Tesla has given electric cars a new meaning, and has been successful in wooing customers. Its Model 3 mass-market electric vehicle has received more than 373,000 pre-orders. However, the California company is going to face some stiff competition from established automakers. And the latest one to challenge Tesla is South Korean auto giant Hyundai.
Hyundai’s 2018 EV to rival Model 3, Chevy Bolt
Earlier this year, Hyundai unveiled its Ioniq range of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric vehicles. While the electric version of Ioniq offers a range of only 110 miles, Hyundai is working on something bigger. In an interview with Autoblog, Hyundai’s director of eco-friendly vehicles, Byung Ki Ahn said the company was working on two more electric vehicles.
One of them will arrive in 2018 with a range of 200 miles. It will go up against Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt. General Motors will start selling Chevy Bolt by the end of this year. The second car will have a range of 250 miles, with a shipping date of 2020. It’s unclear whether Hyundai’s 250-mile EV will be as big as Tesla Model S or will be more like a small car.
Tesla facing production challenges
The Korean automaker plans to launch a total of 26 environment-friendly cars by the end of the decade. Some of them will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells, others will be gas-electric hybrids, and a few will be electric vehicles. Hyundai and General Motors are not the only ones challenging Tesla in the EV space. Nissan and Audi have also committed to introducing longer-range electric vehicles by 2018.
Tesla is planning to launch its Model 3 in the second half of 2017. However, the company has only about 13 months to meet its production deadline of July 1, 2017. Its founder Elon Musk has stated that it was impossible to begin production by July 1, 2017, considering the large number of pre-orders Tesla has received for Model 3. Suppliers have also been skeptical about the company’s plans to increase production from 50,000 cars in 2015 to 500,000 in 2018.