The Kona EV was only the beginning.
The time when Tesla literally owned the electric vehicle market is coming to an end. Automakers have woken up to the fact that EVs will, eventually, become mainstream. All of the new EVs hitting the market these days are proof of that, and there are still plenty more to come. Of those automakers, Hyundai is clearly a standout. The evidence? Its new Kona EV.
In fact, Hyundai was reportedly having a difficult time keeping enough of them in stock. While it's a problem that will soon be worked out, it’s still a pretty good problem to have. It’s popular and selling, enough said. But it soon won’t be the South Korean automaker’s only EV. According to Electrek, via BusinessKorea, the automaker has plans to launch yet another all-new EV by 2021.
Unlike the Kona, which doesn’t ride on an EV-only platform, this new model will. And because global sales trends mean big business for crossovers, the new EV will also be an SUV. The report further claims that Hyundai plans to introduce the prototype exactly one year from now before mass production gets underway by early 2021.
Aside from the fact it’ll be an SUV crossover, Hyundai's EV will also be able to achieve 280 miles on a single charge. By comparison, the long-range Tesla Model Y, due to go on sale in the fall of 2020, will have a 300-mile range. No word yet on what the base trim will manage, but the entry-level Model 3 sedan, which shares a platform and much of its components with the Model Y, has an EPA-rated all-electric range of 220 miles.
Bottom line: Hyundai has a serious Model Y competitor in the works that will not only look great inside and out but will hit the market not terribly long after the Model Y does. Tesla’s history of failing to meet production targets and achieve high quality standards may not help matters. The only other details we can offer at this time are that Hyundai has codenamed this model "NE" and that a deal with a battery supplier will soon be made. Will the Hyundai NE internally compete with the Kona EV? Probably not because it’ll likely cost a bit more, but again, this is purely speculation on our part. Chances are we’ll be hearing a lot more about this in the coming months.