Okay, let’s get this out of the way right up front. The headline says the Hyundai Ioniq 5 sold out in Australia in just 2 hours. However … Hyundai only made 240 cars available for customers Down Under, according to The Driven.
Hyundai confirmed this week that all Ioniq 5s allocated to the Australian market were snapped up in little more than two hours after ordering went live, with 170 customers plunking down $2,000 deposits on the Hyundai website for the Ioniq 5, which starts at $71,900 AUD. According to Hyundai, it will not make more cars available until sometime in 2022, once it has a “clear visibility of supply.”
“We plan to only release vehicles for order once production has been scheduled, to ensure reasonable delivery time frames for our customers,” a company spokesperson said.
“Online ordering went live at 9:30 am AEDT. The load on the website led to some technical issues and the early suspension of the ordering process. The vehicle sold out in just over two hours,” Hyundai said on Wednesday.
Here’s what is important about this. Up until now, electric cars have been little more than an afterthought in the Australian market. Sure, Tesla has been selling cars there for years, but the national government has pointedly ignored the EV revolution. There are no purchase incentives available and very little by way of support for improving charging infrastructure in the country.
The Driven says the fact that the car sold out so quickly is a “clear display of strong customer demand offers a welcome sign of growth for the Australian electric vehicle market, which still has much catching up to do compared with other developed nations. The initial offerings of the Volvo XC40 Recharge was also quickly sold out.”
The online shopping experience was “very frustrating,” according to one customer. There were technical difficulties with the online portal and the whole process ended much sooner than many people expected. People who ordered the Cadillac Lyriq online recently reported similar issues.
“But at least they shipped some to Australia, so that is a good thing,” said another customer, who was delighted to see the Ioniq 5 offers a towing option which will permit “a good weekend away in an EV” when and if customers can actually buy one.
So far, more than 10,000 Australians have said they are interested in purchasing an Ioniq 5, and why not? It is built on Hyundai’s dedicated E-GMP chassis that features 800 volt architecture that allows it to charge at up to 350 kW of power. The single-motor version has a range of 451 km, while the dual motor car has a range of 430 km.
It also has a built-in vehicle-to-load capability that allows customers to charge electric devices such as bicycles, scooters, camping equipment, appliances in the home, or even another electric vehicle. It is capable of providing up to 3.6 kW of power to an external device, which could be a home or a small business.
“It is our great pleasure to introduce the futuristic IONIQ 5 battery electric medium SUV, the first model from our IONIQ EV sub-brand,” said Hyundai Motor Company Australia CEO Jun Heo on Wednesday. “The powerful, long-range, ultra-fast charging IONIQ 5 represents the leading edge in zero emissions battery electric vehicles and is certain to delight our customers.”
Other Ioniq News
Like every other car manufacturer on Earth, Hyundai is being affected by the lack of computer chips it needs to build its cars. In response, José Muñoz, the company’s chief operating officer, announced this week that it is developing its own computer chips, according to a report by Reuters. The company’s parts affiliate Hyundai Mobis will play a key role in the in-house development plan.
“The (chip) industry is reacting very, very fast,” he said, “but also in our case, we want to be able to develop our own chips within the group, so we are a little bit less dependent in a potential situation like this. This takes a lot of investment and time, but this is something we’re working on.”
Muñoz, who is also president of Hyundai Motor North America, said the company is on track to produce electric cars in the United States in 2022, and is looking into both enhancing its existing factory in Alabama and increasing its production capacity.
That’s wonderful news, but on the Reddit EV forum, one Ioniq 5 reservation holder says he got this message from the company recently: “The 2022 IONIQ 5 will be available in Winter 2021 and will only be sold in AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, IL, ME, MD, MA, NJ, NY, OR, PA, RI, TX, VT, VA, and WA. Additional state availability coming in Spring/Summer 2022.”
The note from Hyundai went on to say, “Your pre-reservation deposit gives you early visibility into incoming inventory of the 2022 IONIQ 5, but … does not guarantee availability of the requested configuration and package options, or delivery of the vehicle.” In other words, take what we give you or wait until we can build the car you really want.
Manufacturers love it when demand exceeds supply. And people still say nobody wants to buy an electric car. What nonsense!
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