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  • 2021 Hyundai Ioniq Electric Overview

    Anthony Sophinos
    Automotive Editor - May 20, 2021

    What's New

    With the electric car floodgates all but officially open, every automaker is vying for a slice of the zero-emissions pie - and get a head start on the next chapter of automotive history. Hyundai is no exception: their Ioniq Electric hatchback is out to prove that affordable, everyday EV transportation is already a viable choice for consumers hesitant to ditch the gas station for good.

    For 2021, the Ioniq Electric sees few equipment changes outside of standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. On the color palette, Amazon Gray replaces Summit Gray. As before, the EV is only sold in California and the following CARB emissions states: New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, Washington, Maine, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Mexico.

    Choosing Your Hyundai Ioniq Electric

    While the Ioniq is available as a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or all-electric, we're focusing this article on the electrified model. The Ioniq Hybrid and Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid will be covered separately.

    Only two trims are available on the Ioniq EV: the base SE and the fancier Limited. Prices begin at $34,250 for an SE and rise to $39,820 for a Limited. The Ioniq Electric is eligible for up to a $7,500 federal tax credit, plus state incentives like the $2,000 California Clean Vehicle Rebate and $1,500 Clean Fuel Reward.

    Engine Choices

    The electrified Ioniq features a single electric motor putting out 100 kilowatts, or 134 horsepower and 218 lb-ft of torque. It gets its juice from a 38 kWh lithium-ion battery and sends its power to the front wheels. As is typical of electric vehicles, a single-speed transmission is the only gearbox.

    The EPA rates the Ioniq at 145 MPGe city, 121 MPGe highway, and 133 MPGe combined; these are among some of the highest EPA ratings of any electric. However, its total range is only about 170 miles - 100 miles less than a similarly-priced Chevrolet Bolt. Even the Niro EV - a similarly-priced electric from sister-brand Kia - can manage 239 miles on a charge.

    To improve the charging experience, Hyundai makes DC fast-charging capability standard; it allows the Ioniq to regain 80 percent of the battery charge in 54 minutes. With more common 240-volt charging, it takes about six hours to regain a full charge.

    Passenger and Cargo Capacity

    The four-door Ioniq hatchback comfortably holds five people and provides them with 94 cubic feet of passenger stretch-out volume. Cargo space is a plentiful 23 cubic feet with the rear seats in place; Hyundai is mum on what cargo space measures out to with the seats folded.

    Safety Features

    The Ioniq gets standard automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, lane-follow assist, driver attention warning, high-beam assist, and adaptive cruise control. The only optional feature is blind-spot monitoring, which comes standard on the Limited.

    The government and IIHS haven't rated the Ioniq Electric for crashworthiness. That said, the IIHS did manage to test the hybrid variant and were impressed, calling it a Top Safety Pick.

    Connectivity

    The standard infotainment system is an 8.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also gets HD Radio - another first for 2021 - and Bluetooth. Limited models ditch this system in favor of a 10.25-inch touchscreen with SiriusXM radio and navigation but no wireless smartphone connectivity - this software requires plugging into one of the two USB ports in order to use CarPlay.

    Ioniq Electric SE - From $34,250

    Standard equipment on the base SE includes cloth upholstery, manually adjustable front seats, a sunroof, single-zone automatic climate control, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

    In the dash, there's a seven-inch digital gauge cluster as well as a 4.2-inch display that shows trip and vehicle information. The exterior features 16-inch wheels, door handle welcome lights, and power mirrors that fold manually.

    There are no option packages on the SE.

    Ioniq Electric Limited - From $39,820

    Moving into the Limited brings a slew of upgrades, among them leather upholstery, heated front seats, eight-speaker Harmon-Kardon audio, a ten-way power driver's seat, and chrome door handles. Again, there are no options.

    Compare Ioniq Electric Trims Side-By-Side

    CarsDirect Tip

    We'd probably stick with the SE, as it presents significant cost savings over the Limited. Use the money saved to invest in a 240V wall charger so you can enjoy six-hour charging times. If you think 120V charging will be fine, think again - Hyundai estimates a full 35 hours for a full recharge when plugged into a standard wall outlet.

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    Hyundai Ioniq Electric By Year