Hyundai launches first electric sedan ‘Ioniq 6’, takes on Tesla


SEOUL (Reuters) Hyundai Motor Co on Thursday unveiled its first electric vehicle, Ioniq 6, which the South Korean automaker is betting it will allow it to capture more of the electric car (EV) market, which is dominated by Tesla Inc.

Ioniq 6 Ioniq 6 is among the more than 31 electric vehicles available. Hyundai Motor Group – including Hyundai Motor, its sister company Kia Corp and premium brand Genesis will launch by 2030, ensuring an estimated 12% share of the world’s EV market.

Hyundai’s sedan is expected to expand its electric vehicle range beyond the current SUVs and crossovers in order to take on Tesla’s most popular Model 3 sedan.

Hyundai Kia and Hyundai Kia were already the second-largest electric vehicle shippers in the world, excluding China between January and May this year. They had an overall 13.5 percent market share, which was just behind Tesla at 22% according to industry monitor SNE Research.

Ioniq 6 will be priced in the range of Ioniq 6 will be priced within the range of 55 million won ($41,949.51) to 65 million won in market in the South Korean market.

“The Ioniq 6 will be capable of competing in the same way as Tesla in the mass EV car market, due to its price and range of driving,” said Lee Jae-il an analyst with Eugene Investment & Securities.

It is possible that the Ioniq 6 could leverage its pricing in the EV sedan market since Tesla has raised prices multiple times before, he said.

The Hyundai electric car will come with an estimated driving distance of 600 km (380 miles) about 30 percent higher than Ioniq 5 crossover, Hyundai announced.

“We use similar (battery) chemical cell, however … it was the first time we have increased the amount of batteries contained in pack, increasing the the energy density substantially,” said Kim Yong Wha who is the executive vice president of Hyundai.

It will be available with two options for battery packs 53-kilowatts every hour (kWh) and 77.4 kWh . Hyundai will start production at Hyundai’s Asan manufacturing facility situated in South Korea later this year, Hyundai said.

It is expected that the Ioniq 6 will be available in South Korea this year and the U.S. market launch is anticipated in the very first quarter the year, according to the report.

Hyundai stated that it would launch the Ioniq 6 launched this year will get its batteries from the SK Innovation’s SK On and LG Energy Solution’s batteries starting next year.

The launch comes just after Hyundai announced plans to develop specific EV factories in the home country and in within the United States, where the Ioniq 5 and Kia’s EV 6 SUV together were the second-highest-selling EVs, after Tesla cars, and over Ford Motor Company’s Mustang Mach-E.

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