The Korea Herald


Hyundai, Kia report robust EV US sales, shrug off impact of IRA

By Byun Hye-jin

Published : Nov. 5, 2023 - 15:14

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Hyundai’s best-selling EV Ioniq 6 (Hyundai Motor Group) Hyundai’s best-selling EV Ioniq 6 (Hyundai Motor Group)

Hyundai Motor Group reported robust growth in electric vehicle sales in the US this year, shrugging off the impact of not being eligible for consumer tax credits for EVs under the Inflation Reduction Act.

According to the carmaker Sunday, Hyundai and Kia sold a combined 77,772 EVs in the US during the January-October period this year, a 53.7 percent surge from a year ago. Hyundai alone sold 51,563 vehicles, more than doubling from the same period last year.

The carmaker’s cumulative EV sales in the all-important US market exceeded 177,000 units last month, a feat after the figure hit the 100,000 mark in January this year. Kia’s Soul EV was the first Hyundai EV to hit the US market in 2014.

By car models, Hyundai’s flagship EVs Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6 each sold 28,285 and 10,000 units in the first 10 months this year. Its premium brand Genesis GV60, GV70, and Electrified G80 sold a total of 4,361 units. Kia’s EV6 hit 16,340 units in the same period.

The carmaker said its EV models have continued to post on-year growth in sales every month since October 2022.

Hyundai and its smaller sibling Kia took up about 9.8 percent share of the US EV market from July to September, ranking second place after Tesla, the world’s largest EV maker, according to market tracker Kelley Blue Book. Last year, the Hyundai duo secured third place with a 7.1 percent share.

Kia’s flagship EV6 (Kia) Kia’s flagship EV6 (Kia)

Industry watchers say Hyundai and Kia are expected to see more than 200,000 EV sales in the US next year when their production capacity is expanded in response to the IRA rules.

Hyundai’s first EV manufacturing plant in the US with an annual production capacity of 300,000 units is expected to become operational by late 2024 in the state of Georgia, according to Seo Gang-hyun, chief financial officer at Hyundai Motor Group, during the carmaker’s three-quarter earnings conference last month.

After its EVs became ineligible for IRA tax credits worth up to $7,500 per car, the carmaker has been pouring more resources into the EV lease business while operating hefty incentive programs for new EV buyers. Seo said Hyundai and Kia have spent the largest amount on EV incentives among their rivals in the US.

Kim Pil-su, a car engineering professor at Daelim University, said the new EV plant in the US will greatly relieve the financial burden for Hyundai and Kia.

“When they start producing EVs in the US, the carmaker will be eligible to receive the tax credits and increase its profit margin,” he said. “But the carmaker might have to adjust its short-term sales target considering a slowdown in EV sales globally.”