Electric Hyundai Kona, Kia Niro production to rise again: report


2018 Hyundai Kona

2018 Hyundai Kona

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Both Hyundai and Kia planned to approach the electric and plug-in car market aggressively, but now the Korean siblings plan to boost production even over totals announced earlier this year.

This past summer, both brands said they would increase their electrified car production to 50,000 units next year.

Now, according to a report earlier this week, the brands now target a combined 100,000 plug-in cars produced in 2018—thanks to increases in Kia Niro electric and Hyundai Kona electric production.

DON'T MISS: Hyundai Kona small SUV revealed, with electric version to come

The revised production plans include 21,000 Kia Niro EVs and 18,600 Hyundai Kona EVs next year, against previous production estimates of 12,000 Niro electric wagons and 13,000 Kona electric cars.

Both battery-electric variants of the five-door vehicles will enter production next year.

They represent a 38-percent increase in Kona electric and 66-percent increase in Niro electric production, Business Korea reported on Tuesday last month.

2018 Hyundai Kona

2018 Hyundai Kona

Enlarge Photo

Hyundai-Kia set a goal in 2014 of becoming the second-largest maker of green vehicles (hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric cars) by 2020.

Thus far, it's risen only to the number-four spot, but the brands' production increase will challenge Toyota, which sits at number one. Hyundai so far remains at eleventh in battery-electric car sales.

Should its production changes go as planned, Hyundai-Kia would reach the number-two spot—and give Toyota a real challenge.

READ THIS: Hyundai-Kia electric-car production to soar to 50,000 next year

Toyota continues to bank on the Prius portfolio and various hybrids to sell en masse; its first dedicated electric car may not arrive until 2020 or 2022, though it may feature next-generation solid-state batteries.

Notably, the report says demand for the Hyundai Ioniq Electric continues to outstrip supply, and backorders are prevalent in many markets.

The brand targeted a monthly production rate of 1,000 cars per month last year, but it boosted that pace to 1,800 cars per month.

Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid (U.K. version)

Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid (U.K. version)

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Hyundai says lack of Ioniq Electric supply led to its failure to achieve its target for of electric-car sales sold last year.

Applying what it learned, Hyundai and Kia will produce 20,000 units of the Ioniq Electric and Soul EV per year;  40,000 units of the Ioniq, Niro, Sonata, K5 plug-in hybrids per year.

The final production figures for Kona electric and Niro electric crossovers are to tally 40,000, to make a total of 100,000 electric cars built.

CHECK OUT: All-electric Kia Niro EV to come in 2018, says Kia exec (updated)

None of these totals include any possible production of plug-in versions of the Kia Stonic, the brand's own version of the Kona.

Kia will reportedly introduce a Stonic electric variant following its debut as well.

The two companies are also working on a next-generation hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle, likely to emerge as a Hyundai crossover utility vehicle for 2018 or 2019.

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