Armando Varela / Courtesy
With the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, the Korean manufacturer puts its grain of sand in the future of a market of wide potential.
The 2020 model we tested offers about 134 miles of autonomy, which is not a very competitive bet in an environment where load anxiety – as drivers’ nerves are called to fear of running out of the ‘juice’ that drives them – It is a determining factor today. Similar vehicles offer about 100 more miles.
This Ioniq is a 100% electric car (there is another hybrid version) that can be recharged during its operation thanks to tabs under the helm. This option generates energy in the descents and avoids spending load while regenerating. However, despite having several levels of recharging, its final effect on the total autonomy of the car is not very large. In other words, when you run out of charge, you got into trouble.
In a regular plug, like that of any house, it takes about 22 hours to achieve the full level of charge and in a larger capacity public charger, about 4 hours in total.
The model we drive has luxuries such as heated chairs, proximity entry key that lets you open it when you approach with the control in your pocket and a generous space both front and back, but its exterior line has a lot of plastic in the finishes, what that takes away some of the appeal that gives it a compact design.
Its controls are a digital and tactile mix that allows you to drive from the cabin climate to entertainment options, as well as control energy expenditure or regeneration.
It comes with blind spot monitor, lane assistant, traction control, automatic braking and intelligent navigation control, among others and being an electric car responds quite well to the acceleration pedal, which makes it very fun.
But driving an electric is not for everyone, or at least not yet. It requires discipline and organization to leave the car charging at night, every night, or luck in working for a company (government or university) that has chargers in the parking lot and allows you to connect it during the workday.
There is also the option to use it as a transport car between the house and the train station and leave it charging while doing the ‘commute’ to the workplace. In this case, an eventual saving of gasoline is left in the pocket of the train company, since it is not really used as a car for employment.
In addition, the loading speed is still not even comparable to the five minutes it takes one in one of the hundreds of any gas stations, which are in every city in the world.
With the Ioniq everything happened to us: from suffering because the car was going to run out of energy, until we were charging it at 12 at night in a public parking lot for hours. Of course, for a fraction of what it costs to fill a gas tank.
The system is still experimental and in one of the stations an operator helped us by authorizing the load; it will be necessary to see if with the massification of the system the service stops being personalized. California, where we conducted the test, is perhaps one of the most populous states by these service stations and that is another factor that must be taken into account.
There are still many questions and whoever wants to drive an electric car must have an open mind to face situations that are not the most common. But it is a technology whose future is very encouraging for the benefit, not only of the planet, but of its own users via lower mobilization costs.
Its price starts at $ 33,000 and the model we tested reaches up to $ 38,000, which seems quite enough, given its range.