Hyundai, Kia eye domestic EV sales rebound with entry-level models

by IANS |

Seoul, July 10 (IANS) Automakers Hyundai Motor and Kia are aiming for a rebound in domestic electric vehicle (EV) sales in the second half of the year with reasonably priced new entry-class compact models.

According to industry data, Hyundai Motor sold a total of 16,842 EVs domestically in the January-June period, down 54.7 per cent from a year ago. In June alone, sales fell 36.4 per cent on-year to 3,625 units.

Kia sold a total of 16,537 units during the six-month period, recording a 39.9 per cent decrease from last year. By model, sales of the Niro EV plummeted 80.4 per cent, while sales of the EV6 went down 50 per cent to 5,305 units, reports Yonhap news agency.

Hyundai Motor Group's weakened domestic EV performance is attributable to a slowdown in demand due to the weak economy and also reflects the so-called EV adoption chasm in the country taking its toll on the market.

In light of such developments, Hyundai Motor and Kia are aiming for a rebound by launching new EVs targeted at mass adoption with driving ranges comparable to internal combustion engine counterparts.

According to industry sources, the number of preorders for Kia's new small electric SUV, the EV3, has surpassed 10,000.

Pricing for the all-new battery SUV will range between $35,000-$50,000 depending on the market. In the domestic market, the EV3's entry version will be available at around 35 million won ($26,000) with government subsidies, according to Kia.

Hyundai Motor also started receiving preorders this week for its new Casper Electric mini SUV in South Korea. The company has opened preorders for the long-range "Inspiration" variant of the Casper Electric, which was unveiled at the Busan International Mobility Show last month.

The Casper Electric will be available in two other variants as well -- base and off-road style variants. Preorders for those will also be opened sequentially.

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