Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 electric crossover could be the best camping companion

Hyundai introduced the all-new Ioniq 5, a midsize electric SUV with nearly 300 miles of range and a two-way charging feature that is sure to make it a popular electric vehicle for outdoor activities.

The Ioniq 5, which will go on sale in the first half of 2021, is the first vehicle to be built on Hyundai’s new Global Electric Modular Platform (E-GMP) which the automaker says will serve as the foundation for all a family of planned electric vehicles. Hyundai and its sister company are aiming to sell 1 million electric vehicles by 2025 in a bid to capture 10 percent of the global electric vehicle market.

The Ioniq 5 looks like a promising start to that endeavor. The sharp-edged crossover SUV takes some of its design cues from the automaker’s 45 concept vehicle first introduced in 2019, which was an homage to the 1974 Pony Coupe, Hyundai’s first series-produced car and its first export.

Instead of a traditional grille, the front of the car features Hyundai’s first clam bonnet and a distinctive V-shaped front bumper that incorporates a unique set of daytime running lights. These small groups of pixels also appear on the rear of the vehicle.

But Hyundai filled the interior with a number of really interesting surprises. The center console can slide back up to 140 millimeters, allowing the driver or passenger to enter and exit through a door of their choice. This “universal island,” as Hyundai calls it, could prove useful in especially tight parking situations. The mobile console also provides access to the vehicle’s built-in 15-watt cordless phone charger, plus tons of additional storage space.

Most of the Ioniq 5’s interior contact points (seats, headlining, door trims, floor and armrests) use environmentally friendly materials, such as recycled PET bottles, plant-based yarns and natural wool yarns, eco-processed leather with plants. oil-based extracts and biological paint with plant extracts. But unlike other EVs like the Polestar 2, Hyundai doesn’t go so far as to claim that its interior is 100 percent vegan.

That said, it can be comfortable enough to take a nap (but not while driving, obviously). The driver and passenger seats recline enough to provide a “weightless” feel, Hyundai says. The design theme is “living space”, which is intended to emphasize the spacious interior where you can put your feet up and relax.

The Ioniq 5 comes in standard and long-range configurations, with 58 kilowatt-hours or 77.4 kilowatt-hours of respective battery capacity. Hyundai estimates that the driving range will be between 470-480 kilometers, or just under 300 miles, according to the European World Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). Hyundai has yet to certify its range estimates, but it’s helpful to remember that the WLTP estimates are typically more optimistic than the EPA’s, so expect that number to be lower when the Ioniq 5 hits the states.

Still, this represents a serious improvement over Hyundai’s previous EV offerings. The range of the Ioniq 5 is almost 20 percent higher than that of the Kona EV, for example, which previously had the longest range among Hyundai’s line of electric vehicles.

Ownership of an electric vehicle is often defined by the amount of time it takes to charge the battery, and to that extent, the Ioniq 5 looks like it could be a winner. Hyundai says the EV supports fast charging of up to 350 kW DC and is capable of getting up to 80 percent in just 18 minutes.

The Ioniq 5 supports 400 volt and 800 volt loads. In fact, Hyundai’s E-GMP platform offers 800V charging as standard, along with 400V charging, without the need for additional adapters. Hyundai says this multiple charging system is “the world’s first patented technology that operates the motor and inverter to increase from 400 V to 800 V for stable charging compatibility.”

But that cargo capacity flows both ways, literally. The Ioniq 5 has a bi-directional charging function that Hyundai calls “vehicle in charge”, which can deliver up to 3.6 kW of power. There are two cargo ports, one located under the second row seats and the other in the cargo port on the outside. With a converter, customers can charge a variety of electrical devices, including electric bikes, scooters, or camping equipment. The outer port provides power even when the vehicle is off.

(A commercial for the EV features actors using the Ioniq 5 to power a convection oven, a treadmill, and a half-dozen speakers, all while camping.)

This two-way charging feature is not unique to Hyundai, but it is rare for a passenger car. The Ford F-150 Powerboost, a hybrid version of its full-size pickup, can provide up to 7.2kW of power through a built-in generator. But 3.6kW is a decent amount of production. The Ioniq 5 certainly doesn’t generate its own power, so any power drawn from its battery will eventually go out of range of the vehicle.

If you’re wondering how the Ioniq 5’s price compares to other electric crossover SUVs, like the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Volkswagen ID 4, or Tesla Model Y … well, so do we. Hyundai did not release information on the EV pricing, unfortunately, although we expect it to be in the $ 30,000- $ 40,000 range, before the tax incentives.

Unlike Tesla or General Motors, Hyundai is still eligible for the $ 7,500 federal EV tax credit, which should help the automaker move many units. Customers will also look for EPA rank certification and more details on partnerships with EV charging station operators before making a decision.

For the first time in, well, forever, customers will have a variety of options when it comes to buying mid-size electric SUVs. And the Ioniq 5 already looks like it will be a strong contender.

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