Hyundai NZ bets on all-new EV, hybrid liftback
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Ioniq is cheapest new electric vehicle in NZ
Hyundai New Zealand has entered the hybrid and electric vehicle market with the launch of its Ioniq liftback.
The company has initially launched two variants – a hybrid and an EV - with a plug-in hybrid to join the line up later this year.
The Ioniq hybrid is priced from $46,990, with a higher-specced Elite at $52,990.
The entry-level EV is priced at $59,990, making it the cheapest new electric vehicle in New Zealand, just below Mitsubishi’s popular, and successful, Outlander PHEV.
The higher-specced Elite EV is $65,990.
The hybrid is powered by 1.5-litre petrol engine producing 77kW of power and 147Nm of torque. The hybrid is paired with a six-speed dual clutch transmission.
The EV Ioniq’s battery produces 88kW of power and 295Nm of torque, and has a single speed direct drive transmission, with ‘N’ (for neutral), ‘R’ (reverse) and ‘D’ (drive) buttons in the centre console that indicates your transmission needs.
The battery has a 10 year unlimited warranty.
Hyundai New Zealand’s national sales and marketing manager, Scott Billman, said the Ioniq would be a success as the EV was under $60,000 (making is a proposition for fleet and private buyers alike), and with the three powertrains to be available by the end of this year, there were options for customers.
Hyundai NZ held the media launch in Queenstown to emphasis the EV’s 200km “real world driving” range. Leaving the Hilton Hotel near the airport, the 175km drive programme headed to Glenorchy then Kinloch before returning to the Hilton.
The rural and open road drive was to bust the myth that an EV was “metro, urban-only technology”, said Billman.
“The rural commute is a really good example to experience the technology and break down the barrier,” he said.
The four EVs on the media fleet made the round trip but one had to make the trip from the outskirts of Queenstown in ‘limp’ mode (with air con switched off and maximum eco functions) and arrived at the hotel with 8kms left in the battery.
One of the first questions at the press conference in Queenstown this week was how to pronounce the name Ioniq. It’s ‘ionic’, but don’t rename it Ironic because EVs are the way of the future in New Zealand, especially with our 80 per cent renewable engine, and hydroelectric dams producing ‘clean’ power, as apposed to Australia that has coal-powered fuel.
The New Zealand Government has pledge to have 64,000 EVs on our roads by 2021.
Hyundai NZ has had 12 Ioniq’s in the country over the past few months, showing them to fleet buyers, councils and Government departments.
The Ioniq’s main market is fleet, with already one council set to trial the EV hatch.
Driven asked Billman if Hyundai NZ had talked to the Government about incentives to increase the EV buyers.
“We haven’t talked specifically about incentives, every quarterly the Government has a review. What we do is talk about what they put in place, we are really confidant about where the Ioniq sits,” he said.
“There has been nothing specific about incentives.”
Driven asked if incentives would boost EV sales.”
“It would definitely help,” Billman said, nodding.
For now, Billman is confident about the impact the Ioniq would have on sales for Hyundai, despite it being a small market in New Zealand with Toyota’s Prius dominating hybrid sales.
“I can’t remember having such positive feedback from the level we have, from the Government and customers, for a car,” said Billman.
* Watch out next week for Driven’s review of the Ioniq.