Hyundai Ioniq Line



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Sunday February 12, 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Line This week I got an email from Hyundai saying that two of the models from the Ioniq line of cars was about to hit dealerships, and it could be as early as tomorrow.  I don't think their web developers got the same note because when I went to the Build screen on the Hyundai web site the Ioniq was not listed.


The Ioniq made its North American debut at the 2016 New York Auto Show.  There three flavors in the Ioniq line that are all built on the same body; hybrid, plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and electric.  What is set to begin selling is the hybrid and the electric versions with the plug-in hybrid expected to join its two siblings later this summer. 


While we don't have the actual EPA numbers for these cars yet, the hybrid is projected to offer a combined fuel economy rating of 58mpg which, if this holds up, is going to be better than the 56mpg EPA rating for the Prius Eco, the current most fuel efficient car on US roads.


The hybrid is driven by a 1.6 liter Atkinson-cycle motor coupled to a single electric motor via a 6 speed dual clutch transmission.  The Ioniq body is styled to look like a fairly standard 5-door similar to the Hyundai Elantra but still manages to offer up a coefficient of drag of just 0.24.


The Ioniq Electric will be driven by a 28 KWh lithium-ion battery that is expected to give the car an EPA rated range of 124 miles.  While this is pretty good when compared to the first generation electric cars like the Nissan Leaf and Fiat 500e, the range is not going to compete well with the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3, both of which are expected to get more than 200 miles on a charge.  To address this issue Hyundai has announced that the range will be extended to around 200 miles by 2018. 


The Ioniq Electric has a 6KW internal charger that can fully charge the battery in as little as 4 hours and 24 minutes when connected to a 220V level 2 charger.  The 110V charger that comes with the car will take around 23 hours to fully charge the car.  The Ioniq Electric will also come with a CCS DC charging option that can charge the car to 80% in as little as 24 minutes.  The car will also come with a paddle shifter that will allow the driver to select 4 different modes of regen.


The Ioniq PHEV will come with the same power train set-up as the hybrid but the battery pack will be much larger at 8.9 KWh.  This is expected to give the Ioniq PHEV an all electric range of about 31 miles.  This will make the Ioniq very competitive with the Prius Prime.


The biggest news on the Ioniq Electric and Ioniq PHEV is about the battery warranty.  One of the biggest questions that potential buyers ask is how long the battery will last and how much it will cost to replace.  Hyundai's answer to that question is to offer a lifetime warranty on the batteries.  If a battery module should fail on one of these vehicles it will be replaced under warranty for the lifetime of the vehicle.


I expect the Ioniq hybrid to sell very well given that it looks much more mainstream that the Prius liftback while offering as good as or better fuel economy.  The Ioniq electric is a different story though. While the Electric is technically supposed to be sold nationwide it is not going to be sold by every dealership.  I suspect that Hyundai is going to keep inventory at a level that constrains sales.


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