The unveiling of the Tesla Model 3, the proletarian electric car many had been dreaming of since they first laid eyes on the Tesla Roadster, went about as well as Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk could have possibly hoped it would. People lined up at their local Tesla gallery in a frenzy typically associated with Apple releases, and the Model 3 had 325,000 reservations almost immediately.
It’s a beautiful car (or, it looks like it will be when they actually release it,) it comes from a company with a track record for making exhilarating electric vehicles (EVs), and it should be able to provide a 200+ mile range at a price-point typically associated with entry-level luxury cars. And that’s all fine and good.
But it hasn’t been made yet, no-one knows when it will be made, and we can assume from Tesla’s track record that even after the years it will take to complete their initial order, the Model 3 will have its fair share of bugs to sort out. People want to drive an EV that can ease range anxiety without breaking the bank, and by 2018, some of the 325,000 folks who put money down last month should receive delivery of their car.
If the concept of a 200-mile range, affordable EV appeals to you, but putting money down for a car you might not get to drive this decade from a company that has never built a car at such a high volume doesn’t, Hyundai has you covered.
Hyundai is aiming at releasing a 200+ mile EV in 2018, and a 250+ mile EV by 2020. While a lot about these vehicles, from their design to the specifics of their range, is not currently available, the things we do know have us feeling bullish on Hyundai’s changes to give Tesla a run for their money in the affordable, 200-mile range market:
- A Productive History – The biggest reason Tesla is already trying to temper expectations of a timely release for the Model 3 is that they don’t yet have a factory capable of producing the car in a timely manner. This is not a problem for Hyundai, whose Alabama plant alone is the largest employer in the state.
- A Dedication to Green – Right around Tesla’s unveiling of the Model 3, Hyundai announced that it plans to release 26 electric, fuel-cell, and hybrid cars by 2020. That’s a serious statement to their dedication to cleaning their grid from a company that doesn’t make commitments lightly, and it makes us think the cars they’re already talking about, like their Model 3 fighter, are already in well in the works.
- The Ioniq – Hyundai is releasing their Ioniq, the first vehicle to ever be available as a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and EV, this fall. The Ioniq EV has an expected range of 110 miles, and while that’s a far sight from their 200-mile goal, it also puts their electric-only range well ahead of most companies not named Tesla already. With a year or so of tinkering under their belt, we feel confident they’ll be able to significantly increase that number.
It’s still early on in Hyundai’s EV development, but the future is bright for electric Hyundais, and we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop!