With every passing year, the inevitability of automotive electrification becomes more and more certain. No longer just whimsical sci-fi tech, the electric car has donned the draperies of traditional automobiles and is out to woo mainstream audiences. The 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric is the latest car to pursue tomorrow's mobility, is hoping to find electrified success with the unassuming styling and wallet-friendly price tag.
What's New for 2018
The Ioniq Electric is now available in just two trims, Electric and Limited.
Choosing Your Hyundai Ioniq Electric
While Hyundai also sells a hybrid and plug-in hybrid version of the Ioniq, this article will focus on the electrified model. It should also be noted that as of this writing the Ioniq Electric is only available in California; for those who don't hail from the Golden Coast, the hybrid iterations of the Ioniq must suffice.
The primary selling point of the Ioniq Electric is, well, the electric powertrain. Specifically, the Ioniq uses a 28 kWh lithium-ion battery that runs an 88 kW electric motor, a combination that manages to provide up to 124 miles of driving range. In more familiar power ratings, the Ioniq makes 118 horsepower and 218 lb-ft of torque. The car also uses a single-speed reduction-gear transmission; because of the wide power band of electrified powertrains, a multi-cog gearbox is rendered unnecessary. Overall efficiency is rated at 136 MPGe, which Hyundai claims is the highest rating of any electric car on the market.
Of course, going electric has drawbacks - no one wants to be stranded somewhere waiting for batteries to charge up. To alleviate this possibility, the Ioniq comes standard with level-3 fast-charging ability. In just 23 minutes, the battery can be brought up from fully depleted to an 80% charge when hooked up to the appropriate charger. If speedy re-juicing isn't necessary, the Ioniq can also be plugged into a household outlet, ideal for overnight at-home charging.
A classic electric car trick that the Ioniq employs is regenerative braking - lifting off the accelerator pedal causes the electric motor to spin backwards, which simultaneously slows down the car and recharges the battery. It substantially diminishes the need to tap the brakes every time there's a desire to scrub off a little speed, though stomping the left pedal most definitely remains a necessity, especially in any kind of serious stopping attempt. In the Ioniq, drivers can adjust the regenerative braking force through steering-column control paddles.
Differentiating the Ioniq Electric from the Ioniq Hybrid is the grille - or rather, the sleek bit of gloss black plastic that stands in for a grille, as no fresh-air cooling is necessary for the electric powertrain. There's also Xenon headlights and LED taillights, and 16-inch wheels that are unique to the electrified Ioniq.
While not factored into the base prices mentioned below, the zero-emission nature of the Ioniq Electric does qualify it for a $7,500 federal tax credit.
It may seem like a lot of cash to lay out on a compact, but in typical Hyundai fashion the Limited really is the best value of the two choices here. With the suite of active safety features, the additional technology, and the heaping of extra creature comforts, the baubles of the Limited will help ensure no one mistakes your Ioniq for an eerily-silent Elantra.