By 2024, Hyundai's IONIQ electric brand will welcome two SUVs and a sedan to global career
STRATEGY – In order to distinguish its conventional range from its electric models, Hyundai creates the IONIQ label. Based on the eponymous model available in electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions, the new brand will welcome a compact battery-powered SUV from next year.
Twenty-three years after the launch of the first generation Prius in Japan, Hyundai is leading the way in large scale marketing of electric cars. While Toyota, which has declined its compact in different versions, has just celebrated the launch of its fourteen millionth hybrid vehicle on the planet, the South Korean has just launched the IONIQ label dedicated to electricity.
Three global models by 2024
The only manufacturer to have a complete range of electrified vehicles – Mild Hybrid, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric and hydrogen -, the Seoul-based firm takes up the name of its IONIQ model marketed in Europe in 2016 in Electric, Hybrid and then Plug-in Hybrid.
Intended to bring together future battery models which will be based on new modular E-GMP platform from the group, the label will welcome the production version of the Hyundai 45 concept car next year. A compact “zero emission” SUV, the Kona’s big brother, which will be called IONIQ 5 and will be followed by two other models.
Namely the IONIQ 6 sports sedan based on the Prophecy prototype running in 2022 and the large IONIQ 7 SUV in early 2024.
PHOTOS – Hyundai IONIQ: early restyling of hybrid versions
Even for sedans, odd for SUVs
In order to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles around the world, Hyundai has therefore adopted a label combining the terms "ion" and "unique" and whose even numbers will be reserved for sedan bodies, odd digits to SUVs and other crossovers.
To date, the world's fifth largest automotive group has not yet specified whether its brand will benefit from the creation of a fully-fledged subsidiary or whether the distribution of its future will be selective.
In the meantime, the electrified range currently marketed in France consists of the compact IONIQ, the small Kona crossover – powered by electric and hybrid powertrains -, the Tucson compact SUV with 48 V light hybrid engine (diesel) and, more marginally , by the NEXO hydrogen SUV (fuel cell).
A pioneer in the field of hydrogen cars – a market in which the South Korean aims to produce 700,000 fuel cells annually by 2030 – Hyundai is creating a label dedicated to "zero emission" models.
Future vehicles which will be based on the modular E-GMP platform – associated with 800 volt technology – whose mission will be to maintain the group's lead in terms of the efficiency of its battery-powered vehicles, achieve economies of scale and to better compete with models that will showcase the MEB (Volkswagen group) or eVMP (Peugeot Citroën group) bases.
The real surprise lies in the use of the name IONIQ, the compact sedan competing with the Toyota Prius exclusively powered by electrified powertrains. A choice which, in view of the future IONIQ catalog, could suggest that the model marketed in Europe since 2016 (2017 for the plug-in hybrid) and freshly restyled will not have descendants.