IT started as a research project, then it became a model name and now the Ioniq moniker is set to become a brand in its own right.
Hyundai first coined the Ioniq name - which fuses the words "ion" and "unique" - when it announced Project Ioniq, a long-term research and development project focused on eco-friendly mobility.
Based on that project, Hyundai introduced the Ioniq hatchback in 2016. It was the world's first and only model to offer a choice of three electrified powertrain options - hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid and battery electric - within a single body type.
It was designed to build impressive green creds for the Korean company and, with mission accomplished on that front, Hyundai has decided to create a new Ioniq sub-brand and this will be the badge carried by all its future battery electric vehicles, starting with an all-new electrically-powered compact SUV next year.
Hyundai will be launching a range of numerically named EVs under the new brand, with the even numbers used for saloons and hatchbacks and the odd numbers for SUVs.
The first model will be the Ioniq 5 midsize SUV which will launch in early 2021 and is based on the concept EV ‘45', which Hyundai showed at the Frankfurt motor show last year.
It will be followed in 2022, by the Ioniq 6 saloon, based on the company's latest concept EV, the Prophecy, which was unveiled in March while the Ioniq 7, a large SUV, is slated for launch in early 2024.
So where does that leave the current Hyundai Ioniq? Nothing changes for the moment, but when the next generation model arrives in a couple of years' time it will likely be badged as the Ioniq 4 and will only be available as a pure electric model.
All the EVs will sit on a new modular platform, known as E-GMP, which has been specifically designed for electric vehicles. Hyundai says the new models will have fast charging capability and plentiful driving range.
The Korean company plans to sell a million battery electric vehicles and take a 10 percent share of the market by 2025 making it the world's third-largest maker of eco-friendly vehicles.