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Hyundai Motor launches Ioniq 5 electric crossover, expects EV demand jump


By Heekyong Yang

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co launched its Ioniq 5 midsize crossover on Tuesday, the first in a planned family of electric vehicles (EV) that it hopes will propel it into the third rank of global EV makers by 2025.

The company says the model is based on a new electric vehicle-only platform that uses its own battery module technology and requires fewer components than Hyundai's existing electric cars, enabling faster production at lower cost.

The launch of Ioniq 5 is the linchpin of Hyundai's long-term goal to capture 10% of global EV sales by 2025, up from a combined market share of 7.2% for Hyundai and Kia together during the January-September period in 2020, according to industry tracker SNE Research. Hyundai Motor and its sister company Kia Corp together aim to sell 1 million EVs in 2025.

"We expect this year's (global) EV demand will increase more than 30% versus last year," Hyundai Motor President Chang Jae-hoon told a news conference.

The Ioniq 5 will have a maximum driving range of about 480 kms (298 miles), up nearly 20% from the Kona EV, which previously had the longest range among Hyundai's EV lineup.

It will offer two battery pack options - 58-kilowatt-hour (kWh) or 72.6 kWh - and will be available in selected regions starting in the first half of 2021, Hyundai said in a statement.

The South Korean automaker did not disclose the price of the Ioniq 5, but Hyundai Motor Europe President Michael Cole said in Europe it would start at about 42,000 euros ($51,100) before government incentives.

Hyundai is targeting sales of 100,000 units globally next year, with about 30%-40% in Europe, 30% in North America and 20% in South Korea.

"Hyundai will be able to increase its presence in the global EV market as it adds a new EV, considering that the company showed solid performance with its major EV Kona Electric," said Kevin Yoo, an analyst at eBEST Investment & Securities.

($1 = 0.8219 euros)

(Reporting by Heekyong Yang; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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