Hyundai’s mass market electric car for India is expected to be ready by 2023
Hyundai has gone on record to state that they are studying the possibility of a mass market EV for India. With the help of its Namyang R&D HQ, Hyundai’s Indian team has already commenced a study to arrive at optimal key parameters (range, power, price, etc) for a mass market EV.
Hyundai AX1 micro UV spied in Korea
Prototypes of what could eventually emerge as a mass market electric vehicle for the Asian markets have been spotted on a truck in South Korea. The Venue-style low-mounted headlamps and a prominent grille give away Hyundai’s identity. International media reports claim that these are Hyundai AX1 (codename) micro UV prototypes.
The camouflaged test mules appear to have near-production body panels. From what we can see, the vehicle features an SUV-ish tall-boy design with a compact footprint. The angular design elements gives the car an interesting and unconventional shape. Finer elements are under wraps but it is reasonable to expect radical design conforming to the brand’s current language.
The technical details of the new Hyundai AX1 small car are scarce for now but the tall wheels and narrow tyres are indicative of a configuration which is commonly preferred for an electric vehicle.
With global automotive markets including India scrambling to adopt electric mobility at the earliest, it would be prudent for any upcoming mass market product to prioritize pure electric powertrain during the development phase even if it has to adopt conventional IC power units at the beginning of its life cycle.
If the Hyundai AX1 is to be propelled by fossil fuel, then the most likely powertrain candidate is the 1.0-liter three-cylinder unit which is available in both NA and turbocharged guises. As far as electric propulsion system goes, Hyundai is likely to have multiple motor and battery configurations to suit different markets.
Will it come to India?
It would be surprising if a car of this size and shape from Hyundai does not make it to India. We expect it to be showcased in the form of a concept at Auto Expo 2022 before its market launch sometime later that year or in 2023. Hyundai’s mass market electric vehicle will be pitted against the upcoming Maruti WagonR EV, Mahindra eKUV100, Citroen sub Rs 8 lakh EV for India, etc.
Just like Hyundai India’s current mass market products, the upcoming electric vehicle will have over 90% localization in order to achieve a competitive price point. The future is electric and Hyundai knows it very well.