Hyundai to launch a new electric mini-SUV at €20K

Hyundai is prepping an entry-level electric mini-SUV called Casper to take on rivals Dacia Spring and Citroën’s ë-C3 in Europe. The best part, the price is aimed at that elusive yet coveted €20,000 range (about $21.5K).

The Casper, an ICE vehicle on sale in South Korea, will get a fresh new look in the form of an all-electric city car–slash–mini-SUV, releasing in European markets by the end of this year. The car is expected to go into production in July.

In France, where the Casper has been announced by France’s head of Hyundai Lionel French Keogh, the car may additionally benefit from EV subsidies, further pushing that price tag down to well below €18,000, reports Auto Moto. That too could suggest that the electric version will be produced in the Czech Republic alongside the electric Kona, which starts in Germany at a pricier €36,400.

However, Automotive News Europe reported today that the Casper EV will be made in the Gwangju factory in South Korea, where it will be produced alongside its ICE sibling – the ICE version, however, won’t be coming to Europe.

Assuming the Casper can meet France’s subsidy requirements based on where it is produced, it gives it a leg up on the Chinese-built Dacia Spring, which starts just at around €20,800 but has been bumped from the list this year.

What to expect performance-wise? The Casper should be on par with the top-selling Dacia Spring’s modest range of around 200-300 km (125 to 187 miles) and come with a lithium iron phosphate battery – so we’re not talking a powerhouse here, but enough to fit the bill for a lightweight city car. 

Size-wise, the ICE version of the Casper is only 3.60 meters long (about 11.8 feet), but spy shots of test drives in Sweden show a slightly longer car, about 200-250 mm (eight to 10 inches) longer than the Korean version, Automotive News Europe reports.

The new Casper joins a flood of small, cheap EVs landing in Europe, including Renault’s electric Twingo and Citroën’s ë-C3, not to mention new models coming from BYD and SAIC’s MG Motors. Several new models are targeting a starting price of €25,000 or less, including the Renault 5, Twingo, and the BEV Fiat Panda. Is this a move toward embracing an electric kei car model? It certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing for the planet’s future.

Photo credits: Hyundai


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