First revealed in South Korea in February 2016 the Ioniq Electric is one of three models under this brand name. There are also a hybrid model and a plugin hybrid model. Even before the car was launched Hyundai had come to the conclusion that the 200kms range (124 miles) was not enough and would be uncompetitive with the GM Bolt, the Tesla Model 3 and the long range LEAF. The new bench mark range for EVs will be well over 300kms and Hyundai to their credit will make a significant improvement to the range of the 2018 model. It will travel 320kms on a single charge. The current model has some glowing reports and overall ticks all the boxes we’ve now come to expect in terms of modern electric vehicles.
The Ioniq features paddle shifters on the steering column that give four levels of regenerative braking. Its interior volume is 119.2 cubic feet with a generous cargo area. The Ioniq models are being described as ‘sporty hatchbacks’. Performance in the electric is nothing special but the instant torque gives the vehicle good acceleration from zero. The aerodynamics are excellent with a low drag coefficiency. There is a seven-inch high-resolution dashboard screen for driver information. Safety features include emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot detection, lane-departure warning and rear cross-traffic alert. In a first as far as we are aware Hyundai will offer a full lifetime warranty on the EV battery pack. Will it come to Australia? From some reliable sources it seems the Ioniq Electric will be the first version to come down under but don’t expect it here till the first or second quarter of 2018 as Hyundai can’t currently keep up with demand in South Korea.