Ssangyong hints at all-electric ute for Australia

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South Korean car maker joins race to bring first all-electric 4WD utility to market, with unveiling of concept e-SIV.

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The new all-electric ute by Ssangyong could be a similar size tot he Musso. Source: Geneva International Motor Show
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Source: Geneva International Motor Show
All-electric ute by could be similar size to Musso. Source: Geneva International Motor Show

Ssangyong has hinted that it may bring an electric ute to Australia in the future, at a presentation to Australian journalists in South Korea.

Dubbed the H100, the EV ute would be a four-wheel drive dual-cab about the size of the Musso, it was revealed.

Along with a range of other vehicles planned between 2019 and 2024, the ute would be joined by an electric crossover SUV, two new SUVs and a MVP product.

Executive director Daniel Rim confirmed that while they believe Australia might not be ready for an all-electric dual cab, the company was already working on the concept and when it gets released depends on a number of different factors.

“We’re still developing this concept [but] I think we’re launching around 2023, it’s changing but it depends on the different country’s regulations,” said Dan Rim, explaining that emissions laws in Europe and the US were one factor.

When they do launch it, it’s possible it could be the world’s first mass-produced all-electric ute – although Elon Musk may pip them at the post if his tweet from early last month asking followers what they’d like to see in an EV ute is anything to go by.

Ssangyong has had a rocky road, falling into receivership earlier this decade before being picked up by Indian automaker Mahindra to operate as a subsidiary.

The company is now springing back, with Australia becoming its first factory-backed market outside South Korea earlier this year, and Rim says the company’s long-term objective is to become a 4WD SUV and ute specialist.

To date, the South Korean automaker has produced five electric vehicles, including the KEV1 in 2010, the KEV2 in 2011, the e-XIV crossover in 2012 and in 2015, the Tivoli EV-R  concept car.

Source: Geneva International Motor Show
The e-SIV concept vehicle. Source: Geneva International Motor Show

These four were then joined by the unveiling of an all-electric SUV at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, dubbed the e-SIV.

That car is planned for production as early as 2020, and will be powered by a 140Kw motor and the ability to fast charge in 50 minutes to 80%.

There are no definite specs yet on the all-electric ute, with Rim saying, “I can’t speak about technical features. We’re still developing this project. The original plan was to use the C-platform, but we’re looking at different options.”

What he could confirm was that the vehicle will be underpinned by an all-new platform developed specifically for their EV stable, suggesting that Ssangyong are on the EV train for the long haul.

Bridie Schmidt is staff writer for www.TheDriven.io, and RenewEconomy.com.au. She specialises in writing about new technology, as well as using her technical skills in managing our websites.

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