Hyundai Motor launches first electric sedan, taking on Tesla

Hyundai Motor Co on Thursday launched its first electric sedan, the Ioniq 6, which the South Korean automaker is betting will help it capture a larger share of the electric vehicle (EV) market dominated by Tesla Inc.

The Ioniq 6 is one of more than 31 electric models Hyundai Motor Group, including Hyundai Motor, sister company Kia Corp and luxury brand Genesis, plans to deliver by 2030 to secure a projected 12% share of the global electric vehicle market.

Hyundai Sedan will expand its range of electric vehicles beyond current crossovers and SUVs to compete head-to-head with Tesla in a popular class.

Excluding China, the world's largest auto market, Hyundai and Kia together accounted for 13.5% of electric vehicles shipped globally between January and May this year, according to industry tracker SNE Research. This was second only to Tesla, which acquired a 22% stake in the same period.

Hyundai said the Ioniq 6 will have a range of about 610 kilometers (380 miles), about 30% more than the Ioniq 5 crossover.

Hyundai Electric Sedan

"We used the same cell (battery) chemistry but... we maximized the number of batteries per pack, which greatly boosted energy density," said Kim Young-wha, executive vice president of Hyundai.

The automaker did not disclose the price of the Ioniq 6.

Hyundai said it will come with two battery pack options, 53 kWh and 77.4 kWh, and will start production at the Asan plant in South Korea later this year.

The market launch schedule will be announced later.

Hyundai typically sources batteries from LG Energy Solution Ltd and SK On from SK Innovation, and Kia recently adopted Chinese CATL batteries for its cars sold in South Korea, but the automaker has not disclosed the source of the Ioniq 6 cars.

The launch comes after Hyundai announced plans to build dedicated electric vehicle plants in the US, with the Ioniq 5 and Kia EV 6 SUV together becoming the second best-selling electric vehicle after Tesla cars and by in front of Ford Motor Co.'s Mustang Mach-E.

"Both vehicles address two major flaws that previous EVs have faced in the US market: lack of design and range," said Ivan Drury, Edmunds senior manager of insights, said of the Ioniq 5 and EV 6.

Also Read: Bosch to invest over Rs 200 cr in next 5 years in India: Soumitra Bhattacharya

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