When the Hyundai Ioniq Electrical went on sale early final yr, it supplied one the trade’s most compelling set of EV options: 124 miles of vary, a worth beneath $30,000, and much more passenger and cargo room than the Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf, or Chevy Volt. In an indication that EV expertise is transferring at warp pace, that’s not almost sufficient—simply 18 months later.
“It will likely be a pleasant enchancment however not just like the Kona’s vary,” stated Hyundai’s Castillo.
So Hyundai is planning to extend the scale of the Ioniq Electrical’s battery pack subsequent yr, almost definitely with the 2020 mannequin. “The Ioniq’s vary will enhance on the model-year change. It would get larger,” stated Gil Castillo, Hyundai’s senior group supervisor for various automobile technique, throughout our drive of the 258-mile Kona Electrical final week.
“It will likely be a pleasant enchancment however not just like the Kona’s vary,” stated Castillo.
As we mentioned in our first drive of the Kona EV, new EVs want two traits to be viable: greater than 200 miles of vary and a crossover physique model.
Living proof: The Kia Niro plug-in hybrid, a small crossover, prices $2,000 extra and is much less environment friendly than the compact Ioniq PHEV. The plug-in Niro provides 26 miles of all-electric vary in comparison with the Ioniq’s 29 miles. On the identical time, the Niro’s 105 MPGe is handily beat by the Ioniq’s 119 MPGe.
“It doesn’t matter that the Ioniq has higher gas economic system,” stated Castillo. “That doesn’t matter as a lot because the physique model, which is a lot extra necessary.” Regardless of its superlatives, Hyundai Ioniq plug-in hybrid gross sales this yr are half as a lot as Kia sale of the Niro PHEV.
Even with a lift in battery dimension, the Ioniq Electrical compact will battle to get observed at Hyundai dealership, when it’s sitting subsequent to the 258-mile Kona EV crossover sport utility. That’s the case although the Kona is transformed from a gas-powered automobile and the Ioniq is a purpose-built electrified platform. (The Kona EV will not be on sale but, however Hyundai has managed solely 266 gross sales of the Ioniq Electrical to this point in 2018.)
Now that we all know the Ioniq’s battery pack will get larger subsequent yr, the query turns into how huge? Previously couple of years, we noticed Ford Focus Electrical, Volkswagen E-Golf, and BMW i3 get model-year vary upgrades of between 40 and 51 %. A 50-percent improve within the Ioniq Electrical’s vary would convey it to 186 miles.