Korean manufacturers have been aggressively selling electric vehicles in overseas markets. We were able to confirm that Hyundai and Kia are going to launch an EV onslaught with no less than six models planned, split evenly between both brands. The Creta-Seltos and the Venue-Sonet will both remain true to the strategy that their ICE models are being used. The models will look significantly different from the outside, even though they are sharing a significant number of parts. Let’s take a look at what we can expect.
Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5:
The Hyundai Ioniq lineup has been steadily offering EVs, while Kia has begun offering an EV family. Currently, the Ioniq 5 and the EV6 are under consideration for India. Hyundai will launch both models as fully imported vehicles sometime next year, both riding on the Hyundai group’s E-GMP skateboard, which is a modular architecture designed for only electric vehicles.
The Ioniq 5 and Kia’s EV6 share a significant amount of similarities under the hood, beyond the platform. Unlike their competitors, the two models are visually unique when it comes to designs, with the modular platform pushing the wheels to the edge while the electric platform is still a newborn. Designers can use this method to maximize cabin space.
In terms of design, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 features sharp angular lines and animated headlights. This vehicle is only slightly longer than the Kia EV6, but the interior feels much roomier due to the moveable centre console and rear seats that recline almost flat. As a contrast, the Kia EV6 has dynamic sequential lights, low slung design lines that extend along the side, and a large spoiler at the back that ends into a ducktail. Both models offer augmented-reality head-up displays and dual infotainment displays.
There are two 2-wheel drive entry-level models, both with 58kWh batteries, delivering 170 horsepower and 350Nm of torque. They both reach 100kph in approximately 8.5 seconds. The larger battery on the AWD makes the Hyundai Ioniq 5’s power 301hp and the Kia EV6’s power 321hp, while torque is 605Nm on both cars. The 0-100kph acceleration drops to 5.2 seconds for both vehicles.
According to WLTP range standards, both models offer 400km on lower battery variants (“385 km on Ioniq 5”) with long-range options reaching 481 km (WLTP) for the Ioniq 5 and 510km for the EV6. Kia has the edge at the top end too, with its EV6 GT due in 2022. It’ll have 585 horsepower and 740Nm of torque. So far, this version of the Ioniq 5 has no direct competitors.
The e-GMP platform enables both models to receive high-speed 800V charging (currently only available on Porsche Taycans), which can be completed in just 18 minutes from a 350kW rapid-charging station. A solar panel can be attached to the roof of the Ioniq 5 to replenish the battery when necessary.
There will be augmented reality features on both models as well as advanced driver assistance tech that uses front-view cameras, radar sensors and GPS data to control various aspects, like lane guidance and distance to the vehicle ahead.
Kia e-Niro and Hyundai Kona EV:
Later this year, Hyundai will bring its first EV to our shores with an updated Kona EV. Similar to its predecessor, the electric version of the Kona will be locally assembled in India from imported kits. As with the Kona EV, the e-Niro will also be sold in India, and it will also be assembled locally.
The Kona Electric and e-Niro will feature 39.2kWh of battery power and 136hp of motor power or 64kWh of battery power and 204hp of motor power, respectively. The WLTP range of the e-Niro and Kona is 289km and 455km, respectively, while the WLTP range of the e-Niro is 305km and 484km. Kia has also announced new styling changes for the e-Niro, just as they did with the Kona. The e-Niro will not be available in India until 2023, however.
Electric vehicles for India’s mass market:
A fully electric mass-market vehicle for India is also expected to be rolled out by both brands by 2024. Vehicles based on this platform will be heavily localised to keep entry costs under Rs 15 lakh, which is important for benefits such as FAME subsidies. It is crucial for the battery-operated electric cars of today and tomorrow to have good ground clearance, and both the Hyundai and Kia entry-level models will be SUVs. In an attempt to keep costs low, the Hyundai and Kia models will feature small battery packs, which will have a limited range of around 200-210km, emulating Tata Motors’ Nexon, which is proving to be a successful model.