Hyundai And Kia Get Serious About Affordable Electric Cars

Electric Vehicles / 5 Comments

Just in time to combat rising gas prices.

With gas prices skyrocketing due to the conflict in Ukraine, now has never been a better time to consider an electrified vehicle. The Hyundai Motor Group already offers two stellar electric cars, the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the 2022 Kia EV6. But at $43,650 and $40,900, respectively, we can understand why some buyers aren't rushing out to trade in their aging gas-guzzler. There will soon be more options on the market though, as Hyundai and Kia have each revealed new details about their future electrification strategies, including plans for three-row family SUVs and a pickup truck.

Speaking with inside sources at HMG, EV Pulse learned more about the company's plans to introduce more affordable electrified vehicles in the United States. This includes three electrified variants of the next-generation Hyundai Kona (pictured below in spy shots) as well as the recently refreshed 2023 Kia Niro.

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The insider says the next-gen Kona (project code SX2) will ride on the same K3 platform as the Niro and use the same powertrains. This means we will likely receive hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery-electric powertrains, unlike the current Kona, which only offers gas and EV options. The standard Kona Hybrid should use a 1.6-liter four-cylinder paired with an electric motor and six-speed automatic transmission, putting out 139 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. As for the PHEV, it will use the same setup with a larger 11.1-kWh battery, producing 182 hp.

Hyundai will likely keep the gas-only Kona, though it's unclear which engine will be offered. The Kona currently comes with three engine options, including a base 147-hp model, a 195-hp turbo model, and the 272-hp Kona N.

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Though the Ioniq 5 is a stellar car, Hyundai is expected to keep the Kona Electric in the lineup, likely as a more wallet-friendly option for customers wanting an affordable EV. This new Kona Electric should keep the existing 201-hp rating, though torque will reportedly drop from 291 lb-ft to just 188 lb-ft. The change will likely help Hyundai keep the cost low, and also enable better front end traction than the existing model. If pricing remains the same at $34,000, the Kona Electric would undercut the Ioniq 5 by nearly $10,000.

On the Kia side of things, the Soul and Seltos will likely receive hybridization similar to what we've mentioned for the Kona and Niro.

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