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Electric Cars Are Suddenly Becoming Affordable

Alex Lawrence, a dealer in Salt Lake City who specializes in used electric cars, has seen a change over the last year in the kinds of customers who are coming into his showroom. They used to be well-heeled professionals who could drop $70,000 on a Rivian luxury pickup truck.

Recently, Mr. Lawrence said, customers have been snapping up used Teslas for a little over $20,000, after applying a $4,000 federal tax credit.

“We’re seeing younger people,” Mr. Lawrence said. “We are seeing more blue-collar and entry-level white-collar people. The purchase price of the car has suddenly become in reach.”

Regarded by conservative politicians and other critics as playthings of the liberal elite, electric vehicles are fast becoming more accessible. Prices are falling because of increased competition, lower raw-material costs and more efficient manufacturing. Federal tax credits of up to $7,500 for new electric cars, often augmented by thousands of dollars in state incentives, push prices even lower.

At the same time, technology is improving quickly and making electric vehicles more practical. Cars that can travel more than 300 miles on a fully charged battery are becoming common, and charging times are dropping below 30 minutes. The number of fast chargers, which can top up a battery in less than half an hour, grew 36 percent from April 2023 to April 2024.

Carmakers including Tesla, Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, the owner of Jeep, have announced plans for electric vehicles that would sell new for as little as $25,000.

“The E.V. market has hit an inflection point,” said Randy Parker, chief executive of Hyundai Motor America, which will begin producing electric vehicles at a factory in Georgia by the end of the year. “The early adopters have come. They’ve got their cars. Now you’re starting to see us transition to a mass market.”

 

All this is good news for proponents of electric vehicles and the Biden administration, which is aiming for half of new cars sold to be electric by 2030 as part of the president’s plan to combat climate change. Even if Republicans gain control of the White House and Congress and follow through on promises to dismantle electric vehicle subsidies, they may not be able to undo the market forces pushing down prices.

“There may be some hiccups in the exact pace and scale of E.V. sales if there are major policy changes, but I wouldn’t expect the E.V. market to flatline,” said Peter Slowik, who leads research on passenger cars at the International Council on Clean Transportation, a research organization. “Most automakers are committed to an all-electric future, and many are planning on a timeline that goes far beyond the next administration.”

 

Electric cars, sales of which have slowed in recent months, are still more expensive than gasoline models, costing an average of $55,252 in the United States in April, according to estimates by Kelley Blue Book. That is a decline of 9 percent from April 2023, but still about $6,700 more than the average for all vehicles.

But Mr. Slowik’s group estimates that cars and sport-utility vehicles capable of traveling 400 miles on a full battery will cost less than cars with internal combustion engines in 2030, even before taking into account government subsidies. (Pickup trucks, which require bigger batteries, will take a little longer, not reaching parity for 400-mile models until 2033.)

Those calculations do not take into account lower fuel and maintenance costs that strengthen the financial argument for electric vehicles. Electricity is almost always cheaper per mile than gasoline, and battery-powered vehicles don’t need oil changes, engine air filters or spark plugs. For people who drive a lot, electric cars may already be a better deal. At the same time, some automakers are offering strong discounts on E.V. models as an enticement for buyers.

While prices are clearly trending downward, there are risks. China supplies more than half of the lithium-ion batteries used in cars sold in the United States, according to Interact Analysis, a research firm. Those batteries will become more expensive because the Biden administration announced in May that it would raise tariffs on them to 25 percent from 7.5 percent.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N Named World’s Best Electric Performance Car by CAR Magazine

The Hyundai IONIQ 5 N has continued its phenomenal run of success by being named the best electric performance car in the world by CAR Magazine. 

CAR’s team of experts reached their verdict after conducting the title’s first in-depth test of hot EVs since 2022 at Germany’s iconic Nürburgring circuit and on the roads surrounding it. The seven-car shoot-out featured models from a variety of brands, including established premium manufacturers and the world’s most high-profile EV-only makers.

Despite facing models with significantly higher price tags, including one hypercar that costs in excess of £2 million, it was the Hyundai IONIQ 5 N that was acclaimed as the best buy by the test team, who described it as a thrilling hot hatchback reminiscent of old-school combustion-engined cars. Ben Miller, CAR Magazine Editor, said “What a difference two years makes. The quality of the field versus 2022 defies belief, and the EV is finally starting to evolve as a driving machine. Among a host of great cars, the Hyundai IONIQ 5 N proved scintillating from behind the wheel, driving like a love letter to some of the great four-wheel-drive hot hatches of the past and present, despite lacking an engine and gearbox.

“It’s a car you drive as much with the throttle pedal as the steering wheel, and it begs to have its limits explored, flattering the driver like few we’ve ever had the good fortune to experience. Turn-in is sharp and accurate, the steering precise and rich in feel and there’s magic in the chassis. Plus, it’s genius in the way it produces a cacophonous soundtrack that really does resemble a highly strung forced-induction petrol engine being worked hard. The IONIQ 5 N is brimming with original thinking and a sense of fun, and Hyundai deserves great praise for putting it into production.”

Among a host of key technical advances is a powertrain which delivers greater power output and enhanced performance in battery cooling and braking. The IONIQ 5 N’s electric motors spin up to 21,000 RPM, providing up to 609 PS in normal conditions, or 650 PS when the car’s N Grin Boost (NGB) feature is engaged, maximising acceleration for up to 10 seconds. 0-62mph is achievable in 3.4 seconds, while a top speed of 161mph is attainable on tracks.

Other upgrades include a strengthened steering column for improved feedback, Electronic Controlled Suspension that adapts suspension stiffness according to the drive mode, and a suite of sophisticated electronic control technology in the E-GMP platform. Highlights include N Pedal, an intelligent software function that provides instant turn-in and enhanced throttle sensitivity for exhilarating cornering, and fully variable front and rear N Torque Distribution.

The IONIQ 5 N also sets a new benchmark in terms of emotional engagement for a performance EV, courtesy of N e-shift, which simulates the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission of internal combustion engine N cars, while the addictive soundtrack that so impressed CAR’s judges comes via groundbreaking N Active Sound+ technology.

Although it has only been on sale for a matter of months, the IONIQ 5 N has already collected some prestigious accolades, including recently being crowned World Performance Car in the World Car Awards. In December it was named TopGear.com’s overall 2023 Car of the Year, and it followed that it up earlier in May by being crowned Best EV Hot Hatch in the TopGear.com Electric Awards. The IONIQ 5 N has also made history at the Nürburgring, where it recorded the fastest electric SUV lap time with Germany’s Sport Auto.

Hyundai Motor Group Collaborates with Dutch Government on Smart Mobility Solutions

Hyundai Motor Group (the Group) and the Dutch government have agreed to collaborate on facilitating the deployment of smart mobility and connectivity services and features for Hyundai vehicles.

The collaborative project between the Group’s Advanced Vehicle Platform (AVP) Division and the Netherlands will enable the infotainment systems of Hyundai vehicles to connect with Dutch infrastructure systems to receive smart traffic and safety information. 

Information includes real-time traffic accident data, and alerts of approaching ambulances, making it easier for vehicles to yield, while the development of increased communication between Hyundai vehicles aims to further alleviate traffic congestion.

From the fourth quarter of this year, drivers in the Netherlands who are subscribed to the connected car service for Hyundai vehicles can benefit from wireless software updates which will enable these safer and smarter features for their vehicles through OTA (Over-the-Air) technology.

The Letter of Intent (LoI) signing ceremony took place at Hyundai Motor Group’s Namyang Research and Development Center in South Korea, attended by Kees van der Burg, Vice Minister of Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Netherlands; Chang Song, President and Head of Advanced Vehicle Platform Division, Hyundai Motor Group; and Tyrone Johnson, Managing Director of Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Center GmbH.  

“Hyundai Motor Group will enhance connectivity services and improve in-vehicle customer convenience through collaboration with the Netherlands. The shared data will help improve road safety, while the project will also support the global development of the Group’s smart mobility and connectivity services and features,” said President Song.

Mark Harbers, the Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, stated: “I am highly enthusiastic about this agreement. The innovation in the mobility sector is immense, it seems like the sky is the limit in what we can do to make our cars safer by using technology. It is good that the Netherlands and Hyundai Motor Group are joining forces, using data of Dutch infrastructure and technology of Korean industries.”

The project is aligned with the Group’s strategy of transitioning to SDx (software-defined everything), building a user-centered mobility ecosystem defined by software and AI. The Group will continue to collaborate with the Netherlands to identify further opportunities to enhance the smart mobility experience for users.

Hyundai IONIQ 5 N to Compete at Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

With a new generation of owners now getting behind the wheel of the IONIQ 5 N, Hyundai will spark even more excitement at the 102nd running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) on June 23, 2024. Two 641-horsepower IONIQ 5 N cars will go after the record in the Electric Production SUV/Crossover class as part of a four-car effort.

“We are returning to the mountain stronger than we have left it, with a class leading electric SUV in the form of IONIQ 5 N,” said Till Wartenberg, head of N Brand and Motorsport. “Hyundai has a history of proving new technologies and products at Pikes Peak going all the way back to 1992 and the IONIQ 5 N brings that concept to high performance electric cars. The production spec IONIQ 5 N will demonstrate what customers can expect from their vehicles.”

The drivers of the IONIQ 5 N vehicles in the Electric Production SUV/Crossover class are Paul Dallenbach and Ron Zaras. Dallenbach is an eleven-time PPIHC winner and set an overall record in 1993. Zaras is a PPIHC rookie and the newest team member. Zaras, a media personality and former Hoonigan executive, was recently chosen to showcase the story of a motorsport enthusiast preparing for this massive challenge of competing at Pikes Peak.

“As a lifelong fan of rallying, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has been a bucket list event to take part in from the first time I watched the film ‘Climb Dance’ on a 56k Internet connection,” said Zaras. “So, competing here for my first time ever in the IONIQ 5 N - with the support of the excellent teams at Hyundai - is an incredible honor. I’m thrilled to share my journey from young spectator to first time competitor along the way; challenging as that path may be.”

In addition, Hyundai will debut a modified specification IONIQ 5 N to compete at PPIHC prior to the ADAC RAVENOL 24h Nürburgring on May 30. Two of these additional IONIQ 5 N models will be driven by Dani Sordo and Robin Shute. Shute is a four-time overall winner and King of the Mountain title holder at Pikes Peak. Sordo is a Spanish World Rally Championship driver for Hyundai Motorsport.

Hyundai chose to pursue the PPHIC Electric Production SUV/Crossover class record with a IONIQ 5 N because it embodies the racetrack capability of every N performance vehicle. IONIQ 5 N has been tested in extreme temperatures and locations and developed and tuned specifically at the Nürburgring Nordschleife for enhanced racetrack capability. It is supported by technologies such as structural enhancements, World Rally Championship-inspired integrated drive axles, increased thermal management, N-tuned brakes, and an industry leading brake regenerative force of 0.6G.

Due to the rigorous test process for the standard IONIQ 5 N, only minor updates were made to comply with the rules from a safety perspective. The driver’s seat was replaced with a Recaro Pro Racer SPA Hans seat. The seat belts are Sabelt six-point HANS compatible. The rear seats were removed, and a roll cage and fire suppression system were installed.

In every other way, the IONIQ 5 N being prepared for Pikes Peak is a standard IONIQ 5 N. In the future, the red paint will be swapped with a new eye-catching Hyundai N livery.

 

 

Specifications

IONIQ 5 N

Motor output

Front

166 kW / 223 HP

Rear

282 kW / 378 HP

Total output

448 kW / 601 HP

N Grin Boost output

478 kW / 641 HP

(Front: 175 kW, 235 HP / Rear: 303 kW, 406 HP)

Battery

Capacity

84 kWh

Charging

Charge Speed

238kW (when connected to a DCFC 350 kW charger)

Charge time

10% to 80% in 18 minutes

Dimension

Length

185.6 in.

Width

76.4 in.

Height

62.4 in.

Wheelbase

118.1 in.

Tires

Yokohama Advan V107 275/35R21

Braking system

Front

4-piston (15.75 in)

Rear

1-piston (14.2 in.)

Regenerative braking

Deceleration

0.6 g (0.2 g during ABS activation)

0 60 mph

Approx. 3.25 sec. (w/ N Launch Control and Grin Boost function utilized)

Top speed

162 mph (electronically limited)

 

 

Opinion | Hyundai boldly bets on sedans: is the OEM a step ahead of everyone?

In a gesture of transparency, I confess that I own one of Audi’s quickest sedans. The truth is that I’m biased toward sedans, sportbacks, and wagons. And, like other Audi owners, I have heard and read many Hyundai owners’ ‘It’s just like an Audi’ comments while also answering back, ‘No. No, it’s not.’ However, Hyundai may show it is much more intelligent than Audi and everyone else.

The Sedan Resurgence: Bucking the Trend

While Ford, Nissan, GM, Mitsubishi, and nearly everyone else seems to be getting rid of affordable sedans and hatchbacks, recent events show that Hyundai is doubling down. Are Hyundai planners seeing the coming demand for affordable vehicles?

Before you laugh, thinking that SUVs are here to stay, remember when everyone was buying minivans? And be honest, can you see yourself affording an average of $700 to $1,000 a month for a vehicle?

Hyundai Prioritizes Affordable Mobility

You might think Hyundai is crazy but think about this for one minute. Who among us has the inflation-sucking money to pay $50,000 or more for an average vehicle, much less an SUV? Millennials, Gen Z, and most of America outside of the ruling class need good gas-powered transportation that’s inexpensive, economical, and can carry four people and some stuff on a weekend getaway. Is that too much to ask? Hyundai doesn’t think so.

Hyundai Motor North America CEO Jose Muñoz said increasing production of the recently redesigned Sonata and Elantra is a “key factor for profitability” in 2024 [because they’re not going to profit from EVs, I might add].

A Shift in Focus: Value Over Extravagance

While speaking with Automotive News, Muñoz said, “We are not trying to overproduce, but we’re losing some sales because the dealers don’t have the trims, the versions, that they would like to, so we’re very mindful of that,” he said. With higher interest rates, customers are looking for less expensive vehicles.

And everyone said, “Amen.” But what are most OEMs doing? Producing $120,000 pickups, $80,000 SUVs, and hyper-expensive EVs that are expensive to charge. It’s like the industry has taken crazy pills and thinks money grows on trees. And maybe it does for them.

Hyundai Commits to Practicality and Affordability

Hyundai’s commitment to sedans like the Sonata and Elantra is not just about filling a niche; it’s a strategic move to capture a market segment that other automakers increasingly overlook. As the industry shifts its focus to larger, more expensive vehicles, Hyundai is positioning itself as a champion of affordability and practicality.

This approach is not only intelligent; it’s timely. With the skyrocketing cost of living and economic uncertainty looming, more consumers are looking for value without compromising quality or style. Hyundai’s sedans offer just that—a blend of modern design, advanced technology, and fuel efficiency at a price point accessible to a broader range of buyers.

Building Brand Loyalty: Investing in the Future

Moreover, Hyundai’s strategy could also be a long-term investment in brand loyalty. By providing affordable and reliable options for first-time car buyers or those on a budget, Hyundai is building a relationship with a demographic that could upgrade to higher-end models or stick with the brand as their financial situation improves.

The automotive industry is chasing the latest trends and luxury markets, so Hyundai’s focus on sedans is a refreshing reminder that there’s still a place for simplicity and sensibility. It’s a bold move that might pay off handsomely in an increasingly unpredictable market. And then we’ll see whatever’s left of the other OEMs trying to catch up.

Hyundai’s Identity: Unique and Accessible

As for the comparisons to Audi and other luxury brands, it’s clear that Hyundai is carving out its own identity. While inspired by the best, Hyundai is not trying to be a carbon copy of anyone. Instead, it’s focusing on what it does best—providing reliable, stylish, and affordable vehicles for the everyday driver.

While Audi might still hold a special place in my heart, I can’t help but admire Hyundai’s approach. In a world where bigger is beginning to be given the side-eye, and more expensive doesn’t always mean more value, Hyundai is proving that sometimes, less is more. And in today’s economy, that’s a message worth listening to.

Source: CBT News

Hyundai’s Active Air Skirt Improves EV Range And High-Speed Handling

Aerodynamics has always played a huge role in car design, but it’s especially important for electric vehicles, where every bit of extra range that can be eked out makes a difference. Hyundai Motor Group has released the first details on its new Active Air Skirt tech that’s in development, which will improve the range and high-speed stability of the company’s upcoming EVs.

Demonstrated in prototype form on a Genesis GV60, the Active Air Skirt (AAS) consists of two flaps under the nose of the car, positioned just ahead of the front wheels to direct air flow around the tires. These deploy at 50 mph and retract again at 43 mph; Hyundai says the staggered speeds are “to prevent frequent operation in specific speed ranges.” They’ll work at up to 124 mph, and the lower section of the skirts are made of rubber so they won’t be damaged by obstacles.

With the AAS installed, the Genesis GV60's coefficient of drag was reduced by 0.008, downforce was improved by 2.8 percent and the total range was increased by about four miles. Hyundai says the skirts only need to be placed in front of the tires and not across the entire front end because of the E-GMP platform’s flat floor. In addition to the better aero, the skirts “also function to enhance downforce of the vehicle, thereby improving vehicle traction and high-speed stability.”

AAS will be found on HMG production cars, and the company says it will be even more effective for larger EVs:

Hyundai Motor and Kia have applied for related patents in South Korea and the United States, and plan to consider mass production after durability and performance tests.

“This technology is expected to have a greater effect on models such as SUVs where it is difficult to improve aerodynamic performance,” said Sun Hyung Cho, Vice President and Head of Mobility Body Development Group at Hyundai Motor Group. “We will continue to strive to improve the driving performance and stability of electric vehicles through improvements in aerodynamics.”

Samsung Partners With Hyundai Motor Group To Present a Future Lifestyle Connecting the Smart Home With Connected Cars

Samsung Electronics today announced a collaboration with Hyundai Motor Group to expand its SmartThings platform to support connected cars, including electric vehicles (EVs). The announcement came after the companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on January 3 to develop solutions for future lifestyles that fully integrate the smart home and connected cars.

The two companies will work together for the next-generation smart home to connect Samsung’s SmartThings with Hyundai and Kia’s connected cars, including EVs, to develop the “Home-to-Car” and “Car-to-Home” services as well as an integrated home energy management service.

The Home-to-Car and Car-to-Home services connect the smart home with in-vehicle infotainment systems, allowing for remote control in both directions. Through the SmartThings platform, users will be able to perform a variety of actions pertaining to their cars while at home — starting them, controlling smart air conditioning, opening and closing windows and checking their charging status. And from cars, the control of home appliances such as TVs, air conditioners and EV chargers will also be possible.

“This collaboration will enable communication from Home-to-Car and integrated home energy management services that are optimized for future lifestyles,” said Chanwoo Park, Executive Vice President at Samsung Electronics. “By connecting the SmartThings platform with vehicles, we’ll be able to significantly enhance the customer experience in both the home and the car.”

Users will be able to adjust their environments with SmartThings by simultaneously operating multiple devices — including vehicles — through routines such as “good morning routine” and “arriving home routine.” For example, when a Galaxy smartphone’s morning alarm goes off, the curtains will automatically open, and the lights and television will turn on. When users are ready to go out for work, the user’s car will adjust itself to an ideal temperature. Also, the smartphone and TV screens will display information such as the EV’s remaining battery and driving range.

“This is an opportunity to make the connected car’s Car-to-Home and Home-to-Car services more convenient in various fields,” said Haeyoung Kwon, Vice President of Hyundai and Kia’s Infotainment Development Center. “We plan to accelerate our technology development to continuously make global Hyundai and Kia customers’ journeys meaningful.”

The integrated home energy management service will allow users to monitor how much energy is consumed by the connected devices in their homes. Energy information of their EVs and chargers will also be available, enabling users to adjust the optimal time for charging their vehicles. EVs connected to the integrated home energy management service offer the possibility of automatically setting the optimal time for charging by factoring in different pricing by time of day, the power demand response (DR) program, photovoltaic (PV) and energy storage system (ESS) data, and time-specific carbon emissions.

▲ Examples of Home-to-Car and Car-to Home services to be developed

To further strengthen Car-to-Home services, Samsung is working closely with HARMAN, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics. HARMAN’s “Ready Upgrade” is a digital cockpit package product that allows hardware and software upgrades. With Ready Upgrade, users will be able to install SmartThings functions to utilize various Car-to-Home services.

About Garage Centraal

The goal of Garage Centraal Aruba is simple: that everyone that needs a vehicle is able to have a vehicle that satisfies their needs and expectations, with expert service and parts support. We offer award winning quality vehicles from Hyundai, Isuzu and Volkswagen, along with an extensive catalog of pre-owned vehicles.

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