Budget Hyundai electric car a chance for Australia

budget-hyundai-electric-car-a-chance-for-australia

New baby battery car from Europe will be considered for local sales.


Paul Gover

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A new baby electric car being developed by Hyundai for Europe will be assessed for showrooms in Australia.

News of the car has only just surfaced in Europe, at the Automotive News Europe Congress in Prague, with Hyundai Australia yet to begin any serious investigation of the program.

The newcomer will occupy a similar space to the baby Hyundai i10, a European city car which has never made it down under because it would be too expensive for local tastes.



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The budget-priced Hyundai city hatch is likely to be an SUV or crossover, as the South Korean car maker reacts to a growing European trend towards SUV bodies in baby cars.

It already sells the Bayon (pictured above), a compact crossover SUV that is based on the third-generation Hyundai i20 city hatch.

The European target price for the new electric car is 20,000 Euros ($AU29,772), a similar price point for future rivals from companies including Volkswagen, which could hurt its chances locally.



Early details of the battery-electric program came from the marketing chief of Hyundai Motor Europe, Andreas-Christoph Hofman, who said the production model is still some way in the future.

He confirmed it is one of 11 other fully-electric Hyundai models that will be launched in Europe by 2030.

In Australia, Hyundai currently only has the Ioniq 5 and has promised the upcoming Ioniq 6.



Hyundai Australia is waiting for full details on the European budget-priced electric SUV, before beginning the process that would lead to a full business case to consider its introduction in Australian showrooms.

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“We examine all overseas products very carefully for their applicability to the local market,” Hyundai Australia spokesman, Bill Thomas, told Drive.

“European-manufactured cars are particularly challenging at the moment, because of supply-chain costs, exchange rates, and transport costs. It just makes the business case a lot more difficult.



“So it’s less likely that we would take a new vehicle that is designed and built in Europe. But we are always open to exploring all our options. We will look at it very carefully.”

According to Mr Thomas, Hyundai Australia is taking a greater interest in all future electric vehicles.

“We don’t really have visibility on how government policy will change,” said Mr Thomas. “But, as factories globally switch to EVS then those are the products we will be selling.”



Paul Gover

Paul Gover has been a motoring journalist for more than 40 years, working on newspapers, magazines, websites, radio and television. A qualified general news journalist and sports reporter, his passion for motoring led him to Wheels, Motor, Car Australia, Which Car and Auto Action magazines. He is a champion racing driver as well as a World Car of the Year judge.

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