If you’re surveying the electric vehicle landscape in America at this very moment in history, your options boil down to the Volkswagen ID.4, the Mustang Mach-E, four different Teslas, the Chevy Bolt, the Nissan Leaf, the Kona Electric, the Porsche Taycan, the Jaguar I-Pace, the Polestar 2, the Audi E-Tron, the Volvo XC40 Recharge, the Mini Electric, Kia Niro EV, BMW i3, and the Hyundai Ioniq Electric. Ask yourself: Is there a single car on that list that is both desirable and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? Reader, I submit that there is not. Enter the Hyundai Ioniq 5.
We first saw the Ioniq 5 in February, and I remember thinking that it was a looker then; on Monday, Hyundai released more details about what the Ioniq 5 will be for the American market. In my mind, it is sounding better and better. The range is targeted at up to 300 miles, which is enough. Buyers will get two years of free charging at Electrify America stations, which is good. There will be a subscription model offered. None of these are killer features, but the non-Tesla, non-Polestar field is just that weak here for EVs; for the Ioniq 5 to be better than the Bolt or ID.4 it wouldn’t take much.
Hyundai did not release pricing but I would expect the Ioniq 5 to be around $35,000 to $40,000, given that that is how much Hyundai’s EVs currently cost. That is too much money, but Hyundais are still eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit here and it’s possible that the Ioniq 5 won’t cost that much, if Hyundai is really interested in shaking things up. An affordable EV that looks good and isn’t too big? Could we be so lucky?
“IONIQ 5 introduces the Hyundai brand to a whole new set of buyers,” José Muñoz, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America said in a news release. “Once behind the steering wheel, they are going to be shocked by the range, power, comfort, interior space and advanced technology.”
Shocked! The man says. The Ioniq 5 is the first of several planned Ioniqs, as Ioniq is Hyundai’s sub EV brand. The charging capabilities of EVs also seem to be getting better and better. Emphasis mine, because this seems important:
With a 350-kW charger, IONIQ 5 can charge from 10 percent to 80 percent in just 18 minutes. If the owner only has five minutes to spare, the IONIQ 5 can recoup about 68 miles of range using a 350-kW fast charger. The standard 10.9 kW on-board charger completes a full charge in 6 hours and 43 minutes using Level 2 charging.
Sixty-eight miles is longer than you think. Hyundai is also very excited about its vehicle-to-load function, which lets you charge other devices, charge other EVs, or even set up a mobile office in a parking lot somewhere if that’s a thing that you are into. Look at this guy:
You could also straighten your hair:
The Ioniq 5 is built on Hyundai’s Electric Global Modular Platform, or E-GMP, which Hyundai says allows it to maximize interior space. Take this, Mustang Mach-E and ID.4:
In fact, the Hyundai IONIQ 5 has more passenger volume (106.5 cu. ft.) when compared with Ford Mustang Mach-E (101.1 cu. ft.) and Volkswagen ID.4 (99.9 cu. ft.).
Got ‘em, Hyundai. Roasted. I do not see how Ford or VW come back from this. The Ioniq 5 will get to more than a dozen states in the fall, with every other state in the country getting it next year. The Ioniq 6, an EV sedan, and the Ioniq 7, a big EV SUV, are also in the works.
There will be a rear-motor only version of the Ioniq 5, which is the one that gets the most range, while Hyundai will also offer two motor layouts, for all-wheel-drive. There will be various driver assistance features that on paper more or less mimic what Tesla does with Autopilot, GM’s Super Cruise, or Ford’s BlueCruise, among others, with the efficacy of these systems tied directly to how much the driver is paying attention, since none of them are fully autonomous.
In any case, I hope Hyundai intends on Ioniq being an affordable, well-made EV brand, just as Hyundai has been an affordable, well-made internal combustion engine brand. The market in America has been waiting for too long.