Hyundai Ioniq Hy­brid

Cathy Parker looks at the prac­ti­cal­ity of the Ioniq EV for ev­ery­day use

New Zealand Company Vehicle - - CONTENTS -

Seven days with only need­ing overnight recharg­ing shows how an EV can be prac­ti­cal for nor­mal com­mut­ing. A longer trip would in­tro­duce some chal­lenge whilst the charg­ing sta­tion net­work gets rolled out, but the re­al­is­tic 180 km range of the Ioniq means you would have to drive a lot around the city in a day for range anx­i­ety to rear its ugly head. I did sev­eral shorter busi­ness trips one day plus a longer mo­tor­way run and still had around 110 km range show­ing as avail­able (This was af­ter 70 km with about half in bumper to bumper traf­fic with lights, wipers and heater on). The Ioniq of­fers three driv­ing modes with some fine tun­ing avail­able in each, ECO re­stricts per­for­mance to max­imise range in­clud­ing hav­ing a 110km/h speed limit di­alled in, nor­mal drops the speed limit and in­creases per­for­mance, whilst sport gives full per­for­mance with a de­creased range. You can also se­lect three lev­els of re­gen­er­a­tive brak­ing, 0ne is min­i­mal and three is strong and also ad­just the cli­mate sys­tem set­tings to con­serve power if re­quired. The only is­sue I had was that the sys­tem didn’t seem to re­tain your pref­er­ence for the next time (I set ECO for re­gen­er­a­tive brak­ing level three but it de­faults back to level one when turned off). I tended to use ECO for heavy traf­fic com­mut­ing and nor­mal for lighter traf­fic when you could use the per­for­mance. Sport was just for fun, the Ioniq def­i­nitely per­forms strongly in Sport mode. Whilst power at 88kw is sim­i­lar to say a typ­i­cal 1.6-litre car the mas­sive 295 Nm of torque is close to dou­ble a sim­i­lar size petrol ve­hi­cle and it shows. Charg­ing at home is sim­ple – just plug it in (af­ter a days use it showed be­tween 6 and 12 hours to charge), you may want the op­tional home charger ($1500 plus $1000 in­stal­la­tion) giv­ing four to five hours charg­ing time from empty. Apart from a slightly techy dash board the Ioniq feels like a nor­mal car, the first dis­con­nect is in start­ing – press the start but­ton and noth­ing hap­pens (ex­cept to dis­play) no starter – no noise, se­lect a gear (push but­tons for For­ward, re­verse and park), dis­en­gage elec­tric park brake and you move off – si­lently. There are no gears so driv­ing is sim­ply about ac­cel­er­ate, brake and steer, han­dling and road hold­ing seem nor­mal although if you have the lane as­sist on the steer­ing feels off strange on the mo­tor­way as it tries to out think you giv­ing it’s own in­puts – if you grip the wheel softly it will es­sen­tially self-steer round a mo­tor­way bend but if you try to take hands off it gives a warn­ing to put them back on even though it fol­lows the curve. The lane as­sist and au­ton­o­mous

emer­gency brak­ing are stan­dard on both the en­try model and the Elite, as are front and rear park­ing sen­sors and re­vers­ing cam­era, 8.5 inch screen with Ap­ple Carplay and An­droid Auto whilst the Elite gains leather seats with elec­tric ad­just­ment for the driver, heated steer­ing wheel, LED head­lights, wire­less phone charg­ing, key­less en­try and start and dual zone cli­mate con­trol. Boot space is lim­ited by the deeply slop­ing rear and if you want to carry nor­mal and fast charge ca­bles it is fur­ther re­duced. The Ioniq is sur­pris­ingly nor­mal, the only times you re­ally need to con­sider it is an EV is when you plug it in at night, when you want to head out of town and whn you don’t get a fuel bill at the end of the month.

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