Electric Cars

Hyundai Ioniq Electric scarce due to 'global battery shortage,' report says

Hyundai's budget electric cars are increasingly thin on the ground, with 2018 orders getting cancelled or pushed to 2019.

Wayne Cunningham/CNET Roadshow

What are you supposed to do if you want a budget-friendly new electric vehicle but can't stand the thought of parking a Bolt or a Leaf in your garage? Maybe you're thinking that the Hyundai Ioniq Electric is the way to go but if so, prepare yourself for disappointment because Electrek has acquired a memo from Hyundai Canada stating that the order books are closed for 2018 due to a global battery shortage.

According to Electrek's report, Hyundai Canada has advised dealers to cancel orders for 2018 cars and where possible, to shift them to 2019 cars that aren't coming out until later this year. Sounds kind of hinky right? Well, in some ways it is.

If you want a 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric, you're probably out of luck thanks to rising battery costs for Hyundai.

Wayne Cunningham/CNET Roadshow

The Ioniq Electric is what is known as a compliance car. These electric cars are meant to lower a company's corporate average fuel economy ratings and to help green up its image in the eyes of consumers. With the Ioniq Electric, this is borne out by the fact that it's predominantly sold in relatively low numbers in California and states that have adopted California's strict emissions standards.

Compliance cars are typically not high-margin vehicles for manufacturers, and in some cases, they may be sold at a loss. Given Hyundai's note about a "global battery shortage" we'd guess the latter to be the case, and that increasing battery prices have made an unprofitable car simply untenable.

Hyundai has not immediately responded to requests for comment.

All hope isn't lost, however. Word 'round the campfire is that Hyundai is working on a more thoroughly developed EV that would likely wear an Ioniq badge and offer over 200 miles of range. This is a pretty exciting thought because while the Bolt and the newly redesigned Leaf offer great range, their in-cabin tech and standard features aren't close to what Hyundai offers on all its vehicles.