With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the price of Nickel, which is an integral part of the modern EV battery, is going through the roof. As the number one producer in the World, Russia is expected to have a strong influence on the supply and the pricing of Nickel, which will have an impact on EV pricing.
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With the current oil price as high as they are, it appears that many are turning to EVs for solutions, but the reality is that EVs are not free from current global economic volatility. With the prices of cars in general, going through the roof already in the last few years, it was originally expected that the current high prices of the EVs would come down to the level of ICE cars, as the price of the battery eventually reduced with the increase in production and advancement in technology.
However, because EVs are full of components that are sensitive to the volatile supply chain, currently affecting the automobile industry as a whole, and the increase in the raw material costs involved in the production of battery packs, it doesn’t look like the price of electric cars will stabilize any time soon.
it’s reported that this surge in the price of raw materials that goes into EV battery packs, could contribute to a price increase of as much as $8,000 per vehicle shortly.
In light of the current predicament, we will look at some of the low-price EV options from Korea that could materialize within the next few years, to follow outstanding EVs such as IONIQ 5 and EV6, as they may be out of price range for most of the population that is seeking to purchase the next vehicle.
In our latest survey asking what the next vehicle purchase would be, most of our viewers have overwhelmingly chosen a battery-electric car over any other type of vehicle, including hybrid and plug-in hybrid. However, the biggest obstacle and barrier to entry has been the price, as battery packs that go into electric cars add up to 50% of the overall price to equivalent ICE cars. Also, contrary to the expectation that the EV prices would come down with time, the opposite is happening. For example, popular models such as Tesla have seen substantial price increases in the last few months, with each increase amounting to 5 to 10% across the model range, with now the lowest-priced model, the Model 3 rear-wheel-drive costing $46,990.
This increase is less apparent for other makes, such as Hyundai and Kia, which have launched their first dedicated EVs at prices far less than what was expected, with the Model 3 equivalent product, the IONIQ 5 starting at less than $40,000, however, the general upward trend in car prices are expected to continue for the foreseeable future for all manufacturers, especially due to the current geopolitical situation involving Russia and Ukraine. As we all know, nickel is the most important element in the production of EV battery packs, and Russia is the world’s third-largest supplier, and the home of the world’s largest nickel producer, having full control over the price and availability.
The Nickel price shot up past $100,000 at the onset of the war (For More Info: https://youtu.be/bJZuPdmwBf4)
The current prevailing price of nickel stands at around $37,000 per ton, settling down after shooting up to $100,000 just after the conflict at the beginning of March. However, this level of pricing wasn’t supposed to happen until the end of 2025, incredibly. In fact, it’s reported that this surge in the price of raw materials that goes into EV battery packs, could contribute to a price increase of as much as $8,000 per vehicle shortly.
So it looks as though we may be in for another oil-shock situation of the past, where people turned to smaller displacement cars, but this time around, the focus will be on the smaller entry-level EVs with smaller batteries that are more efficient.
Although burgeoning Korean brands Hyundai and Kia have been focusing on releasing large and expensive EVs, evident from their recent activities involving vehicles such as the Kia EV9 large electric SUV, expected to be priced from $60,000, and the IONIQ 6 electric sedan with the estimated starting price of $50,000, which far exceeds the average new car price of $39,000 in the US, the Hyundai motor group hasn’t forgotten about the vast majority of the average Joes that have made the Korean company what it is today, as world’s 3rd largest automaker.
The Kia EV4 is positioned between the Kia Seltos and the Sportage in terms of the size (For More Info: https://youtu.be/bJZuPdmwBf4)
The first of the EVs that would be under the average new car price in the US would be the Kia EV4 and the IONIQ 3 pair. With the expected starting price of $35,000, the vehicle that would fall between Kia Seltos and Kia Sportage in terms of size, with an overall length of 4.4 to 4.5 meters or 174 to 177 inches, they would essentially be the smaller and more affordably packaged EV6 and IONIQ 5, with the lengths between 4.6 to 4.7 meters or 182 to 184 inches. The projected drivetrain would be either a 168 hp single motor rear-wheel-drive, or 232 hp dual-motor all-wheel-drive configuration, paired with a 58 kWh battery to render up to 250 miles or 400 km of range. It may not be a lot, but the ultra-fast charging 800-volt system with an 18-minute charge time, 10 to 80%, would more than make up for it.
Also, lower prices would not take away from the quality and the high-tech features that Hyundai and Kia vehicles are known for. The interior would still feature the EV6 or IONIQ 5 style dual panoramic display, featuring 12.3-inch LCDs coupled with the latest Advanced driver-assistance systems or A-D-A-S for safety and convenience, including level 3 partial hands-free self-driving autonomy. As EGMP dedicated EV platform based cars, the EV4 and IONIQ 3 will also offer trademark features such as a V2L or V2G bidirectional charging system that could extract electricity from the battery for a variety of uses, including supplying power to an entire house, as well as sell back the excess juice when connected to the grid. It will also feature the full O-T-A that updates firmware of all vehicle dynamics controls over the internet.
Hyundai IONIQ 4 is to be based on the next-generation Kona. (For More Info: https://youtu.be/bJZuPdmwBf4)
The EV4 and the IONIQ 5 compact electric SUVs are to feature distinctive SUV style and form factor, drawing inspirations from the recently released international compact SUVs, such as the compact 7 passenger Kia Carens and Hyundai Creta, also known as Alcazar, as well as the upcoming 2nd-generation Hyundai Kona, which is expected to be based on the all-new and now larger Kia Niro. So, you are guaranteed ample interior space, even if they will not offer the 3-row seating layout as they would in countries like India or South Africa, especially due to its skateboard-type E-GMP platform with an extended wheelbase and flat floor. We anticipate the cargo space as large as the outgoing Kia Sportage, with 30.7 cubic feet or 869 liters of space behind the second row, and 60.1 cubic feet or 1,702 liters with the seats folded down. Already well under development, the expected release date of the Kia EV4 and the IONIQ 3 is late 2023 as the 2024 models.
The first Kia electric hatchback is expected to be the EV3. (For More Info: https://youtu.be/bJZuPdmwBf4)
Another pair of entry-level EVs that are to make an introduction is a pair of hatchbacks sharing the same underpinning as the Kia EV4 and IONIQ 3 SUVs. Likely to be called the Kia EV3 and the IONIQ 4, the lower riding versions of the compact crossovers are to be the EV equivalent of the Kia Forte, K3, or Ceed and Hyundai i30 and Veloster compact cars. Still based on the EGMP platform, it will essentially offer the same drivetrain as the EV4 and the IONIQ 3 SUVs, but it's also expected to add high-performance versions with bigger batteries and more powerful motors. In addition to the standard 168 and 232 hp power electric systems, expect the addition of 225 hp single-motor rear-wheel-drive, and 321 hp dual-motor all-wheel-drive configurations for the high-performance versions. Furthermore, the IONIQ 4, as a successor to the Veloster coupe, it’s likely to receive the N ultra-high-performance treatment, similar to what is being offered on the IONIQ 5 N, that’s supposed to turn a family SUV into a hot-hatch on rails with close to 600 hp. For the smaller IONIQ 3 N, the maximum power is estimated to be around 400 hp with the boost mode that would give a burst of additional power for up to 10 seconds, to offer a 0-60 mph acceleration time of sub-4 seconds. The equivalent GT model can also be expected for the EV3 counterpart.
The interior of the EV3 is to be an evolution of the K3 interior with the Audi-like visual cues throughout, with the addition of the dual panoramic display. Likewise, the IONIQ 4 is to offer a sports interior in the spirit of the Veloster coupe. Whether it will retain the odd asymmetric 4-door layout of the Veloster is uncertain at this point, however.
Hyundai's first hatchback/coupe is likely to be called the IONIQ 4, a successor to the Veloster. (For More Info: https://youtu.be/bJZuPdmwBf4)
As for the features and technology, it should offer everything that the SUV siblings will offer, including the 800-volt 350 kW ultra-fast charging, V2L, and level 3 self-driving autonomy that would continue to be improved with the built-in over-the-air update system, combined with the long-wheelbase for the cavernous interior space.
Two sports hatchbacks will likely debut in 2024 or 2025 at the starting price of just under $30,000.
As for the prices, it could see a further reduction in price by the usage of the LFP chemistry battery in lieu of the NMC battery, which is known to be cheaper, more stable, and also longer lasting. And with the latest cell-to-pack technology that reduces the overall size of the battery packs, countering its lower energy density characteristic, which is lower by 15 to 25%, the new battery option seems to be an ideal option for entry-level cars with less energy density requirements. With the LFP batteries being 30 to 50% cheaper to produce, the prices of the new entry-level EVs could see a reduction in price by up to $5,000.
Future entry-level EVs from the Hyundai Motor Group will feature the LFP battery that uses less of the more expensive raw materials. (For More Info: https://youtu.be/bJZuPdmwBf4)
Also, innovative financing methods such as a battery leasing program that would allow you to purchase the EV without the battery, which could be leased separately at the rate of around $80 per month, would help to reduce the price of the EV even further.
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