including Hyundai Motor, its sister company Kia Corp (000270.KS) and premium brand Genesis – plans to introduce through 2030 to secure a projected 12% of the global EV market.

Hyundai’s sedan will expand its EV range beyond its current crossovers and SUVs to compete head-to-head against Tesla in a popular category.

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Excluding China, the world’s largest auto market, Hyundai and Kia together accounted for 13.5% of the EVs shipped globally in the January-May period of this year, according to industry tracker SNE Research. That was second only to Tesla, which had a 22% share in the same period.

The Ioniq 6 will have a driving range of about 610 kilometers (380 miles), around 30% more than the Ioniq 5 crossover, Hyundai said.

“We are using the same (battery) cell chemistry but … we maximised the amount of batteries per each pack, significantly enhancing energy density,” said Kim Yong Wha, an executive vice president at Hyundai.

The automaker did not disclose the price of the Ioniq 6.

It will come in two battery pack options – 53-kilowatt per hour (kWh) and 77.4 kWh – and will begin production at its Asan plant in South Korea later this year, Hyundai said.

The market launch schedule will be announced later.

Hyundai typically gets batteries from LG Energy Solution Ltd (373220.KS) and SK Innovation’s (096770.KS) SK On, and Kia recently adopted China’s CATL (300750.SZ) batteries for its cars sold in South Korea but the automaker did not disclose the source for Ioniq 6 cars.

The launch comes after Hyundai announced its plans to build dedicated EV plants both at home and the United States, where the Ioniq 5 and Kia’s EV 6 SUV together became the second-best selling EVs after Tesla cars and ahead of Ford Motor Co’s (000270. KS) Mustang Mach-E.

“Both vehicles address two major flaws that prior EV vehicles have had in the US market: lack of styling and range,” Ivan Drury, Edmunds senior manager of insights, said of the Ioniq 5 and EV 6.

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Reporting by Heekyong Yang; Editing by Jamie Freed

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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