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Automobiles

Hyundai launches IONIQ as standalone EV brand

Aug 10, 2020 (Gmt+09:00)

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The Hyundai Motor Group is launching IONIQ as a standalone brand to exclusively make electric cars as part of its efforts to gain share in the rapidly growing EV market.

Hyundai Motor Co. said it would launch three all-electric models under its IONIQ brand by 2024. The automaker will assign alphanumeric names to the IONIQ models, like its bigger rivals such as BMW; whose cars have series numbers 1 through 8.

“The creation of the IONIQ brand is in response to fast-growing market demand and accelerates Hyundai’s plan to lead the global EV market,” the company said in a statement Monday.

The first one, coming in 2021, is the IONIQ 5, a mid-size crossover based on a concept called “EV 45” that Hyundai unveiled at the International Motor Show 2019 in Frankfurt. The IONIQ 6 will be unveiled some time in 2022, based on Hyundai’s “Prophecy Concept.” The IONIQ 7, described as a large SUV with a huge bumper-width front light and dramatic side lights, will be released in 2024.

Each of the IONIQ-branded cars will sit on Hyundai’s all-electric E-GMP vehicle platform. Hyundai said the three IONIQ EV models, once launched, will be fully charged within 20 minutes and can run 450 kilometers on a single charge.

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EVOLUTION OF IONIQ

Hyundai, the country’s biggest automaker, has already been selling environmentally friendly models under the Ioniq label, such as the Ioniq gasoline hybrid and the Ioniq plug-in hybrid, since 2016. The name was coined by fusing “ion” and “unique.”

A Hyundai official said the exiting Ioniq models will be separate from the IONIQ EV brand lineup.

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a global energy research firm, the global EV market will take off in the coming years, with electric cars forecast to account for 58% of all cars newly sold in 2040.

Hyundai ranked sixth in EV sales in the January-May period, up from ninth a year earlier. It sold a total of 26,500 EVs, including plug-in hybrid models, down 2% from 27,000 units in the same period, according to market tracker SNE Research. Hyundai aims to sell 560,000 EVs to strengthen its presence in the global EV market by 2025. The company said the elevation from the individual vehicle label Ioniq to the IONIQ brand supports this goal.

Even in pandemic-ridden 2020, Hyundai managed a grand gesture for the IONIQ launch by transforming the London Eye into a giant “Q” through a light-up display.

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Meanwhile, Hyundai Motor shares on Monday rose as much as 17% to 172,500 won, the highest level in more than a year, on news that it is launching IONIQ as a standalone brand to become a global EV leader.

“The IONIQ brand will change the paradigm of EV customer experience,” said Wonhong Cho, Hyundai Motor’s executive vice president and global chief marketing officer. “With a new emphasis on connected living, we will offer electrified experiences integral to an eco-friendly lifestyle.”

Write to Byung-Uk Do at dodo@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article

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