By Nick Mafi. Photo courtesy of Hyundai.
Since the beginning of 2017, Tesla's stock has risen more than 70 percent. Indeed, by creating sleek-looking vehicles that have a long-range driving capability between charges, the American automaker and energy-storage company has accelerated past the competition in the world of all-electric car manufacturing. But how long will Tesla ride the wave when it comes to dominating the eco-friendly automobile market? Hyundai is betting (and hoping) that Tesla's dominance will not last much longer. The South Korean carmaker announced today that it will now make all-electric vehicles the center of its product strategy. At the core of this plan: a premium long-distance electric car that will be rolled out through Hyundai's high-end brand, Genesis.
"We're strengthening our eco-friendly car strategy, centering on electric vehicles," Executive Vice President Lee Kwang-guk told reporters at a televised news conference. This new direction is not coming from a fringe auto company. Far from it, since Hyundai and affiliate Kia Motors Corp. together rank fifth in global vehicle sales. According to Reuters, Genesis will launch an electric sedan in 2021, with a range of 310 miles per charge. In the first half of 2018, Hyundai also plans to introduce (not through Genesis) an electric version of its Kona SUV, which will have a range of 242 miles per charge. How does that stack up against Tesla models? Well, the Tesla Model 3 (which would most likely compete with Hyundai's new sedan) has a capability to drive between 220 and 310 miles per charge. Tesla's Model X (the SUV that would compete with Hyundai's Kona) has a range of 237 to 295 miles between charges, depending on battery choice. While we don't know the price or specifications of the soon-to-be-built Hyundai models, it's important to note that Tesla's Model 3 is incredibly affordable at $35,000 (base price). Moreover, Tesla's Model X is the world's quickest SUV, with a claimed 2.9 seconds to go from zero to 60.
In 2016, Hyundai launched Ioniq, its first mass-market all-electric car. While it was a breakthrough for the Korean automaker, the vehicle fell short of customer expectations when it came to the range it could travel between charges. With its upcoming all-electric SUV and sedan, Hyundai is hoping to change that fact.
This story originally appeared on Architectural Digest.
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