Last month in South Korea, Hyundai sold 5.375 units of the Kona, of which 2.473 units were the electric variant (46 %).
This represents a nice production increase, considering that in the previous month (September), only 1.382 units of the Hyundai Kona Electric were sold in South Korea and even less in August (648).
However, we still don’t know how many units Hyundai produced for exportation last month.
Anyway, while production numbers are still far from ideal, Hyundai is now increasing production of the Kona Electric much faster than it did for the super-efficient Hyundai IONIQ Electric. The most important reason for this is battery supply.
With the LG Chem battery cell plant in Poland already operating and supplying European automakers, there is more battery cell local production available for domestic automakers (Kia and Hyundai) in South Korea. Furthermore, while the Hyundai IONIQ Electric still uses a rarer battery cell chemistry – that I suspect it to be NCM 523 -, the Kona Electric uses the more mainstream NCM 622 battery cells.
Hyundai and Kia have a golden opportunity to establish themselves as innovative automakers before 2020. After 2020 it’ll be much more difficult to standout since virtually every automaker will sell electric cars. The clock is ticking…
I’m curious to see if the South Korean automakers will seize this one-time opportunity. They already proved that they can produce great electric cars, they just need to increase production. Tesla Model 3 production figures should help them figure out how much demand exists for great electric cars.