Hyundai will expand electrified propulsion variety in the US—but will it meet demand?

Hyundai wants us to know that with EVs, hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and fuel-cell passenger vehicles, it’s in it for the long haul.

The carmaker said on Thursday that in the U.S. it has 13 “alternatively fueled vehicles” arriving by 2022, including six sedans and seven SUVs. 

That includes a new version of the Sonata Hybrid sedan, plus refreshed versions of the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Electric, Ioniq Hybrid and Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid to be officially revealed later this month at the LA auto show. The Ioniq Electric, we reported yesterday, gets a boost to 170 miles of EPA-rated range.

That leaves nine more vehicles yet to be detailed, as part of the “2022 Eco-Focused Product Lines.”

“As the automotive industry evolves to meet the needs of a diverse customer base and environmentally-aware society, we will continue to provide alternative-propulsion options in a variety of product choices,” said Mike O’Brien, Hyundai’s U.S. VP for product and planning. 

2020 Hyundai Kona Electric

2020 Hyundai Kona Electric

Now for a little context: Hyundai Kona Electric sales have been at a very small trickle despite its product reality as one of the best-conceived affordable EVs on the market today. That’s partly due to the international push-and-pull among markets—especially Europe and Korea, where Hyundai’s EVs have been selling stronger than anticipated.

However here in the U.S. Hyundai dealerships have been complicit in the “throttling.” Some have stocked them and have used “additional dealer markup”—of thousands of dollars, in some cases—on its electric vehicles. 

Kona Electric dealer markup - November 2019

Kona Electric dealer markup – November 2019

With Hyundai part of the so-called “Coalition for Sustainable Automotive Regulation,” last week siding with the Trump administration and standing behind GM, FCA, and Toyota in the interest of a single national standard that will likely not enforce the same mandate for plug-in vehicles—and essentially sub in a long court battle instead, with uncertainty over what’s required—what’s missing from Hyundai is how committed it is to plug-in vehicles in the U.S. by sales volume.

Green Car Reports has reached out to Hyundai for exactly that and will update this piece.

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