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This time in our long term update, we answer your questions following our introduction.

After a month or so with our Hyundai Ioniq long-termer, it’s time for our first check-in and we decided to do it a little differently this time around. I asked you to let us know if there was anything specific you wanted the answer to, and we’d endeavour to provide one.

So, with that in mind, here are some of your questions. And, please keep them coming. The idea of our long-term fleet is for us to attempt to get to the bottom of any mysteries you might want cleared up, and we can only do that if you ask the question in the first place.

Let’s get into it:

Steven – I’d like to know how the cabin heating works?

Good question, and as someone who doesn’t actually feel the cold too badly, it’s something I would have overlooked. So, I asked our resident Mr. Freeze, Justin Narayan. Born in England yet seemingly always cold. His response… “The heater takes absolutely forever to get warm. If you’re sensitive to the cold (like I am), or live in a cold climate, it will annoy you.”

Markwa – Why not push the pollies to mandate that all fuel stations have fast charging stations? That way in a few years you have a massive charging network all over the country. Seems the easiest road forward.

You make a very good point here, mate. I paraphrased a bit, but everything you wrote was spot on. And it’s a point that isn’t lost on us either. I’ve been fortunate (or unfortunate) to bump into a few politicians at the radio station and have made that point where possible. It’s also something we advocate for in the media whenever we have the platform. It’s the way it is being rolled out in Europe and makes the most sense the way we see it. And, like you say, what do you reckon people will do while they are waiting for their car to charge? Spend money.

BrightSpark – How accurate is the range calculation? Does it update throughout the trip? Does the inbuilt navigation show charging stations? What’s the charge curve like?

Another couple of good questions here, too. The range has seemed so far, to be pretty accurate everywhere except if you’re sitting on 110km/h on the freeway for periods. Around town, if you’re on the brakes often, you might actually gain back some range due to the regenerative system. Just before this update, I plotted a course across Sydney that claimed to cover 32km, and I used 38km of ‘real’ range. It does update through the trip too, handily.

The native navigation system does show charging options, but we’ve found, and this is even the case with some of the phone apps, the information as to what sort of charger is there, and in what capacity etc, isn’t always accurate. But, in terms of finding charge when you need it, the navigation system works quite well. I tend to favour the phone apps myself though.

The charge curve question is an interesting one. We’re currently limiting maximum charge to 90 per cent as per Hyundai’s request. There has been an issue with the battery packs in some of the early models, and it’s our understanding that Hyundai is sourcing replacement packs to be fitted under warranty. As such, we haven’t boosted the Ioniq up to 100 per cent during out tenure. Still, the charge rate does seem to slow down when you’re using a faster charger after 80 per cent.

Hotshot wanted to know a bit more about real world energy efficiency, and peak rate of charge, so we looked into that as well.

So far, with plenty of city running, and some occasional highway bursts, we’ve seen the average usage sit between 10.4kWh/100km and 12.5kWh/100km. If you hit a flat stretch of road and cruise along as easily as you can between 60km/h and 70km/h for example, the usage will drop into single figures, but only for short periods. We tend to drive it in the most frugal mode as often as we can – that’s kind of the point – which gives the Ioniq the best chance of travelling the furthest distance. That said, we aren’t hypermiling it by any means either. We try to behave as we would behind the wheel of any other test vehicle.

Peak rate of charge…

We have a 15-amp regular power point at the office, and when plugged in there, the Ioniq is taking in between 2kW and 3kW. The wall box that we use, most of the time anyway, feeds a steady 7kW in when plugged up.

But, as many of you have written in the comments section, the public charging network is where the biggest discrepancies occur. The Ioniq can accept up to 50kW incoming. That’s when you can find chargers capable of outputting a regular 50kW.

Captain Pugwash – who owns a Tesla Model 3, made a couple of good points about EV driving, which have resonated with us, too.

The captain is on the money with the comparison to the mobile phone. If it’s a 45-degree day, and you’ve got the AC cranking, two devices plugged in charging, and you’re bombing down the freeway at 110km/h, you’re going to burn through your reserves quickly. If you do charge largely at home, you’ll rarely have any issues maintaining a useful level of charge, and range anxiety is mostly a mental thing.

The Tesla public charging network still leaves everything else in the shade, even though there are companies working as hard as they can to rectify that. As the captain states, it’s much easier to roll up to a Tesla charger and plug a Tesla in than it is to work out where you need to be to access which charger, and whether it will work for you. Companies are working hard to build that infrastructure though, but we still need more.

2021 Hyundai Ioniq EV Elite
Power and torque100kW/295Nm
TransmissionSingle-speed automatic
Drive typeFront-wheel drive
Kerb weight1475kg
Boot volume355L/1417L
Turning circle10.6m
ANCAP safety ratingFive-star (tested 2018)
WarrantyFive years/unlimited km
Motor countSingle
Battery size38.3kWh
Driving range311km (WLTP)
Charging time80 per cent capacity in 57 mins on a 50kW fast-charger
Tow rating braked, unbrakedUnrated
Main competitorsHyundai Kona, Nissan Leaf, MG ZS EV

And, before we sign off for this update, here are some more thoughts from the testing team. It might weigh over 1500kg with a driver on board, but it doesn’t feel it. If anything, it comes across as nimble and fun to drive. Most of the team reckon that compared to other EVs in what we would call the ‘entry’ segment, it’s our favourite. Nissan Leaf and MG ZS EV are up there in terms of affordable entrees to EV ownership

Justin says there’s something about the feeling of the controls, the ease of understanding and use, and the interior concept with that huge storage area in front of the shifter controls, that feels welcoming and practical. We all agree that it doesn’t feel like it’s trying too hard to be an EV.

Despite a few of you commenting that it isn’t pretty, we disagree. It’s a sedan-shaped hatchback, which plenty of us like and find practical.

Justin loves the fact that there’s a status bar to show you how many kilometres you’ve put back into the battery every time you come to a stop, and he finds it useful to know how the regenerative braking is working.

We all say the build quality is excellent – as per recent Hyundai fare. It’s quiet inside, even in terms of wind and road noise, and that is highlighted given there’s no engine or exhaust to drown out the intrusion.

Don’t forget to keep the questions coming as well. Send them in, and we’ll get back to you.

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