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Hyundai Ioniq EV – Australian Owner First Month Review

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:

Trickle Charge

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.

Normal Charge

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).

Fast chargers in VIC

States like QLD, NSW and WA have much wider fast charging networks!

Type 1 and Type 2 chargers in VIC

Type 2 chargers in VIC

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, thatΒ 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!

Anthony also produces The Sizzle - a daily email newsletter covering all aspects of technology with an Australian point of view.

52 Comments

  1. Great article. Much appreciated.
    I am an eager EVBuyer and am awaiting the Kona EV release in Australia later this year, before taking the plunge. The range of 470km (400 real) is my reason. As your article addressed this issue very well, it is is appreciated.
    Also planning additional solar, battery home infrastructure to support the EV.

    1. The Kona EV will be great. I just hope they can get it in at an affordable price. The Ioniq was a big stretch for me in terms of up front cost (never spent more than $20,000 on a car before!) and the Kona will likely sell for around $60,000 here. I don’t think I can afford that much for a car unfortunately. I might be tempted by that extra range though!

  2. Yes nice article on the Ioniq Electric. Mine is on order with delivery early March.
    I’m getting the Elite in White. I just know my wife is going to commandeer it.

      1. Gave it a shot, holding down the cruise button on the steering wheel for 3 seconds does nothing. As far as I’m aware, the only way to change between normal cruise and smart cruise is to go into the car’s settings and turn it off or on as needed. To be honest, I don’t know why you’d want to use normal cruise, radar cruise is awesome.

      2. Hey Anthony and all,

        This cruise button does indeed work to turn off and on the Smart Cruise Control (SCC), you simply need Cruise to be completely OFF when you hold the button. The vehicle mustn’t be able to toggle smart and normal Cruise Control (CC) while the Cruise system is on.

        I’ve used this a handful of times to play with standard cruise control as the smart can be a bit temperamental when a car leaves your lane, and a stationary car is in front of them, sending the ioniq rocketing forward at whatever speed you’re set at. I am frequently coming up to a red light out on Beckett Road in McDowall in the morning, set at 70km/h and this happens. It’s not fun to feel the extra power delivered to the electric motor as it tries to go 70km/h with a car stopped in front of you! But it’s not autopilot after all. Driver attention is definitely required.

        This all said, it hasn’t stopped me using SCC every single day on every drive.

  3. Great review Anthony, thanks. The type 2 to type 1 adaptor illustrated is an item I have not seen before . Is it available from EVolution or did you obtain it elsewhere?

    Cheers. Gary

    1. Evolution sell an adapter: https://www.evolutionaustralia.com.au/product-page/j1772-to-renault-ioniq-bmw-mennekes-converter-adaptor-cable-1m

      But I prefer the little stubby adapter from EVSE: https://www.evse.com.au/type1-type-2-adapter.html

      The Evolution adapter is handy as it adds an extra 1m of cable length – useful if you can’t get close enough to the charger for the cable to reach! But the EVSE adapter is more portable, takes up less space in the car and looks a bit neater when plugged in. Both do the same job, just a matter of personal preference.

      1. Thanks for the review. Was trying to find something in Aus. I have seen these stub adapters advertised, but thought they were only for Teslas. Do they work from type1 charger to Ioniq type2 plug?

  4. Great post. Interesting to see the subtle differences between Oz and UK. Looking at the number of rapid chargers you get there, you certainly are a pioneer. Hopefully numbers will increase soon.

    I’m surprised the car does not get supplied with a type 2 cable. this is standard issue with the car in the UK.

    As for the app and the “afterthought”. Be grateful, the UK have no app. this is probably the biggest niggle most Poms have although it’s not big enough to tarnish what is an excellent car. I really do hope that they make this a retrospective option in the UK and seeing your OBD dongle gives us hope that it’s possible.

    Agree on the regen braking too. Probably the most noticeable things when going back to driving an ICE; normally at the point when you take your foot off the gas and continue to head towards the car in front!

    Tesla destination chargers. There are two types in the UK, I suspect the same down under. One with a red sign and white test and the other with a white sign and red text. One the non Tesla plebs can use; I believe it’s the latter but I’m not quite certain. Google will know I’m sure.

    Enjoy the car. It’s super. I happened to drive it to the “turtle” mode the other day. “—” on the GOM. The range prediction is amazingly accurate is all I can say.

  5. Hi Anthony. Great article. Two questions:

    Do you know if the Ioniq comes in a model with a petrol powered range extender motor?
    I also have solar panels. I hear that it may be possible in the future to have a car battery act as a home battery as well. Do you know if this is a car technology matter or home wiring?

    Cheers Amir

    1. There’s three versions of the Ioniq: hybrid, plug-in hybrid and full electric. The hybrid & plug-in hybrid have petrol motors. In the hybrid, the petrol motor runs all the time and charges the little battery. With the plug-in hybrid, it operates more like a range extender. The battery has ~60km range, but then the petrol motor can take over if the battery is depleted.

      Using the car as a battery for your home is a very interesting technology. This is called Vehicle-to-Home or Vehicle-to-Grid. Both the car needs to support V2G/V2H and your house also needs to be wired up to support it (i.e: a fancy rectifier). The only car that can do this right now is the Nissan LEAF. Even if you had a car with V2G capability, the required home unit to transfer power from the car to the home and vice-versa is unavailable in Australia. Over in NZ it’s kinda available if you’re part of a test program. Here’s an example that costs ~NZD$26,000 to install and will be available some time in early 2019: http://www.v2h.co.nz/vehicle-2-home/

      1. Great article, very helpful and sensible comment thread too.

        With a large battery in the car, using it to power the house overnight is dead obvious. But the cost of the install is enough for two tesla powerwall units.

        This is key technology to my mind, not to exist without the grid, but to go renewable in concert with the grid. Its a concept that’s been around a long time – hopefully its time is near.

  6. Great article Anthony, are you based in geelong? There’s an EV group of enthusiasts in Geelong (Renew EV Geelong branch) would love to take a look at your Ioniq. Meetings are First Friday’s of month, let me know if interested.

  7. EV amateur car converters have been around for a long time in NSW. One told me that they defeated range anxiety by having a small petrol generator in the boot and running the car with the boot partly open if required. Can you charge the IONIQ while in motion?

  8. Me again. I just test drove the latest model, but I note that yours is a 20 kWh battery and you still get about 200 km out of it with careful driving.
    You think you would get close to 350 the 40kWh model that I drove but they do not advertise that. You have to allow for the extra mass of the larger battery.

    You mention the air conditioning, but surely the number of passengers must be a more important factor. The average is considered 60kg but many males are more like 100 kg. The salesman said the number of passengers make little difference but I do not believe that.

    With regard to the generator in the boot, even if you have to stop to generate it is better than being towed. I note that even heavy 80kg 3 phase generators would charge to full capacity in about 4-6 hours (40 kWh), and their mass is less than me alone!

    1. There’s some wild things going on in this comment I can’t ignore!

      First of all, 20kwh and 40kwh – are you sure you’re talking about the Hyundai Ioniq here and not some other EV? The Ioniq only has a single battery size – 28kWh.

      And an 8kw 3-phase generator will absolutely not fit in the boot of an Ioniq or any passenger car (maybe an SUV, with no luggage?), would it?

    2. Last year we did a 400 mile trip on holiday and the boot was jammed packed. I can’t say I noticed range being affected adversely.

      As for the “generator in the boot” idea. Just no! πŸ™‚

  9. Forgot to say: I have been seated in nearly all models of all Asian cars and at 6’4″ I do not fit. My knees around the steering wheel. Even large SUV’s. No trouble in the tiniest Europeans, even Fiat 500. To my great disappointment, they sat me in an Ioniq hybrid, and I did not fit at all. So the salesman said let us try the pure electric anyway. It was a dream come through. This is the most comfortable driving position of any car, any make I have ever tried, and still room in the back behind me for a passenger.

  10. Thanks for a great article, I am so tempted but might wait for the VW ID due here in a couple of years (hopefully) – could be both cheaper and have a bigger range. Anyone else wondering whether to jump now or hold on for more choice and maybe better price in a couple of years?

    1. I’ve been in that same decision paralysis for a while. I just took a punt, got the Ioniq and will enjoy it for a year or two then sell it when the VW ID comes out in Australia (likely mid-2020).

      1. I have to say Anthony that I agree with you. We deliberated and researched for over a year before going with the IONIQ and are not disappointed but the initial reports of the VW ID look great. This could be our next EV! Clearly VW are throwing everything at EVs in an attempt to redeem themselves from the DieselGate scandal.
        https://youtu.be/q2Tqw9LX3QE

  11. Great post, well done.
    Just one question.
    Does your type 1 to type 2 barrel converter put undue stress on the car socket because of extra leverage, or do you think it’s OK?
    Thanks Roger, soon to be Ioniq EV owner

    1. Nah it doesn’t add any stress on the car’s charging socket. The adapter locks in pretty snugly and the socket is bolted on so there’s no wobbling of the housing.

  12. Hey Anthony – the whole Ioniq community is currently turning the head towards you.

    That adapter – officially supported only by kona (non ev) and I30 you have installed was never been seen anywhere in the world.

    Please make a video or some words on it – we are looking for such a device for so long now. I’m driving mine for 22.000km now and I love that car – but the lack of connectivity is a shame these days.

    Please report back

    1. +1 to what NatroN says.

      The lack of connectivity in Europe is a small blight on what is a super car. What Hyundai have done down under gives some hope.

  13. Thanks for an excellent review. I’ve decided to place an order – the car seems pretty good, and seems to have been tweaked a lot since its original release in 2016/17. My main reservation was the imminent release of the new/facelift model due in Europe in June (for HEV and PHEV) and September (for BEV). Most of the changes are cosmetic: they’ve retained the same shell with its drag coefficient of 2.4, although there are a few minor external styling changes. The main changes appear to be internal redesign. Thing that made me hesitate in placing an order was that the BEV is proposed to have a bigger battery (reviewers seem to think it will be the 38kWh battery used in the smaller Kona which would move the range from 200 to 300 km). But have decided I can live with current range; plus I suspect a right-hand drive facelift version is no doubt a couple of years away.

  14. Hi A, can you comment on the OEM tyres, are they run flat or low rolling resistance or both?

    My previous comment on the Radar Cruise was prompted by an acquaintance bemoaning the fact the gap is too much in his Merc and people just jump in there.

    I live in Queensland though!

  15. Hi Anthony
    I just got my Ioniq Elite EV last week and love it, I was a mechanic for 40 years and will never go back to petrol, I use my solar to charge and getting dedicated charger this week, also just used Nrma charger today but all other chargers are type 1 so will get your adapter, also are their many chargers around for the $329 Evolution cable?? And yes more range would be great but what a game changer this car is, very happy with it and thank for great site
    Cheers
    Andrew
    Sydney

  16. We ordered our Ioniq EV today after doing lots of research and have to wait 6 weeks for it to come to Hobart πŸ™ Your article is great and gives us more ideas of ways to adapt to our first EV. Thankyou.

  17. Hi Anthony
    I was surprised (in a positive way) to read your view that your Ioniq might achieve 200km range on the highway with the air conditioner on.

    There is a UK-based ‘ev database’ website that has much more conservative figures – 135km highway ‘cold weather’ (with air conditioner providing heat) and 180km ‘mild weather’ (no air conditioning.)

    I live in Maitland, NSW, 155km from Sydney. Occasionally I need to drive to Sydney, where I could plug in to a charger. Your range figure would work for that trip, ev database’s wouldn’t.

    Have you any further experience that can help me assess the suitability of the Ioniq for my needs?

    Thanks for the article – great detail.

    1. I usually average around 7-8km/kWh on the highway at 110km/h. Ioniq has a 28kWh battery, so 200km range is what I’d plan around if I was making a trip. However, the terrain and conditions (wind, rain, cold/heat) make a big difference.

      155km one way isn’t a problem in the Ioniq regardless of terrain and conditions really, as long as you’ve got somewhere to charge up for the return trip!

  18. I got the type 1 to type 2 adaptor from Alibaba and the cost was just $110 delivered, not all Tesla destination chargers work with the Ioniq, but most do, use plugshare for information, beware of hills, they suck more energy than you think, we live 620m above sea level, going to Melbourne takes around 20% battery, but coming home takes 50%+ battery, If you are retired or only work a couple of days a week, you really dont need any other charger than the one supplied. We bought a type 2/ type 2 extension charger as some chargers require you supply your own lead. Also RTFM, read the manual, dont assume. The app actually works even giving you charging info, just make sure you shut it down completely or restart your phone for more updated info.

  19. Awesome review Tony. It provided important information to me to make a decision in favour of Hyundai Ioniq latest model instead of Nissan Leaf. I placed my order for EV elite yesterday in Perth.

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