My Hyundai Ioniq Electric Elite arrived on the 28th of December 2018 and in the month of ownership, I’ve driven over 3,500km. As the first person many people know to own an electric car, I’ve been bombarded with questions about it. Now that I’m familiar with the car, here’s answers to the most common queries I’ve received!
How much does the Ioniq Electric cost?
I paid $49,347 in Victoria for the Elite variant. You can get an exact drive-away price for your choice of options, state and postcode on Hyundai’s website. Keep in mind that only “Blue Drive” Hyundai dealers are selling the Ioniq, so if you’re interested in a test drive or buying one, don’t waste your time by going to a non-Blue Drive dealer.
How far can the Ioniq Electric drive until the battery runs out?
Hyundai claim 230km, which is very achievable if you’re in urban stop-start style traffic, with the air conditioner off. Highway driving with the air conditioner on, I’ve found 200km is more realistic. Drive like a hoon in Sport mode (which I admit, is fun!), you’ll get around 190-180km range. I base all my trips on having a minimum of 200km range, which has been perfect for 95% of my needs (more on that 5% later).
How do you charge it and how long does it take?
As is stated in the car’s user manual, there’s three types of charging:
This is the slowest way to charge, but also the easiest. Just plug the included charger into any old domestic power point and you’ll charge at ~2.4kW per hour. With the Ioniq’s 28kW battery, that’s roughly 12 hours to go from completely flat to 100% or about 16km of range for every hour plugged in.
With a dedicated charging station at home or at some shops, you can charge the Ioniq at a maximum of 7.2kW per hour. This results in a 4 hour charge from 0% to 100% or around 50km range for every hour plugged in.
Fast ChargeThere aren’t many of these around Victoria yet so I haven’t used one, but most rapid fast charging stations operate at around 50kW, which means the Ioniq will go from 0% to 100% in about 30 minutes, or 10% to 80% in just 15 minutes.
Where can I charge?
The Ioniq has what’s known as a CCS2 plug for fast charging and a “Type 2”, “Mennekes” or “European” plug for normal charging (I just call it a Type 2 plug), so any charging station with those connectors will let you charge without any additional equipment.
PlugShare is a great user generated map of chargers available. Practically every charger open to the public is on PlugShare. As of late-Jan 2019, there’s only 24 operational Type 2 chargers in Victoria and only 3 fast chargers (Swinburne Uni, Monash Uni and Euroa).
States like QLD, NSW and WA have much wider fast charging networks!
However, you can also use Type 1 charging stations with a “cheap” adapter. This adapter is $269 and compact enough to keep in the car without taking up much space. Having one handy greatly expands the amount of chargers you can use. By getting a Type 1 to Type 2 adaptor, you’re able to use an additional 48 chargers, bringing the total to around 80 across Victoria.
The other thing to be aware of is that there’s an increasing trend of Type 2 chargers that lack a cable (the providers reckon the cables get damaged too easily and are too expensive to keep replacing), so you may find yourself at a charger without a cable!
A 5m cable is $329 from Evolution. I haven’t purchased one as I haven’t found myself with the need to use a public charger yet, but it seems likely I’ll get one in the near future if I want to do longer trips.
Can I use Tesla chargers on the Ioniq?
I get this question the most! The answer is – kinda.
Superchargers, no, nobody can use that except Tesla owners. The plug won’t even fit into any other car and no adapters exist. This might be changing soon (the Model 3 will have the same CCS2 plug as the Ioniq), but it depends on Tesla and other manufacturers coming to an agreement over sharing costs, which seems unlikely.
Destination chargers however (the smaller, slower units you see at shops, cafes, restaurants, hotels, etc.) do kinda work with the Ioniq. They’ve all got Type 2 plugs so they’ll physically fit in the Ioniq, but it’s not always guaranteed to work due to Tesla’s chargers not having a standard handshake to initiate charging. From other EV owner reports, it’s a crapshoot if the charge will work or not.
Evolution sells adaptors that enables a reliable connection at every Tesla destination charger, but you’ll also need to purchase a portable EV charger to go with it. I’ve got a seperate article coming up about using Tesla destination chargers as a non-Tesla owner, as it’s a pretty long winded explanation.
How much does it cost to charge?
If charging at home, it depends what you pay for electricity. I pay a flat rate of 18.634c/kWh, so to do a full 0-100% charge (which I’ve never done, the lowest I’ve come home with is ~25%), would cost me $5.22. You could save even more if you went on a special off-peak tariff and only charged at night or something, but I prefer the simplicity of an always low any time tariff.
At 18.634c/kWh to charge, the Ioniq costs 2.61c/km to fuel. If I had a Corolla Hybrid, it would cost me 7c/km ($1.40/L for fuel, 5L/100km fuel economy). Over my usual 30,000km annual travel, that’s only $783 a year versus $2,100 of petrol for a hybrid.
I also have solar power at home and got a special charger installed that can trickle charge my car using only the excess solar energy my rooftop panels generate that the house isn’t using. I’ve got a separate article coming about the Zappi charger and my experience with using it on 3-phase power.
Reckon I need to get a charger at home if I got an EV?
It really depends on your driving habits. If you don’t plan on doing frequent long trips back to back, then there’s a good chance you can get away without needing one. The included charger that comes with the Ioniq is free and can charge the car overnight off just a normal household power outlet. If you mainly do a daily commute from work and back, or lots of short errands during the day, you might be able to get away with out dropping the cash for a dedicated EV charger.
How much does a home charger cost to get installed?
Another one of those “it depends” questions. The most straightforward type of install is a modern home with an attached garage. I paid $1099 for the Zappi charger and $850 for the electrician Evolution arranged to install it.
Do I need 3-phase power to charge the car?
Nope, not at all. The Ioniq has a maximum charge rate of 7.2kW, so a normal single phase 32A circuit is fine and that’s what I have in my switchboard (yeah I know the switchboard is dirty!).
How much does it cost to service?
$160 every 15,000km or 12 months. Every service interval is the same. Here’s the service schedule from the Ioniq’s manual. Not much going on! It’s a good idea to get it serviced by Hyundai as for that $160 you also get an extra year of roadside assistance plus it keeps the remote capabilities of the AutoLink service active.
What’s it like to drive?
The interior is basically like every other modern Hyundai like the i30 or Kona. Nothing fancy, but very practical. It’s got push-button start, so you place your foot on the brake, press the Start button, put it in D, push the accelerator and off you go. It works just like any other car you’ve used before.
All the fancy features like radar cruise, active lane keep assist, auto wipers & headlights, auto hold, CarPlay, AutoLink Premium and so on are all on ICE cars, so that’s not really anything amazing. The improvements, to me, are quite subtle versus a modern ICE car, but very noticeable once you go back to an ICE.
The biggest difference is the lack of instant power in an ICE versus an EV. The Ioniq’s acceleration isn’t balls to the wall amazing versus a performance car, but what I love the most is that the performance is available at any speed. I can be doing 100km/h on the freeway, punch the accelerator to go to 110km/h or to overtake and the acceleration is basically the same as if I was in first gear on an ICE car. The most succinct way to put it is a lack of lag. Throttle response is instant and it’s only something you realise and miss when going back to an ICE vehicle.
Regenerative braking is fantastic and another thing I miss when driving an ICE car. This feature puts the energy that would otherwise be dissipated as heat when you use your brakes, into your battery! It’s not unusual for me to travel over 10km downhill and use only 1-2km of range. You just lift your foot off the accelerator and the car slows down rapidly. It’s weird at first, but after a few days you get used to it and can drive with practically one pedal, hardly ever touching the mechanical brakes. Bosch has a video explaining how it all works.
There’s also so little noise and vibration in the Ioniq. At first I took it for granted, but driving an ICE car again (my Dad’s Hyundai i40, which is pretty smooth in the first place), feels like driving a tractor. There is a downside however, as at low speeds I can hear a few annoying creaks from the interior trim and maybe something rattling in the boot that in an ICE would probably go unnoticed under the engine noise.
For an overall review of the car’s features and stuff, there’s much better opinions from YouTubers:
What don’t you like about the car?
AutoLink is the smartphone app that lets you control it remotely via an OBD dongle with a built-in 4G SIM. It’s kind of an afterthought and could be way more useful than it actually is.
Top of that list is a lot more info regarding battery status. AutoLink has so many peculiarities, that it deserves its own article. That’ll be coming soon to Drive Zero!
Range is also kinda annoying. I knew about the 200km range going into it, and it hasn’t been an issue for 95% of my use, but there’s already been one instance where I wanted to go to Lorne over the New Year break, but couldn’t because it’s 130km there and 130km back. I could charge whilst in Lorne at the visitor’s centre (if it isn’t being hogged by someone else or a petrol car driver parked there) for ~2hrs to make the return trip, but then I wouldn’t be able to drive around Lorne site-seeing as the car would be stuck charging. I’d be relegated to foot travel only.
I also had to charge up at my parents place with the slow charger for about 90 minutes during a day I had lots of errands to run in Melbourne. It wasn’t a big deal (just plugged the car in their garage while I visited them for lunch as I planned to anyways), but if I had just a little more range, like 250km instead of 200km, I wouldn’t have needed to do that.
If there was more DC fast charging infrastructure around (i.e: a single unit in Geelong for my trip to Lorne, or a single unit somewhere along the M80 or M8 freeways for my Melbourne errands), range wouldn’t been an issue at all. A quick 10 minute charge and I’d have plenty of battery to go where I needed to go.
Other miscellaneous Hyundai Ioniq things nobody asked about but you may find interesting
The AutoLink app can turn on the heating and cooling remotely, which I thought would be kinda handy to use on a hot day so when I return to a car that’s been sitting in the sun, the AC can run for 10 minutes or so before I jump in. I tried it out in my garage and here’s a video:
The hazards blink while the AC is in operation and the AC itself sounds pretty loud. If you saw this in a car park, you’d think something is wrong! Not sure if I’d use this feature at the shops to be honest, could freak some people out and I’ll hear my license plate number getting called out over the PA.
There’s a QR code sticker on the window that says “DO NOT REMOVE”, so naturally I scanned it and found that it’s a link to a PDF containing instructions for emergency responders on what to do if the Ioniq or Kona EV is in an accident. Here’s a link to the PDFs so you can see for yourself. Basically outlines how to cut into it without electrocuting yourself.
If I leave the Ioniq sitting in the garage for a day or two, when I start the car a notice pops up on the dashboard saying the Auxiliary Battery Saver was turned on. It’ll top up the 12V battery with power from the High Voltage battery so the 12V battery doesn’t go flat. The 12V battery does everything you expect in an ICE car (lights, radio, onboard computer, etc.), leaving the high voltage battery (aka the “traction battery”) just to drive the car.
At low speed (under 20km/h) the Ioniq makes a weird whirring noise like a UFO to warn pedestrians a car is coming. In other countries this feature (VESS) can be turned on or off, but not in Australia – it’s permanently enabled. Here’s a video of it in action:
And finally, to round things out here’s a picture of what’s under the bonnet. No frunk in the Ioniq as even though the car is designed from the ground up to be electric, it’s a shared platform with a hybrid and plug-in hybrid.
If you have any other questions about the Ioniq EV you’d rather ask an owner than a salesperson, feel free to leave a comment on this post and I will respond!