Hyundai has discontinued the AE-series Ioniq sedan in Australia, with the last batch expected to be imported by the end of this year to meet existing orders.
Launched around two years after breaking cover in other parts of the world in 2016, the aging series of electrified small cars was Hyundai’s pioneering answer to the Toyota Prius, which coincidentally was also discontinued this week in Australia. .
However, unlike the hybrid-only Prius, the AE Ioniq was offered in three powertrain options, making it a unique proposition for buyers, especially on a budget: hybrid (petrol-electric), PHEV (electric vehicle plug-in hybrid) and electric. (VE battery).
Learn more about the Hyundai Ioniq
These different electrified options made the Ioniq the first car in history to do so when it launched in Australia. It also received significant updates inside and out at the end of 2019 – just about a year after the local launch – the Electric also gaining a larger battery with water rather than air cooling for improved efficiency and increased longevity.
The elimination of AE is just the end of the beginning for the Ioniq badge, as Hyundai is now free to focus on the previously announced burgeoning Ioniq sub-brand, which has already seen crossover success. 5, the 6 sedan due later this year. and 7 SUVs coming in 2024.
Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) spokesman Guido Schenken added that the discontinuation of the AE Ioniq does not mean the end of Hyundai hybrids in Australia.
“It’s not,” he said. “We are working to bring the Tucson hybrid to Australia… but there is nothing to announce at this time.”
It is also understood that Hyundai could transfer the trio of electrification options from the AE Ioniq to the next-generation Kona small SUV. Next year it is rumored to become hybrid, PHEV and, as with the current version, electric, to complement a continuing line of internal combustion engines.
It’s unclear if there’s a relationship to the upcoming Kona and the recently announced second-generation Kia Niro. The original Niro which is about to be replaced was based on the AE Ioniq and largely mirrored its mechanical specifications.
The AE Ioniq helped launch HMCA’s EV strategy in Australia, with the Electric surprising some observers as the best-selling version in the range throughout its short life in that market.
Along with the rest of the range, but especially this last one, AE has also become a favorite among fleet and government buyers looking for a relatively inexpensive and reliable green vehicle.
The loss of the AE Ioniq range in Australia comes at a time when year-over-year sales are up more than 200% from 2021, with 333 units recorded at the end of April. Since its debut in August 2018 here, more than 2,000 have found homes in this country.