Hyundai has announced a “drastic” reduction in delivery times for Kona Electric in Europe. From March the Korean car manufacturer will also produce the electric model in its Czech plant.
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Hyundai thus confirms rumours from the middle of last year. In addition to making the electric cars in Europe, production in Ulsan, South Korea will be increased. In total, Hyundai promises to triple the availability of its Kona Electric (called Kona Elektro in Germany) for customers in Europe. The increased capacity is now to “keep pace with rising demand”, as this has exceeded expectations since the start of sales in 2018.
“We are listening to our customers and have made this decision in order to meet the growing demand for our electric vehicles,” said Dong Woo Choi, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor Europe. “With more and more people becoming concerned about the impact of their choice of car on the environment, we see a huge potential for EVs in the European market.”
Hyundai has not revealed the planned production figures for Ulsan, nor have they given details on the exact plans or the planned pace of production start-up in the Czech Republic. It is equally unclear whether the new production in Europe will also have an impact on the sales prices of Kona Elektro. Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Czech will build i30-compact cars, among others. Production started there in 2008, and in 2019 the three millionth vehicle was built – but so far the factory has not built a single battery electric vehicle.
Little is known about Hyundai’s localised supply chains other than the fact that battery cells from LG Chem will be installed in the Kona electric vehicles manufactured in Ulsan, while CATL cells will be installed in the Chinese version. Although the Korean supplier LG Chem also manufactures battery cells in Poland, the production there is considered to be one of the reasons why Audi, for example, is unable to increase its e-tron volumes as planned.
For actually availability dates, Hyundai mentions only one figure with very vague statements about the Kona: In 2020, the Korean manufacturer plans to deliver “over 80,000 zero-emission vehicles” to European customers. These include the Kona Electric, the Ioniq Electric and the Nexo fuel-cell model.
Update Thursday 27 February 2020: Hyundai plans to produce around 30,000 Kona Electric per year in its Czech plant. Production of the electric model in the Czech Republic will start at the beginning of March.
In combination with the production from Hyundai’s Ulsan plant in Korea, Hyundai will be able to triple the availability of Kona Electric for its European customers. The South Korean company says that this will mean a significant reduction in waiting times.
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