In July, the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group said that it expected to produce at least 50.000 BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles) next year. However, according to BUSINESSKOREA, in the last days the target was doubled to 100.000 units.
“Hyundai Motor and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors have decided to increase production of its Kona and Niro electric vehicles (EVs) to be released next year by 20,000 units each, compared to the initial plans.
Their total EV production will surpass 100,000 units as the annual production of the Kona EV and Niro EV to be released next year will reach 40,000 units.“
Production targets for 2018:
- Hyundai Kona EV (18.600 units)
- Hyundai IONIQ Electric (48.000 units)
- Kia Niro EV (21.000 units)
- Kia Soul EV (???)
It seems to me that the IONIQ in its three variants (all electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid) will become the pretty boy of Hyundai, contributing with its halo effect to boost all the brand. The same way that the Prius works for Toyota.
With the introduction of NCM 811 battery cells next year, both the Hyundai IONIQ Electric and Kia Soul EV can have their battery capacities increased by about 30 %, without increasing in volume. While a Kia Soul EV with a 40 kWh battery would be nice to have as an affordable electric car option, I expect more from the Hyundai IONIQ Electric – so that it can compete with the Tesla Model 3. The Hyundai IONIQ Electric needs a 40 kWh battery as standard and an optional 60 kWh battery, which can only be possible if the battery gets expanded to the front seats.
Furthermore, in 2019, we might see the introduction of the Kia Stonic EV.
Overall, I’m very optimistic that the NCM 811 battery cells with an energy density around 635 Wh/L and 255 Wh/kg, combined with a low cost around 100 € per kWh already next year, will make possible to sell with profit very affordable long-range electric cars, not only for the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi Alliance, but also for the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group. Until Volkswagen wakes up, these two automotive groups will dominate the sales of the affordable mass-market electric cars.