Hyundai doubles down on its promise of an all-electric future by canceling the high-mpg Ioniq hybrid and PHEV vehicle lines.
The Korean carmaker told Green Car Reports that production of the original Hyundai Ioniq hybrid and PHEV hatchback is set to end next month, without a comparable new model in line to replace it.
The move closes a chapter in not just Hyundai’s history of producing great hybrid and plug-in cars, but in the early history of modern-era electric vehicles in general. Specifically, the era between 2008 and 2013, when it seemed like every new electrified car had to answer to the Toyota Prius’ dominance.
Toyota Prius Hybrid
In 2013, Toyota sold more than 200,000 Prius-badged cars in the US alone, with another six-figures sold internationally. At the time, it was the go-to symbol for forward-thinking gearheads and virtue signalers who wanted to the world to know they cared about efficiency, technology, saving money, reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil, or all of the above.
The original Hyundai Ioniq, as you can tell from its profile, was meant to go head-to-head with the Prius, and arrived on US shores just in time for Tesla to come into its own and the entire hybrid sedan market to get devoured by the proliferation of hybrid tech into more popular categories like compact SUVs, crossovers, and even more “normal-looking” sedans like the Honda Civic, Ford Fusion, and Toyota’s own Corolla and Camry hybrids.
The original Ioniq, then, seems like it was out-Darwin’ed by the rest of the market— and that’s too bad. We liked it when we first drove it, years ago. But that was then. The dramatically better Ioniq 5 and Kona Electric will effectively fill the hole left in Hyundai’s lineup, and both offer more range and better performance than the outgoing car.
One look at the Ioniq 5, below, will tell you: the Ioniq name is in very, very capable hands!
2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5
SOURCE | IMAGES: HYUNDAI, VIA GREEN CAR REPORTS.