Anxiety eases when living with electric powered car

Size matters. For those yet to embrace the approaching onslaught of electric vehicles, range and battery prowess are primary concerns.

Hyundai is hearing the naysayers loud and clear and not long after launching its Ioniq range bolstered it with an even better version late last year.

The Ioniq is the marque’s green champion and is available in three flavours — hybrid that combines battery and petrol power (like the technology used by Toyota in the Prius, Camry and new RAV4); plug-in hybrid, which has a small battery and an electric range of about 60km that is supplemented by a four-cylinder engine; as well as the pure electric, which has a range of more than 300km.

That EV capacity came courtesy of an upgraded battery, increasing from 28kWh to 38.3kWh, as part of the 2020 model upgrade in October.

Additional capacity saw the range rise from just above 200km to more than 300km. The improvement eases a lot of anxiety for those new to battery-powered travel.

Having also spent an extended period in the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle with a capacity to travel about 260km on one charge, the Ioniq’s slightly greater ability is a boon — especially considering a regular weekly trip of about 230km can be a great source of angst if faced with traffic.

The coronavirus crisis has led to much smaller trips. Average consumption has been about 14kWh/100km.

Treating the car like a smartphone, we’ve been regularly plugging in throughout the day via a standard household power point to make use of our household solar power system. When plugged in, almost half of the power generated by the 5kW solar system (about 2100 watts) is sent to the car.

After getting close to empty, it’s taken about 17 hours to reach 80 per cent.

Find a 100kW DC fast charger and it can achieve the same result in less than an hour. Use Hyundai’s $1950 AC 7.2kW system that can be installed at home and it will do the job in about six hours.

Some basic numbers mean those paying about 26 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity equates to about $3.65 per 100km. Most four-cylinder engines would cost at least double over the same distance with unleaded petrol just above $1 per litre.

Servicing the EV is less expensive than any other Ioniq, at $160 for each scheduled maintenance check due annually or every 15,000km.

The Hyundai Ioniq EV has a range of just above 300km.
The Hyundai Ioniq EV has a range of just above 300km.

DRIVING

Having first sampled the Ioniq plug-in hybrid, the electric offering is more engaging behind the wheel. Providing a quicker acceleration response, it’s fast off the line and feels fleet-footed when under throttle.

Offering four drive modes, using Sport enables the driver to select gears like a conventional car via the steering wheel paddle shifters. Using Normal, Eco or Eco+ modes, those paddles can be used for energy regeneration for “one pedal” operation. Flick the left paddle and the resistance when coasting is greater. Flick the right and it decreases.

There are three levels of force and by holding onto the left paddle it can act as a brake for more rapid stopping — all while feeding energy back into the battery.

The Premium variant comes with the best kit available, including leather trim, 10.25-inch infotainment screen armed with smartphone-mirroring apps Apple CarPlay and Android Auto running through an eight-speaker sound system, a seven-inch digital driver’s cluster, smartphone wireless charging, keyless entry, along with heated and ventilated front seats.

One of the primary differences with the plug-in variant is a different console configuration, with buttons for gear selection replacing the standard auto shifter, as well as single-zone aircon rather than dual-zone.

Gone is the conventional shifter, replaced by buttons for park, drive, neutral and reverse.
Gone is the conventional shifter, replaced by buttons for park, drive, neutral and reverse.

EARLY VERDICT

This is the pick of the Ioniq range. With an ability to travel just over 300km, it is one of the more affordable electrics on the market, featuring high levels of comfort and strong driving dynamics.

Over the past month the Ioniq EV would have been costing about $3.60 per 100km using electricty at home, but in reality it’s been far less making the use of free charging stations and solar power.
Over the past month the Ioniq EV would have been costing about $3.60 per 100km using electricty at home, but in reality it’s been far less making the use of free charging stations and solar power.

AT A GLANCE

HYUNDAI IONIQ ELECTRIC PREMIUM

PRICE $58,120 drive-away

WARRANTY/SERVICING 5-year unlimited km warranty, 8 years battery; services $160 each

MOTOR 100kW/295Nm, 38.3 kWh Lithium-ion Polymer battery, front wheel drive with 100kW charging capacity

SAFETY 5 stars, 7 airbags, AEB, lane keep assist, radar cruise control, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic warning, auto high beam, parking sensors front and back

RANGE About 310km

SPARE None, tyre inflation kit

BOOT 357L, 1417L with rear seats folded


Approx 800 travellers crossed through southwest borders, here’s how many were denied

premium_icon Approx 800 travellers crossed through southwest borders, here’s...

POLICE reveal how many people were turned away at two southwest border crossings as...

More travellers in mandatory quarantine inside a Roma motel

premium_icon More travellers in mandatory quarantine inside a Roma motel

POLICE have confirmed there are more travellers in mandatory quarantine and under...

Kingaroy chef the victim of crime, $300 damage done to house

premium_icon Kingaroy chef the victim of crime, $300 damage done to house

THE victim returned home to find an apology letter with $20 enclosed to pay for the...