SEOUL, Feb. 24 (Korea Bizwire) — Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. sold or received orders for more than 10,000 electric vehicles (EV) coming into this year, corporate sources said Sunday.
South Korea’s two largest automakers, and flagships of Hyundai Motor Group, account for 79 percent of all EVs sold in the country, with their sales a good indication of demand for such eco-friendly vehicles in Asia’s fourth-largest economy.
According to Hyundai and Kia, orders they received for the pure electric versions of their Ioniq hatchback, Kona and Niro small crossovers, and the new Soul multipurpose vehicle totaled 10,249 units as of Wednesday.
The total is equivalent to 46.6 percent of the 21,986 EVs sold by the two carmakers for the whole of 2018.
By model, the Kona Electric that posted sales of 11,193 units last year and the best-seller in this segment, maintained its top position with 4,055 being ordered. This was followed by 3,416 confirmed contracts for the Soul EV that will reach consumers starting at the end of February, and the Niro and Ioniq that generated orders for 2,187 and 591 vehicles, respectively.
“Initial sales and orders are a clear indication that sales of EVs will post stunning growth in 2019,” an industry source predicted. He added demand is being spurred by greater capability of the latest generation of electric vehicles that is alleviating the so-called range anxiety of most drivers.
The popular Kona electric can travel 406 kilometers on a single charge, while the Niro EV is capable of 385 km, which is the same as that of the new Soul EV that has been tested to travel 386 km.
Hyundai, in addition, is getting ready to release its updated new Ioniq that promises a substantial increase in range over the first generation model, which can further expand the overall domestic EV market.
The Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association said local sales of EVs last year by all carmakers in the country stood at 29,441 units, up twofold from 13,303 sold in 2017. The association said that at the current pace, sales for this year will easily surpass the 42,000 units predicted by the government, even if state subsidies for green cars are trimmed.