Hyundai is gearing up to introduce the Casper, an entry-level electric mini-SUV, to rival competitors such as Dacia Spring and Citroën's ë-C3 in the European market. Priced at around €20,000 (approximately $21.5K), the Casper is positioned to enter the competitive budget electric vehicle (EV) segment.
Originally an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle available in South Korea, the Casper will undergo a transformation into an all-electric city car/mini-SUV for the European market, with a scheduled release by the end of this year. Production is expected to commence in July.
While the Casper may benefit from EV subsidies in France, potentially reducing the price to below €18,000, reports suggest the EV version might be produced in the Czech Republic alongside the electric Kona, which has a starting price of €36,400 in Germany. However, Automotive News Europe reports that the Casper EV will be manufactured in the Gwangju factory in South Korea, where it will share production space with its ICE counterpart, although the ICE variant will not be available in Europe.
The strategic advantage of potential subsidies in France could position the Casper favorably against its competitors. It competes with the Dacia Spring, priced at around €20,800 but excluded from the list this year. In terms of performance, the Casper is expected to offer a range comparable to the top-selling Dacia Spring, ranging from 200-300 km (125 to 187 miles), featuring a lithium iron phosphate battery suitable for a lightweight city car.
While the ICE version of the Casper measures 3.60 meters in length, spy shots from test drives in Sweden reveal a slightly longer car, approximately 200-250 mm (eight to 10 inches) longer than the Korean version, as reported by Automotive News Europe.
The introduction of the Casper aligns with the growing trend of affordable electric vehicles entering the European market, joining the ranks of Renault's electric Twingo and Citroën's ë-C3. The influx of new models, including those from BYD and SAIC's MG Motors, reflects a shift towards more economical EV options, with several models targeting a starting price of €25,000 or less, including the Renault 5, Twingo, and the BEV Fiat Panda. The move towards embracing affordable electric vehicles could have positive implications for environmental sustainability.