By on October 30, 2018

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric, Image: Steph Willems

Happen across a Hyundai Ioniq in your daily travels, and it’ll almost inevitably be a hybrid or plug-in hybrid model, not the fully electric variant. That’s because, unless you live in California, the Ioniq Electric is off limits. For now.

With a range that might have once impressed and an entry price starting below $30,000 before government incentives, the Ioniq Electric is an affordable five-door for those who aren’t concerned about brand snobbery or lengthy road trips. Still, Hyundai knows that models that don’t compete, don’t sell. That’s why the little hatch will soon be able to go further on a tank of charged particles.

Speaking to Inside EVs, Gil Castillo, Hyundai’s senior group manager for alternative vehicle strategy, said the Ioniq Electric’s 124-mile range will see a boost in about a year.

“The Ioniq’s range will improve at the model-year change. It will get bigger,” Castillo said, likely referring to a 2020 model offered late next year. While the automaker’s website shows only the 2018 model on sale right now, EPA tests on the 2019 model show no difference in fuel economy equivalency. So, how much further can owners expect to drive?

“It will be a nice improvement, but not like the Kona’s range,” Castillo said, referring to the Kona Electric’s 258-mile capability.

Not long ago, cresting the 100-mile market in a non-Tesla EV was something of a feat. Nissan’s Leaf and Ford’s Focus Electric started below 80 miles of range, eventually increasing their stomping grounds past the triple-digit bar. Until 2018, the Leaf was good for 107 miles. Now, the second-generation model offers 151 miles of range starting at $30,875 after a destination charge, but before a $7,500 EV tax credit. The Ioniq Electric’s price, which includes destination, starts at $29,500 before a tax credit.

For many, an extra 27 miles is worth paying the additional $1,375 to get into a Leaf. Of course, that’s assuming you live in California. Elsewhere, the Leaf offers a happy medium of range and price for buyers of modest means, with a pricier 200-plus-mile variant on the way for 2019.

While a range of around 200 miles would give the Ioniq Electric a serious leg up, you’d have to be pretty confident in Hyundai’s battery prowess to keep that dream alive. More likely, Hyundai will seek to outrange the base Leaf with its upgraded model, even if it’s by a mile or two.

[Image: Steph Willems/TTAC]

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20 Comments on “One of the Market’s Least Expensive EVs Is Due for a Range Bump...”

  • avatar

    The Ioniq BEV and the Kona BEV should both be withdrawn from the market ASAP. They are both defective by design, taking a lot more than 5 minutes to charge the battery, WAY longer than the time it takes to fill a fuel tank, which is utterly ridiculous and completely unacceptable in 2018. Moreover, their range is nothing to write home about, and far below what we’ve come to expect from cars of similar size the past few decades.

    Luckily for Hyundai, withdrawing these BEVs from the market should pose no problems whatsoever, because both the Ioniq and Kona models are available as proper cars with internal combustion engines in them, so those who still wish to buy these models will still be able to.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I can name that tune in one note.

    • 0 avatar

      You serious, Clark?

    • 0 avatar

      can’t someone just boot this guy? He literally does nothing but post that boilerplate troll in every Tesla or EV comment thread.

      • 0 avatar

        Seriously, what’s the point of his nonsensical posts? Is a Corvette defective because it can’t carry a pallet of paver blocks? Is an F150 defective because it can’t do a sub 10 second quarter mile?

        • 0 avatar

          What’s nonsensical is that the brainwashed BEV fanbois on this site disagree with me, treat me like a heretic for pointing out the obvious, and come up with cringe-worthy retorts and apples-to-oranges comparisons that miss the mark completely. And all of this because the BEV fanbois themselves insist that BEVs must be held to a lower standard than ICE-powered cars!

          • 0 avatar

            Gas cars are inherently defective since I can’t refuel one at home while it’s sitting there doing nothing.

          • 0 avatar

            Both BEVs and gas cars are inherently defective since they can’t be refueled by allowing them to graze along the roadside.

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            “And all of this because the BEV fanbois themselves insist that BEVs must be held to a lower standard than ICE-powered cars!”

            I can gas my Volt up anytime I want and drive it just like any other ICE car. But it’s much less time consuming & easier to simply plug it in when I get home. Every time I drive the ‘Hoe I realize what a PITA ICE powered cars are when it comes to refueling. If you haven’t lived with an EV, you don’t have a clue!

          • 0 avatar

            ICE-powered cars are inherently defective because they require regular oil changes. Why are they held to a lower standard than BEVs?

    • 0 avatar

      I thought asdf’s opening comment was excellent humor.

  • avatar

    Until we know how much… meh – this is non-news.

    • 0 avatar

      Ahh, PricipalDan, but you “clicked” on it (as did I). I believe I heard the tiny tinkling noise of a cash register opening and closing at TTAC. Non-news pays.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      It’s quite relevant to me, because I test drove one recently and am considering buying one. It’s a very nice car.

      But the idea of a longer range Ioniq appearing in 1-2 years is not necessarily meaningful if Hyundai isn’t serious about distributing it nationwide. I live in a non-CARB state and happened across a nice example.

      But to your point, it’s become fashionable for every mfr to talk about their upcoming EVs for the next few years. My biggest doubt is whether they can actually source enough batteries for them.

  • avatar

    Doesn’t need to have the range of the Kona EV as it’s a good thing for an automaker to offer BEVs at different price-points (not everyone needs 290+ m of range).

  • avatar

    Why is it thought that a battery with the capacity of those used in these vehicles should be able to recharge in 5 minutes? (serious question) The AA/AAA rechargeables I use – much, much lower capacity in comparison – take more than an hour to charge especially if charging from nearly depleted. I just don’t get the criticism.

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