Hyundai Motor launches its first electric sedan, with Tesla

SEOUL, July 14 (Reuters) – Hyundai Motor Company (005380.KS) On Thursday it launched its first electric sedan, the Ioniq 6, which the South Korean automaker is betting will help it capture a larger share of the electric vehicle (EV) market dominated by Tesla Inc.

The Ioniq 6 is one of more than 31 electric models of the Hyundai Motor Group – including Hyundai Motor, sister company Kia Corp. (000270.KS) and luxury brand Genesis – it plans to offer it until 2030 to secure a projected 12% of the global electric car market.

Hyundai’s sedan will expand its electric range beyond current crossovers and SUVs to go head-to-head against Tesla’s best-selling Model 3 sedan.

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Hyundai and Kia were already the world’s second-largest electric vehicle chargers excluding China in January-May this year, with a combined market share of 13.5% that ranked second after Tesla at 22%, according to industry tracker SNE Research.

The Ioniq 6 will be priced in the range of 55 million won ($41,949.51) to 65 million won for the South Korean market.

“The Ioniq 6 will be able to compete with Tesla in the high-volume sedan segment, given its competitive pricing and long driving range,” said Lee Jae-il, analyst at Eugene Investment & Securities.

He added that the Ioniq 6 could benefit from its pricing in the sedan market because Tesla raised prices several times.

Hyundai said the Hyundai electric sedan has a driving range of about 610 kilometers (380 miles), about 30% more than the Ioniq 5 crossover.

“We use the same cell (battery) chemistry but … we maximized the amount of batteries per pack, which greatly boosted energy density,” said Kim Young-wha, Hyundai executive vice president.

Hyundai said it will come with two options of battery packs – 53 kWh and 77.4 kWh – and will start production at the Asan plant in South Korea later this year.

She added that the Ioniq 6 will be available in South Korea this year and is expected to be launched in the US market in the first quarter of next year.

Hyundai said the Ioniq 6, launched this year, will release batteries from SK Innovation’s (096770.KS) SK On and LG Energy Solutions’s (373220.KS) Batteries will be used from next year.

The launch comes after Hyundai announced its plans to build dedicated EV plants in both the USA, with the Ioniq 5 and Kia EV 6 SUV together becoming the second best-selling electric vehicle after Tesla and ahead of Ford Motor Co. (000270.KS) Mustang Mac E.

(1 dollar = 1,311.1000 won)

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Reporting from Heekyong Yang; Editing by Jimmy Fried

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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