With the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid’s U.S. debut still weeks away, we know more about the two plug-in models that will follow the first gasoline-electric powertrain. According to a report by South Korea’s Yonhap News, the Ioniq EV will launch in the automaker’s home country in June with a range over 105 miles. That will be close to the top mark in the segment upon its U.S. release, while its Korean price point ($32,706) suggests a very appealing entry is coming for American consumers.
The Ioniq electric vehicle is set to land in U.S. dealerships this fall. By that time, only the Nissan Leaf SV (30 kWh) that retails for $34,200 will offer EV range greater than 100 miles at a modest price point. Yonhap News quoted the estimated range as “more than 169 km,” the equivalent of 105 miles. (Reports from European publications that quote 155 miles for the EV are based on the European cycle and note the equivalency of the Leaf SV.)
Auto Express UK recently drove an Ioniq electric model intended for the Korean market and reported favorable impressions from the brief test, though the reviewer remarked the BMW i3 offered a more exhilarating feel from behind the wheel. Though the body of the EV will be the same as the hybrid model, the grille will have a slightly different look.
As for the Ioniq plug-in hybrid which will be the last of the three versions to appear, Hyundai estimates 32 miles of range for overseas markets, which puts it in line with the 27 miles delivered by the Sonata PHEV that landed in the U.S. late last year. Since this model is the only Hyundai plug-in available in both the Korean and U.S. markets, we have clues about pricing for the Ioniq EV.
The Sonata plug-in hybrid retails for 40,620,000 won (nearly $33,000) in Korea, slightly under its $34,600 sticker in America. Incentives are available in both markets that cut the price down significantly. If Hyundai chose the same tack with the Ioniq EV, it would place it near or below the Nissan Leaf that offers the top range among moderately priced EVs.
More competition will follow later in the year when the second-generation Ford Focus Electric arrives with 100 miles range. Pricing is still unknown for that model. However, we do know the Chevy Bolt EV, capable of 200 miles of range, is coming by the end of 2016 with a $37,500 MSRP. Given the parameters of the developing market, we see the lower-range models (i.e., below 150 miles) becoming a tough sell above $33,000.
Yet we only have speculation on U.S. pricing for Ioniq model so far. Hyundai may choose to be very aggressive with the hybrid model in order to challenge the Toyota Prius, and the automaker may take the same approach with the EV model later in 2016. Whatever the exact pricing for these models may be, U.S. consumers are sure to benefit from the competition.
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