Pending All-Electric Hyundai Kona and Kia Niro Will Double Hyundai-Kia’s EV Production

Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group will add two more battery electric vehicles and double EV production next year.

The Korean parent company announced yesterday all-electric versions of the Hyundai Kona and Kia Niro will be coming out in the first half of 2018. They’ll join up with the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, Kia Soul EV, and Kia Ray EV in the parent company’s battery electric lineup.

The group currently produces about 20,000 electric vehicles a year. That will more than double next year to 45,000-plus units, the company said.

It will break out into about 13,000 Kona and 12,000 Niro units joining existing production of the Ioniq Electric and Soul EV.

Hyundai reports seeing EV demand surge, recently raising the figure from 1,200 vehicles produced a month up to about 1,800 per month.

The Kia Ray EV, a small electric city car, has only been produced in small numbers, mostly utilized by the South Korean government. Production started in 2012.

Kia Niro.

The 2018 Hyundai Kona is an all-new compact SUV. In 2017, Kia released a refreshed Niro crossover SUV.

Hyundai-Kia is on its way toward becoming the second largest green car company in the world, following behind Toyota. The Korean automaker’s target includes battery electric, plug-in hybrid, hybrid, and fuel cell vehicles.

U.S. market research firm IHS reported that the company sold 108,000 eco-friendly, green vehicles in 2016, ranking fourth overall. The firm reported that Hyundai-Kia came in 11th place in electric car sales with 12,292 units sold last year.

In a separate media report from The Korea Herald, the parent company reported that its plug-in hybrid models are doing well overseas. Shipping figures from January through April 2017 show that 72 percent of 2016 exports had already been reached.

These include the Hyundai Ioniq plug-in hybrid, Hyundai Sonata plug-in hybrid sedan, and Kia K5 midsize plug-in hybrid (sold as the Kia Optima in the U.S.). The Ioniq plug-in hybrid is scheduled for release in the U.S. later this year.

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Incentives are much better for battery electric vehicles than plug-in hybrids, which is why exports have been important to the company.

“High prices and relatively low government subsidies have limited sales of PHEVs in the domestic market,” a company spokesman said.

The South Korean government currently provides about 5 million won ($4,500) per vehicle in subsidies for PHEVs. Battery electric vehicles have that beat, gaining a basic subsidy of about 14 million won per vehicle (about $12,450).

BusinessKorea


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