Finally: Hyundai Is Gearing Up to Release An Affordable EV, But Only In Europe to Start

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

Hyundai believes it has cracked the code of the affordable EV. The South Korean automaker recently announced that it would sell the new Inster subcompact electric SUV with a starting price of under $27,000.

The Inster looks something like a cross between the Kia Soul and Hyundai Kona. Aimed at young urban buyers, the EV offers a range of around 220 miles and will start in markets outside the United States.

Hyundai is pursuing cheaper EVs to compete with the rising tide of compelling, affordable models from China. Even so, the automaker has been trying to reach a lower price point for a while. European VP of marketing said, “Our target has always been to produce a car for our audience in Europe below 25,000 euros.”

If Hyundai’s able to pull this off, the Inster would undercut the average American EV price by almost $30,000. That said, there are no current plans to bring the vehicle here. Europeans are much more receptive to smaller vehicles, so it makes sense to start sales there before considering the U.S. market.

The automaker will cut costs for the vehicle by utilizing an existing gas platform from the Hyundai Casper. That said, it will be powered by a nickel cobalt manganese lithium-ion battery, which is more expensive than the battery chemistries seen in other affordable models. The automaker plans to compensate for the higher cost with a smaller battery pack.

Other automakers promise to offer similarly affordable EVs soon. Jeep plans to release an electric subcompact SUV that starts at or below $25,000 in 2027, and internationally, Renault will release the Dacia Spring minicar for a little over $17,000 after incentives.

[Images: Hyundai]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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3 of 22 comments
  • Jbltg Jbltg on Jun 28, 2024

    Exterior is a hot mess! Interior, interesting and different. Keep working on it, Hyundai.

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Jun 28, 2024


    What a silly name. Looks goofy too, but EV customers don't care about that.

    • Sayahh Sayahh on Jul 01, 2024

      Goofy front reminds me a bit of the Nissan Juke

  • Fred As a British Car Fan I liked them, but then I sat in one and changed my mind. I like the unique looks of the newer ones.
  • FreedMike Not much to look at, but these were sweet to drive.
  • EBFlex Ford finally making a good decision although they should shut down their EV operations and investment all together. Why lose that money too?
  • Mike Lol. This is the king of suvs. And its made by GM.Why is everyone trashing it?Top of its its class for a quarter century.
  • Frank Drove past there last week, plant has a huge poster of a bronco on the outside. I was thinking "Is that where they build the new broncos?" I know they use to make the Edge and that other mundane SUV there but I believe both have been canned.