These are the prices for Germany:
Hybrid: start at 23.900 €
Electric: start at 33.300 €
With this pricing it’s obvious that Hyundai is more interested in selling hybrids than electric cars. The 9.400 € price difference between the two flavors can’t be justified by cost.
A single powertrain is a lot cheaper and easier to build than the two powertrains in the hybrid version. We could justify the electric version being more expensive because of the bigger battery capacity, but not 9.400 € more expensive, especially since the 28 kWh worth of LG Chem cells at 150 €/kWh don’t cost more than 4.200 €, even if the total battery capacity is 30 kWh, the cost of the cells is no more than 4.500 €. The cost of the battery packing (cables, BMS and TMS), the internal charger and more powerful electric motor is compensated by ditching the gas powertrain.
Hyundai Motor Europe’s VP marketing, Jochen Sengpiehl says that he expects the IONIQ’s sales to be 60 % for the hybrid version, 20-25 % for the electric and a little more than 10 % for the plug-in hybrid.
Jochen Sengpiehl admits that the focus is the hybrid version, while the electric is seen as a “brand ambassador” to give the company some green credits.
For this year Hyundai Motor plans to sell 30.000 hybrid IONIQ, 15.000 in South Korea and the remaining 15.000 is distributed to the rest of the world. For Europe the expectations are low, 3.000 hybrids and 1.300 electric. For 2017 it’s planned more production and sales.
The hybrid IONIQ will compete with Toyota Prius and Toyota Auris Hybrid. While the electric variant is going after the Nissan Leaf.
But Hyundai Motor makes it very clear:
“Essentially we want to break into the domain of Toyota.”
In Germany the prices for Toyota Prius start at 25.150 € and the Toyota Auris Hybrid start at 19.990 €.
In the hybrid field I’m sure the IONIQ will be very successful. In the electric field we’ll have to wait for a battery upgrade in 2017.
Given that the electric IONIQ is a very efficient BEV due to its aerodynamic design and the use of lightweight materials as aluminium for the moving parts (doors and hood), the only limiting characteristic is the low battery capacity. Even more since the electric IONIQ already allows higher rates than 50 kW in DC fast charging stations. In 2017 if Hyundai Motor decides to get serious about electric cars, a 40-50 kWh battery will make the IONIQ a very compelling alternative.
If you consider the electric IONIQ’s characteristics it’s obvious that it’s prepared to have a better battery. I’m sure it will arrive in 2017.
Deliveries of the hybrid version will start in October and the electric version in November.