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Hyundai’s IONIQ Electric to get bigger battery, boosted range

Since its release last year, the Hyundai IONIQ Electric has for all its qualities been found lacking in one particular area: battery range. With its battery system delivering a single-charge range of 200 km, it struggles to meet the definition of what a long-range electric vehicle should be.

Hyundai is now saying that a new, larger battery pack is on the way in the coming months, and should be included in 2020 models (2019 models are already in production and some are currently in transit to dealerships). Hyundai's senior group manager for alternative vehicle strategy, Gil Castillo, made the declaration in an interview with the Inside EVs website.

No exact figure as to range was given, nor were any other precise details. We also don’t know if the upgrade will entail a price increase for the IONIQ Electric once it is equipped with the new battery pack.

Hyundai really had no choice but to put some resources to improving the battery range of its IONIQ. Not only do competing models like the Chevrolet Bolt and the Nissan LEAF offer more range (385 km and 243 km, respectively), but the company’s own new Kona Electric more than doubles it for driving distance on a full charge, with 415 km.

Electric-car consumers shouldn’t hold their breath in hopes that the 2020 IONIQ Electric will have a range in that ballpark, though. Castillo said that “It will be a nice improvement but not like the Kona's range”.

First introduced in 2017, the Hyundai IONIQ remains the only vehicle on the market to be available with three different types of powertrain – hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric – all made on the one and the same platform.

Hyundai IONIQ Electric
Photo: Hyundai
Hyundai IONIQ Electric