10 November 2016

Hyundai launches Ioniq EV here

Hyundai Ireland have launched their first electric car, the Ioniq, at a starting price of €28,495, writes Trish Whelan. A hybrid version of the car is on sale for €31,995. A plug-in hybrid is due in the spring.

The Ioniq's platform, which is shared with the Kia Niro, has been designed from the ground up to be powered by three different electrified drivetrains. Ioniq gives Hyundai its first entry into the green-car industry.

The hybrid comes with a normal grille while the EV version is distinguished by a solid front.

The hybrid operates with a 1.6 petrol engine and an electric motor giving a total output of 141hp. A 6-speed double-clutch automatic transmission is standard on hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants.

The electric motor is powered by a lithium-Ion polymer battery which can be partially recharged while on the move by the energy stored during braking.

The electric version has a claimed range of up to 280 kms with zero emissions. When the plug-in hybrid arrives, it will have a claimed electric only range of 31 kms.

In the line-up, the car sits in size between the i30 and i40.

Features include selectable drive modes, seven airbags, large touch screen, Android apps and Apple CarPlay, along with wireless phone charging.

Other features include a suite of safety measures for lane keeping, automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. Among the unusual items is a facility for owners to preschedule a time for the car to be heated before they leave their home in the morning.

I got to drive the electric version yesterday having been first put through the technicalities involved by their technology expert. After a few minutes, I was out on the road enjoying the whole experience.

The dash is logical and smart looking and you'll find your way around the various controls quite easily. The battery is located under the rear passenger seat.

Hyundai Ireland MD Stephen Gleeson (pictured below) said they have received 'a very strong reaction from real consumers that this is a car they would like to drive'. He said the biggest fear people have about electric cars is range anxiety and the Ioniq's range is the greatest in the segment available in Ireland.

While the Nissan Leaf is the dominant player in the pure electric segment, a number of makers including Toyota with its break-through Prius are now in the hybrid space.

The distributor hopes to sell 1,000 Ioniqs next year, depending on availability. One-third of those sales are anticipated to be of the electric version.

There is a 5-year unlimited warranty on the car and an 8-year 200,000km separate warranty on the battery.