Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Next-gen Hyundai i30 EV! Will the Mazda3, Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen Golf rival transition into an electric car?

Is the i30 heading towards a zero-emissions future? (image: Hyundai Vision T Concept)

It's been one of the mainstays of Hyundai's local line-up since arriving in the late 2000s. And now, after three generations, the most recent launching in 2016, the i30 is reaching the end of its life.

But rather than drafting a eulogy, Hyundai Australia is hinting at a dramatic rebirth, with the car's future as a zero-emissions city-sized EV looking increasingly likely.

Speaking to CarsGuide at the recent launch of the Ioniq 6 EV sedan, Hyundai Australia's Chief Operating Officer, John Kett responded to reports of sister brand Kia's ambition to unveil a sub-$40K EV hatch in the relatively near future.

When asked if that's a part of the market Hyundai Australia is keen to explore with new EV product, Mr Kett responded with an unequivocal, "Yes, we're keen to explore it. I don't think I'd be brave enough to say that we have one, but I can see what they're talking about."

"When we see the incredible work we achieve with i30, and now i30 sedan, and you think about the strength of our brand and that nameplate, to actually think that at some point the i30 ICE vehicle will naturally find an end of life, because there will be an EV alternative in there.

"So, we won't come out and say exactly what you've said that Kia may have said, but you can only imagine that we'd want a slice of that segment," Mr Kett said.

Hyundai Vision T Concept Hyundai Vision T Concept

Reflecting on the scheduled mid-2023 launch of a hybrid version of the current i30 sedan, Mr Kett adds, "That in itself is a signal, I suppose, in terms of our future intent."

"You know, we can barely see our portfolio to 2025, ‘26, ‘27 through 2030 and beyond. So we can't provide some beautiful blueprint, but every time the business evolves as it moves forward, what's coming our way becomes clearer," he said.

What is known is the current i30 will receive an update late in 2023, with the model retiring from South Korean domestic sale, but carrying on in Europe and other export markets.

Hyundai Vision T Concept Hyundai Vision T Concept

As Mr Kett confirms, "Okay, it's only disappearing from Korea. We're just picking it up from Europe. The i30 will still be an ICE vehicle in our market, although I haven't got an exact time horizon on it (finishing).

"So, the plants might change. You know, we might draw more from Europe. But beyond that, there's no conversation (on timing).

"I think we're like everyone in the industry. We see the evolution to hybrids and getting to EVs as soon as possible. We have this ambition for zero emissions, and we'll get there as quickly as we can," he said.