The old electric small car series launched about two years after breaking cover in other parts of the world in 2016, Hyundai’s leading answer was the Toyota Prius, which was also dropped this week in Australia.
However, unlike the Prius-only hybrid model, the AE Ioniq was offered in three powertrain options, making it a unique proposition for budget-conscious buyers: Hybrid (Petrol and Electric), PHEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle) and Electric (Battery EV) ).
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These diverse electric options made the Ioniq the first car in history to do so upon launch in Australia. It also received major updates inside and out in late 2019 – just a year after the domestic launch – with the Electric also getting a larger battery with water instead of air-cooled to improve efficiency and longevity.
The AE’s culling is just the beginning of the end for the Ioniq badge, as Hyundai is now free to focus on the burgeoning Ioniq sub-brand as previously announced, which has already seen the success of 5 crossovers, 6 sedans later this year and 7 sedans. Four-wheel drive coming in 2024.
Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) spokesperson Guido Schenken added that the discontinuation of the AE Ioniq does not mean the end of Hyundai’s hybrid in Australia.
He said, “That’s not the case. We are working on moving the Tucson Hybrid to Australia…but there’s nothing to announce right now.”
It’s also understood that Hyundai may carry over the AE Ioniq’s triple electrification options to the next-generation Kona compact SUV. It is rumored that the hybrid, PHEV, is slated to convert, as with the current, electric version, to complement the lineup of continuous internal combustion engines.
Whether there is a connection with the next Kona and the recently announced second-generation Kia Niro is unknown. The original Niro to be replaced was based on the AE Ioniq and largely mirrored its mechanical specifications.
The AE Ioniq helped launch the HMCA strategy for electric vehicles in Australia, with Electric surprising some observers as the best-selling version of the range throughout its short life in that market.
Along with the rest of the range and especially the latter, the AE has also become a favorite with fleet and government buyers looking for a relatively inexpensive and reliable eco-friendly vehicle.
AE Ioniq Group’s loss in Australia comes at a time when year-over-year sales are up more than 200 per cent compared to 2021, with 333 units registered as of the end of April. Since his August 2018 appearance here, he has found more than 2,000 homes in this country.