Hyundai unveils Ioniq 6 in push to challenge Tesla
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Hyundai unveils Ioniq 6 in push to challenge Tesla

Hyundai unveils Ioniq 6 in push to challenge Tesla

The Ioniq 6 can travel up to 610 kilometres on a single charge with its 77.4 kilowatt-hour battery

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Hyundai Ioniq 6

Hyundai Motor unveiled its Ioniq 6 sedan, continuing its ambitious push into electric vehicles with an eye on challenging competitors such as Tesla and General Motors as the industry grapples with supply-chain disruptions.

The Ioniq 6 can travel up to 610 kilometres (379 miles) on a single charge with its 77.4 kilowatt-hour battery, compared with 429 kilometres for the Ioniq 5, Hyundai said in a statement as the latest model was introduced at the Busan International Motor Show. Production will start in the third quarter this year. US sales will begin in early 2023, while the wider rollout will be announced later, the company said.

The EV will be aimed at young, single professionals, in contrast to the bigger, more family-focused Ioniq 5, Hyundai’s senior vice president of North America sales Randy Parker said. The car will be produced in Asan, South Korea, with no plans to make it outside the country for now, EV head Heung Soo Kim said. Hyundai didn’t announce a sales target for the model.

Hyundai plans to invest 95.5tn won ($73bn) in electrification this decade, introducing at least 17 new models between this year and 2030 and targeting annual sales of 1.87 million EVs by the end of the period. The company is gunning for a 7 per cent share of the global EV market by 2030, and an 11 per cent share in the US. The arrival of the Ioniq 6 comes about seven-and-a-half months after Hyundai Motor Group unit Kia unveiled its latest Niro electric SUV.

Hyundai and Kia together sold about 123,000 battery-powered and plug-in hybrid EVs in the first half of this year, putting them third on the world’s top EV-maker list, behind Tesla and BYD, according to BloombergNEF data. The Europe, Middle East and Africa region accounted for nearly 60 per cent of their sales, while Kia has become the second-most popular EV brand in the US this year.

“I’m positive about the Ioniq 6, especially in Europe because Ioniq 5 and Kia’s EV 6 were so popular there,” said Angela Hong, an analyst with Nomura in Seoul. “Hyundai’s EV margins don’t seem that bad so far because a weaker Korean won has offset losses from higher battery prices.”

The Ioniq 6 has similar autonomous driving features to the Ioniq 5, including Highway Driving Assist 2 and Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist. The model’s seats are about 30 per cent thinner than other models in the series, providing more legroom, while there are five USB ports and space next to the driver for a laptop. Some software can also be updated remotely, a first for Hyundai.

“Hyundai is changing so fast to win the race in EV industry, faster than other traditional carmakers,” said Woo Taek Hwang, a fund manager at Korea Investment Management Co. in Seoul. “The Ioniq series reminds me of Samsung’s Galaxy series, when Samsung was working extremely hard to catch up with Apple’s iPhones. Hyundai is becoming a fast follower for Tesla.”

Read: Dubai’s RTA signs agreement to trial eco-friendly electric bus

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