As time passes more and more manufactures are building electric vehicles. With this come the price war and the distance war meaning better value for buyers.
The Hyundai Ioniq Electric Vehicle (EV) has been available in Australia for around 18 months and has already had an upgrade. Despite that the Ioniq is the only car in showrooms across the country that can be purchased as a hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric power (the one we tested).
Hyundai has applied a number of changes to the Ioniq’s inside, outside and underneath, though the latter update is solely reserved for the flagship Hyundai Ioniq EV.
Prices have risen between $800 and $3500 with the EV retaining its status as the country’s most affordable battery electric car, priced from $53,446 and $58,726 (driveaway) in Elite and Premium guises respectively.
Visual changes are headlined by revised bumpers and accents, new alloy wheel designs and LED lighting front and rear.
Every Ioniq variant features a high-voltage lithium-ion polymer battery-powered electric motor and with the EV it is a pure electric vehicle experience. There is 100 kW (up from 88 kW) and 295 Nm which comes on as soon as you press the accelerator pedal.
This instant power is enough to put you back in the seat and till around 100kph will keep up with most standard V6 powered cars and give a good run to some V8 vehicles.
The 2020 Ioniq EV has an improved 38.3kWh battery pack over the previous model with the upshot being an improved range of 311km on the WLTP cycle against 293km on the predecessor.
Inside, there’s a larger 10.25-inch infotainment system incorporates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity. The swanky new driver instrument cluster and softer materials boost the cabin ambience and make it feel like a much higher grade vehicle.
The Ioniq EV also has dual-zone climate control, eight-speaker sound system, keyless entry and start, plus driver aids including autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist and high beam assist.
Premium models gain LED headlights, an electric park brake, a larger digital instrument cluster, heated and cooled front seats, a power adjustable driver’s seat, wireless phone charging, and front parking sensors.
Driving a full electric on Australian roads with so few places to do a quick recharge can cause some anxiety in a driver. Driving the Ioniq EV didn’t seem to give that same feeling as there is plenty of indication of charge life and distance left.
The Ioniq EV also has paddle shifters that enable the driver to increase the amount of regenerative braking (by increasing the resistance in the electric motor) by tapping the left paddle. With four stages of regen, the car can brake quite heavily this way or do no braking whatsoever. When regenerative is being used the brake lights also come on.
It works well enough and for around city driving it is interesting to see how much extra distance is gained from braking.
As with most Hyundai’s sold in Australia, the Ioniq has benefited from local suspension tuning and this has really helped to give the Ioniq a decent driveability. It is by no means a race car however it goes where it is pointed with little resistance and despite some road noise from the tyres when under heavy turning, the overall feel if good.
The driver’s seat is well designed and has enough adjustment that a comfy ride can be had from short to long drives. The rear seats don’t really get that same treatment as they seem to be made more for long life over comfort. There is not a lot of leg room for anyone in the back and the roof design does take away some head room.
The visibility looking back is okay but not the best due to the split window; seems to be the thing to do with rear windows on EVs and hybrids. Other than the rear, the overall blind spots are limited and driving in all conditions is good.
When finished driving and ready to put the EV on charge, there are a few different times to full charge depending on which method is used.
Using a commercial 100kW DC fast-charging station Hyundai says the Ioniq Electric can be charged from empty to 80 per cent of its capacity in 54 minutes (or 57 minutes when connected to a 50kW fast-charging station).
Using a personal charging station at home or work Hyundai says the Ioniq can be recharged in six hours and five minutes thanks to the increased capacity of the on-board AC charger to 7.2kW.
On a household power socket, however, it will take 17 hours and 30 minutes to recharge the Hyundai Ioniq from empty which is around $12 of electricity. These are all ways that need to be considered when buying as to what you will have access to the most, or want to spend the most on for home.
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The electric world is closing in on us all and while some brands have said they are sticking with hybrids, Hyundai have jumped at the idea to do petrol, hybrid and full electric. This has given them a good footing in the market as they have the Kona EV battling for EV SUV.
While the Ioniq EV looks better than a lot of other vehicles in its class, there is still some work to be done. It drives well and is a great city car but Australia is a big place and until the government catch up on charge stations, you will need a second car (or a lot of friends for those long trips). But if it is for short trips to work and home and shops and schools, the Ioniq EV is a great choice and worth consideration.
Price: $53,446 and $58,726 (driveaway)