2017 Hyundai IONIQ Electric
The Hyundai Ioniq, could this be a realistic electric car or a waste of time?
The Hyundai Ioniq comes in 3 versions. I test drove the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, which is 100% electric with a 28 kWH (kilowatt hour) battery and requires a plug in charge to fill the battery. The car also comes in the Plug-in-hybrid version, meaning it can run on just electric for up to 50km only and thereafter switch over to running on petrol. The last version is the hybrid version runs on petrol, but will switch over to run on electric at slow speeds, i.e. when you are in traffic. There is no diesel version of this car.
Concentrating on the electric model that I test drove, you get a whole 280 km to a full charge. It has a top speed of 164 kph (103 mph), though if you are driving at that speed, you will probably lose your licence (even in Germany now the autobahn is being restricted to 120 kph (70 mph)). A full charge will take 4,5 hours unless you use a 50 kW Dc charger. Then you can charge to 80% in 30 min. You can find these charging points at motorway charging stations and other public areas (they look like a big box, fuel pump), but you can't get one set up at home.
So with one full charge you can travel from Copenhagen city hall all the way to Kolding hospital (233 km / 145 m), or from London city hall to Nottingham castle (231 km / 144 m), or New York city hall to Cape May (230 km / 144 m), which is not too bad. Yet car's 28 kWH battery compared to the Renault Zoe that has a 41 kWH battery and a 400 km range, leaves the Hyundai short.
The Hyundai Ioniq Electric is not the best when it comes to space. It hosts a 350 liter size boot, which is approximately 15% less than the average car in its class. If you drop the rear seats the boot can be expanded to 1410 liters. Now that is not too bad, especially when you consider that the car also houses some very large batteries. Though, that large drop in the boot makes life very hard when having to lift things in and out of the car.
The rear seats offer enough space for 3 children to sit comfortably, but 3 adults would be uncomfortable. This is due to the center seat being raised slightly from the 2 outer ones, however 2 adults would be able to sit comfortably and they would also be able to make use of the center arm rest with built in cup holders, which gives it a finer touch. For the younger children the car is fitted with 2 ISO fix points on the 2 outer rear seats.
The rear seats also have storage space in the doors, enough to put a bottle of water, a bag of sweet, crisps and rubbish. There are netted holders attached to the rear of the front seats, just like on an airplane and the doors open wide enough to place children in car seats easily.
The front seats are very comfortable and offer more than enough space for both the driver and the passenger. Between the 2 seats you have 2 cup holders, and an arm rest that opens up to a small storage space with a USB charging socket. The door bins are large enough for all your storage needs, and there is a sun glasses holder above the rear view mirror.
Putting aside that this is an electric car and its motor is completely different to that of a combustion engine, the car is actually well equipped. This car whether it is the electric-, plug-in hybrid- or hybrid model comes in 2 versions; the Trend and the Premium. I had the Trend for the test drive, and I have to say it had everything that I would have wanted in a car. It has adaptive cruise control, lane monitoring (which steers the car back into the lane if you drive out of it), Bluetooth, touch screen infotainment center, GPS (with all charging points marked) and it can even be displayed on the dash board, wireless charger for your phone, climate control and much more. For a full list click here.
The dash board can be personalised to a certain extent, with a couple of options for speedo choice and some other small details. It is nothing to get excited about, but a nice touch. What I especially like is that the GPS can be viewed here. Otherwise you get all the usual things like a trip computer, fuel gauge etc.
The Hyundai Ioniq electric-, plug-in hybrid- or hybrid model only comes with an automatic gearbox. This is the case for all electric cars and is because there are no gears in an electric motor. What this provides is a constant and fluent acceleration, which is impressive, as you can't feel the gear changes as there are none. Whereas, if you drive a petrol/diesel car with an automatic gearbox, you will still feel the gear changes even though you are not changing gears yourself. The constant and fluent acceleration from the electric car will put you in the back of your seat and make you go "Whoa!". The car handles the corners and bumps in the road just like a petrol/diesel car, which is remarkable considering an electric car weighs more because of the batteries. Like most other electric car manufacturers, Hyundai has put a feature in their electric car that mimics 'real' car sounds as you are driving along. This is for the pedestrians that are staring at their phones and not looking out for traffic. It is a nice little feature, but you will want to turn it off when you are not in the city to save the power it uses.
The car is great in the city, even on country roads, but when you are on the motorway, you can sense it's not at its best. Don't get me wrong, it will sit happily on the motorway and cruise around, but you will see the charge gauge drop quickly at 110 kph (70 mph). This causes you to start thinking about your next charging point before it is needed, not the best thing to have on your mind. There is a little wind noise, but nothing too dramatic. Also it is to be expected, as there is no engine to make noise. Turn the radio up and it is fine (karaoke time).
The Hyundai Ioniq electric is definitely one of the more practical electric cars out there. It is comfortable and has all the technology in it that you would need. Its 280 km range is something that still puts me off, especially when the Renault Zoe boasts a 400 km range. Though, if I had to choose between the 2, I would choose the Hyundai Ioniq. As the Hyundai Ioniq is well on its way to being a very good option and replacement to petrol/diesel cars. Especially, now with all the charging points all over Europe, there is really no reason why you can't drive everywhere in an electric car. You just have to be prepared to stop for a minimum of 30 min every 1.5 - 2 hours. Before you go out and buy this car, well in Denmark at least, you need to know that there currently is a 9 month waiting time on the car. So if you buy now, you wont get the car for 9 months. In which time technology might progress leaving you with an outdated new car. As the car you buy is what you will get without the possible new technological updates that might come out in the meantime, not even if the car comes out with a longer lasting battery.
With all that said, this is definitely a good option if you drive short distances. For longer trips I don't think the batteries are there yet.
To find out if this car would suit you contact me here.