Picking up where the now discontinued Toyota RAV4 EV left off, Hyundai has confirmed that its upcoming battery electric vehicle with a 200-mile range will be an SUV. The automaker made the announcement today at a press conference at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. Although Hyundai’s trio of Ioniq models (hybrid, plug-in, and full EV) and the automaker’s intriguing subscription ownership service were the stars at the press conference, a well-executed EV in SUV form could really help boost buying consideration in the zero emissions (at the tailpipe) segment.
Asked about the upcoming EV crossover after the press conference, vice president of corporate and product planning Mike O’Brien added that it won’t be a vehicle that’s available today. Although Hyundai has offered a fuel cell version of the compact Tucson, this suggests the model might be a new nameplate. A higher seating position than the Ioniq models and all existing EVs could give an SUV version with a 200-mile range an advantage in the very low-volume segment. If Hyundai’s product plans don’t change, we look forward to seeing whether the EV will be offered with available or standard all-wheel drive.
Even if it’s just a front-drive EV with SUV-like styling, we’re curious to see if Hyundai will offer a version of the Ioniq Unlimited subscription service, which for a fixed monthly payment for 24 or 36 months and no down payment, will include the cost of the Ioniq EV, registration, scheduled maintenance, charging, and unlimited mileage. The program will begin in California early in 2017, and strikes me as an interesting way to get buyers interested in a super-efficient car in a time of low gas prices.
Until Hyundai is ready to provide more info about its electric crossover or crossover-like vehicle, tell us: Would an all-inclusive ownership experience like Ioniq Unlimited make you more likely to consider an electric car?