Hyundai is the latest brand to plug an electronic vehicle with expensive marketing as automakers attempt to spur demand while pouring billions of dollars into EV development. The category remains niche, accounting for less than 3% of auto sales in the U.S., according to Edmunds. The lukewarm acceptance of EVs in the states has to do with their higher upfront cost and the relatively low gas prices in the U.S., Ram Chandrasekaran, head of road transport at Wood Mackenzie, a consultancy specializing in the energy sector, stated in an email interview.
Hyundai is pointing to the affordability of its Ioniq 5, which “can take on Tesla head to head at a lower price point,” wrote Chandrasekaran. The base Ioniq 5 is priced at $41,190, while the most inexpensive Tesla Model Y starts at $60,440, according to Automotive News.
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Lower prices are “where Hyundai has always hung its hat” to stand out, said Jessica Caldwell, executive director of Edmunds’ Insights. But Zepeda said that the new campaign isn’t a return to the brand's messaging of the past that presented the brand as a cheap alternative.
Instead, Zepeda characterized the Ioniq’s message as “democratizing safety and technology for all at a price people can afford.” The brand is also seeking to appeal to a younger customer, she said.