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Hyundai launches its first electric car

Hyundai Ioniq aims to fight Tesla's market share in the EV segment.

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Hyundai Motor unveiled its first electric car, the Ioniq 6, hoping to capture a larger piece of the electric vehicle (EV) market dominated by Tesla.

The Ioniq 6 is one among more than 31 electric cars that Hyundai Motor Group – which includes Hyundai Motor, Kia, and premium brand Genesis – wants to launch through 2030 in order to win a projected 12 percent share of the worldwide EV market.

Hyundai’s sedan will broaden its EV lineup beyond its current crossovers and SUVs to compete with Tesla’s best-selling Model 3 car.

According to industry tracker SNE Research, Hyundai and Kia were already the second-largest EV exporters globally excluding China from January to May of this year, with a combined 13.5 percent market share, trailing only Tesla at 22 percent.

Read more: Hyundai starts working on electric car for India

For the South Korean market, the Ioniq 6 will be priced between 55 million won ($41,949.51) and 65 million won.

“Because of its cheap pricing and long driving range, the Ioniq 6 will be able to compete with Tesla in the volume EV sedan segment,” said Lee Jae-il, an analyst at Eugene Investment & Securities.

He noted that the Ioniq 6 could benefit from its pricing in the EV sedan market because Tesla has raised prices multiple times.

The Hyundai electric car will have a driving range of approximately 610 kilometres (380 miles), which is approximately 30% greater than the Ioniq 5 crossover, according to Hyundai.

“We’re using the same (battery) cell chemistry, but… we increased the number of batteries per pack, greatly increasing energy density,” said Kim Yong Wha, an executive vice president at Hyundai.

It will be available in two battery pack sizes: 53 kWh and 77.4 kWh, and production will begin later this year at Hyundai’s Asan facility in South Korea.

The Ioniq 6 will be available in South Korea this year, with a US market launch scheduled for the first quarter of next year.

Hyundai stated that the Ioniq 6 released this year will use batteries from SK Innovation’s SK On and LG Energy Solution’s (373220.KS) batteries beginning next year.

The introduction follows Hyundai’s announcement of intentions to develop specialised EV plants both at home and in the United States, where the Ioniq 5 and Kia’s EV 6 SUV became the second-best selling EVs after Tesla automobiles and ahead of Ford Motor Co’s (000270.KS) Mustang Mach-E.

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