Back in mid-2022, Hyundai Motor Europe’s marketing chief Andreas-Christoph Hofmann confirmed plans for an affordable electric car for the Old Continent. He said it would cost somewhere in the region of €20,000 (about $21,400 at current exchange rates) while admitting it’s tricky to develop a cheap EV. Not just because of the low asking price while still trying to make a profit, but also due to packaging issues pertaining to small cars.
Fast forward to September 2023, the diminutive EV has finally been caught testing in Europe. It already looks familiar because this heavily camouflaged prototype is based on the Casper. The adorable hatchback started out in life with a naturally aspirated three-cylinder, 1.0-liter gasoline engine and is getting ready for all-electric duty.
Hyundai was seen benchmarking its zero-emission model against other pint-sized hatchbacks, namely the Fiat 500 and Volkswagen e-up! In terms of length, the Casper EV should be somewhere between those two models considering the ICE model measures 141.5 inches (3595 millimeters) long.
In one of the adjacent spy shots, we can see the front-mounted charging port positioned approximately in the same place as on the larger 2024 Kona Electric. Both of them share their respective platforms with versions powered by combustion engines rather than being dedicated EVs as is the case with the Ioniq 5, 6, and the future 7.
Much like other models offered with ICE and EV powertrains, the electric Casper appears to be a spitting image of its gasoline-fueled sibling. It seems to have the same funky design details but the interior is slightly different since those dual screens have been tweaked for the European version. The driver’s display sticks out from the dashboard whereas the touchscreen could be a smidge wider. To see the subtle changes, attached below are images of the regular Casper.
It should be mentioned this new EV will not replace the i10 as Hyundai has already pledged to give its A-segment car another generation, having facelifted the current car earlier this year. It’s the same story with the subcompact i20 and the compact i30 as both will live to see the next generation.
Per an official announcement made in September 2021, it won’t be until 2035 when the South Korean brand will end sales of ICE cars in Europe.