2 secret Hyundai electric SUV models coming early this decade

The media is abuzz about the Hyundai Ioniq 5 that is just a day away from its world premiere. However, there are two secret Hyundai electric SUVs that are under development but haven’t received much attention from the global web media.

Hyundai AX1 based EV (2023)

Hyundai is developing two new Hyundai electric SUVs smaller than the Hyundai Ioniq 5. A new Hyundai SUV designed primarily for the emerging markets markets where A-segment models are popular is in the works, and internally, it is called ‘Hyundai AX1.’ The Hyundai micro-SUV is reportedly spawning a pure electric variant within two years of going on sale, under the ‘Smart EV’ initiative. The AX1 is expected to launch in its first market towards the end of the year.

Hyundai AX micro-SUV spy shot
Hyundai AX1 prototype undergoing road testing in S.Korea. Image courtesy: Naver.com/Soonjung8116.

Spy pictures show the 3.6-3.7m (length) Hyundai AX1 sporting a squarish body and large lamps at the front and rear. The Hyundai AX1 electric, previewed in our exclusive rendering above, would have a very similar design to the gasoline-engined variant, and distinct design for the grille and wheels. Being a conversion, it would have some limitations. Underpinned by the K1 platform of the Hyundai Santro, the Hyundai AX1 will reportedly be manufactured in Sriperumbudur, India, and exported widely. The Hyundai AX1 electric’s targeted range could be 250 km or 155 miles, which could make it a perfect competitor to the Citroen eCC21 and the Dacia Spring in the European market.

Hyundai Ioniq 3 (2025)

The other secret Hyundai electric SUV in the pipeline is reportedly a Hyundai Ioniq 3. In August last year, The Strait Times reported that Hyundai plans to start manufacturing EVs in Singapore at a new facility called ‘Hyundai Mobility Global Innovation Center’ in Jurong from 2022. Hyundai had announced that it will be using even numbers for the numerically named, E-GMP platform-based Ioniq sedans and hatchbacks and odd numbers for Ioniq crossovers or SUVs.

The report said that Hyundai’s first model made at the new factory will be an electric compact crossover, which could be called the Ioniq 3. An official announcement about the Hyundai Mobility Global Innovation Center in Singapore followed in October 2020, although no information was revealed about the models that will be made at the site. Construction of the new factory will be completed by the second half of 2022, Hyundai has confirmed. The Ioniq 3, unlike the AX1-based EV, could have the features or capabilities of the E-GMP in space, charging, range, safety and connectivity, and could be suitable for developed markets.

The Singaporean government is taking steps to make the EV business more lucrative in the country. It has decided to set aside SGD 30 million (USD 22.67 million) over the next years for promoting EVs. One of these EV-related initiatives will be deploying 60,000 public charging points by 2030, more than double that of the previous target (28,000). Moreover, tax cuts to reduce the gap between the prices of internal combustion engine vehicles and electric vehicles are being chalked out.

Hyundai expects to launch 12 pure EVs and increase the sales of its all-electric models to 560,000 by 2025.