Hyundai captures second spot in U.S. electric car market

Hyundai captures second spot in U.S. electric car market

In the fast-expanding US landscape of electric vehicles (EVs), South Korean automobile giant Hyundai Motor Group has emerged as a standout performer, establishing itself as a daunting player in the electric car market. According to a report published by BloombergNEF, Hyundai and its sister-brand Kia jointly commanded more than 8 per cent of new EV sales in the U.S. market in 2023. This impressive feat of Hyundai Motor Group not only outpaced major rivals General Motors Co. (GM) and Ford Motor Co. but also positioned the South Korean automobile group as the second-largest EV maker in the U.S., trailing only behind the electric car pioneer Tesla Inc. While Ford maintains a lead as an individual brand, the combined impact of Hyundai and its associate Kia has propelled the group to a significant position.

An interesting aspect of the group’s achievement is that most of the EVs produced by it didn’t qualify for the U.S. federal government’s tax credits in the past year, except for those that were available under lease agreements. Nonetheless, the automaker experienced a notable success in lease sales, with 44 per cent of Ioniq 5 sales during the month of November consisting of lease agreements, doubling the group’s typical lease rate.

Corey Cantor, an EV analyst with BloombergNEF, wrote in the report that Hyundai's EVs distinguish themselves because of their remarkable charging power as well as efficiency. He mentioned that the Hyundai Ioniq 5 boasts the capability to use 350-kilowatt chargers, while the Ioniq 6 stands out as one of the most efficient electric sedans currently available in the U.S. market.

In the report, Cantor explained, “The Ioniq 5 can utilize 350-kilowatt chargers, while the Ioniq 6 is one of the most efficient EV sedans currently on the market, with an Environmental Protection Agency–rated efficiency of 4.6 miles per kilowatt-hour. Kia’s electric cars have also had a strong year, with the EV9, the new three-row SUV launched in December, hitting over 1,000 units sold in just one month.”

Questions linger about whether the aforementioned sales milestones align with Hyundai’s internal targets. However, the data is sufficient to underscore the undeniable impact of the automaker’s EV strategy, positioning the Korean automaker as a significant force alongside global players like Tesla and BYD.

To put it briefly, the Seoul, South Korea-headquartered automaker’s focused strategy of building high-quality electric cars at competitive price points is yielding significant dividends, with promising trends indicating further growth in the coming years.

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