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Australia's new hybrid car king? Hyundai i30, Kona, Tucson and Santa Fe hybrids to take on everything from the RAV4 to the Corolla Cross

"We're about to ramp up" says Hyundai on hybrids.

Hyundai is about to go hard on hybrids in Australia, with the brand to have four new hybrid models here by the middle of next year, with everything from the Toyota Corolla Cross to the RAV4 Hybrid in its sights.

Toyota is the undisputed hybrid king Down Under, responsible for somewhere north of 80 per cent of all hybrid sales in our market.

But while the Japanese giant has long had much of the hybrid market to itself, that is about to change, with Hyundai to complement its all-electric ambitions with a broad range of hybrids that it sees as a critical stepping stone to a zero-emission future.

"We will constantly lead with our EV portfolio... but we know that customers are concerned about emissions, but they're locked out of EVs, whether it's price point, application or range anxiety," says Hyundai Australia's COO, John Kett.

"As we go through this process we're going to have to provide them other alternatives. And we've been clear, there will a small SUV, a small car, a large SUV and a mid-size SUV by the middle of next year in terms of hybrid. That covers 50 per cent of the market.

"As we position ourselves that (EV) is the ultimate journey we want the consumer to come on, along the way we recognise that they need to make choices and they have their own emission ambitions, what they can afford to do, and, fit for purpose, what they can choose.

Hyundai is about to go hard on hybrids in Australia, with the brand to have four new hybrid models here by the middle of next year.

"There is less competitive intensity in the HEV segment versus EV, actually. One brand owns the HEV segment in reality, and that tell us that we can move quickly in that area."

The brand went on to say it would be targeting becoming Australia's number two for hybrids in Australia, as well as strengthening its EV position in the face of new challengers.

The first to arrive is the Kona Hybrid, which will be followed by the Santa Fe Hybrid and i30 Sedan Hybrid in Q2 2024. Next to come will be the Tucson Hybrid in H1 next year.

And that could be just the beginning, with 2025 to see the electrification of more models in the range.

The Tucson Hybrid will arrive in H1 next year.

"I would say as we enter 2025, we will probably extend a little bit further and have even greater coverage, so it's not impossible to consider (become number one for hybrids)," Mr Kett says.

"But that mighty competitor has held their own for so long. I think we will get to our data points first and see what happens after that.

"If we can get the supply, and we get Tucson, Santa Fe and Kona right, and the i30 Sedan, then the rest just happens, doesn't it?"

Andrew Chesterton
Contributing Journalist
Andrew Chesterton should probably hate cars. From his hail-damaged Camira that looked like it had spent a hard life parked at the end of Tiger Woods' personal driving range, to the Nissan Pulsar Reebok that shook like it was possessed by a particularly mean-spirited demon every time he dared push past 40km/h, his personal car history isn't exactly littered with gold. But that seemingly endless procession of rust-savaged hate machines taught him something even more important; that cars are more than a collection of nuts, bolts and petrol. They're your ticket to freedom, a way to unlock incredible experiences, rolling invitations to incredible adventures. They have soul. And so, somehow, the car bug still bit. And it bit hard. When "Chesto" started his journalism career with News Ltd's Sunday and Daily Telegraph newspapers, he covered just about everything, from business to real estate, courts to crime, before settling into state political reporting at NSW Parliament House. But the automotive world's siren song soon sounded again, and he begged anyone who would listen for the opportunity to write about cars. Eventually they listened, and his career since has seen him filing car news, reviews and features for TopGear, Wheels, Motor and, of course, CarsGuide, as well as many, many others. More than a decade later, and the car bug is yet to relinquish its toothy grip. And if you ask Chesto, he thinks it never will.
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