Hyundai has received approval in China to sell its all-electric Kona. In order to benefit from the Chinese subsidies, Hyundai is not allowed to equip the Kona Electric with batteries from LG Chem, as usual, however.
Instead, the carmaker has to resort to a battery supplier from China. According to media reports, the choice fell on CATL. The background is that the Chinese government decided in 2016 to remove electric vehicles with batteries from Samsung or LG Chem from the subsidy list in its traditional protectionist style. As a result, the market share of both Korean companies in China fell by several percentage points. Without subsidies, car manufacturers there are practically uncompetitive. In any case, this is true for the time being, because China intends to cut back the generous subsidies for electric cars.
But first of all Hyundai has to improvise with the batteries of the Kona Electric. The battery electric vehicle will be introduced in China by Hyundai’s joint venture with BAIC Motor. The joint venture called Beijing Hyundai Motor (BHMC) sold around 790,000 vehicles in China last year. The Kona Elektro, together with two plug-in hybrid models, is scheduled to be launched this year.
And while we’re on the international launch of the Kona Elektro: From July 9, Hyundai will also launch the E-SUV in India. The price will be 2.5 million rupees (a good 32,000 euros). Hyundai plans to produce the model in India starting in the second half of the year. The plan is linked to an investment of 70 billion rupees (around 870 million euros) in the Hyundai plant in Chennai in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.