The new Hyundai EV will be based on an all-new platform that will heavily focus on the localization of parts to keep prices low and make it a mass-market product.
Hyundai was the first major automaker in India to launch an electric vehicle with the Kona Electric in 2019. However, like with most EVs currently in the market, the Kona electric is expensive and positioned more towards the premium spectrum of the market. We caught up with Mr Tarun Garg, Director of Sales, Service and Marketing, Hyundai India during the Hyundai Alcazar prototype media drive event. When asked about Hyundai’s future EV plans in India, Mr Garg revealed that the manufacturer is working on a more affordable and mass-market EV for the Indian market that could debut by 2024.
Reports of a Hyundai mass-market EV for India first emerged back in 2020. Unlike the Kona Electric, which in international markets come in both EV and internal combustion engine variants, the new mass-market EV will be built from the ground on a dedicated platform. It will be developed in India itself and could be exported to other markets where it fits the requirements. To keep the new EV as affordable as possible, Hyundai is aiming at up to 90% localization of parts. The automaker could also be looking for a battery-manufacturing plant in India when it introduces the mass-market EV in the Indian market. The new EV will likely be designed as an SUV if the current market trend is an indicator. It will be positioned below the Kona Electric, which has a claimed range of 452 km, so expect the upcoming EV to have a range of around 300 km. Being a mass-market offering, the real-world driving range will be a point of focus.
Even though this new platform will be designed mainly for an electric powertrain, Hyundai may keep it flexible enough to accommodate a conventional fossil-fuel or hybrid powertrain as well. Currently, there are not many details about the new EV’s power output from the electric motor or the size of the battery pack. Since it is a Hyundai product, expect the new vehicle to be loaded to brim with features.
Hyundai’s only EV in India currently, the Kona Electric comes as a CKD product, with prices starting from Rs 23.75 lakh. At this price, only a handful of people buy the EV. The upcoming mass-market EV, on the other hand, could be priced against the likes of the Tata Nexon EV. With prices starting from Rs 14 lakh, the Nexon EV is currently the highest-selling EV in India. Furthermore, the government has to focus on developing a widespread charging infrastructure and a healthy EV ecosystem to incentivize automakers to make more affordable EVs.