Hyundai IONIQ hybrid delayed, EV leaked

Authored by honghatcdnc

Korean giant's first global hybrid won't arrive Down Under this year as promised, as IONIQ electric emerges

Hyundai Australia will not launch its first hybrid this year as promised, following confirmation the Korean car-maker’s ground-breaking new IONIQ will not arrive in local showrooms until next year.

The company confirmed the delay at the launch of its new Elantra overnight, as the electric version of the IONIQ emerged in a leaked image.

A single frontal image and details reportedly obtained from Hyundai about the ‘IONIQ electric’ were published by Motor1.com, which claims the EV will be powered by an 88kW electric motor fed by a 28kWh battery made by LG and stored underneath the rear seats.

The IONIQ electric will reportedly come with a claimed driving range of 169km on a full charge under the South Korean testing cycle, and a top speed of 150km/h.

This compares with 170km on the Australian cycle for Nissan’s electric LEAF hatchback, which is now available in Europe with a larger 30kWh battery pack (up from the standard car’s 24kWh battery) that boosts range to 250km. Nissan hopes to double the range of its next-generation LEAF to as much as 500km by 2018.

According to Motor1.com, the IONIQ electric will be priced from 40 million won ($A46,200) in Korea, with a premium version costing $3500 extra.

When the IONIQ was officially revealed in December, Hyundai Australia said it would launch the petrol-electric hybrid version here in the third quarter of this year, priced from around $35,000 to compete with the world’s top-selling hybrid, the Toyota Prius.

At the time, Hyundai Australia said the plug-in hybrid version was also under consideration for local release, but it had no plans to release the all-electric version at this stage, although it hasn’t ruled it out.

Now it says the IONIQ hybrid’s Australian release has been pushed out to 2017 at the earliest, with Hyundai Motor Company Australia Chief Operating Officer Scott Grant telling motoring.com.au that there’s no plan to launch the IONIQ here this year.

“It’s launching now globally, but focused on left-hand drive markets,” he said.

Hyundai Australia Public Relations General Manager Bill Thomas said the delay was due to a “progressive global roll-out and product prioritisation”.

“Plans have changed, yes,” he said. “As ever, we are working to our parent company’s global strategy and the Australian launch has been pushed back to 2017, whereas previously we were planning a Q3 2016 launch.

“These things happen with new models.”

It is believed the IONIQ will be in hot demand in the UK market, which is where the initial allocation of right-hand drive vehicles will head.

Hyundai has already launched the IONIQ hybrid in Korea and will begin sales of IONIQ electric in the US from around August.