By on August 8, 2019

While Hyundai’s compact Ioniq hatchback is most commonly seen in hybrid and plug-in hybrid guise, there’s also an all-electric model that took its sweet time breaking out of California. It’s notable not for its range (which, at 124 miles, puts it on par with also-ran EVs like the Volkswagen e-Golf), but for its price, which undercuts even the Nissan Leaf.

Hyundai unveiled an updated crop of Ioniqs back early this year, relegating the news to the more EV-friendly European market, but with the model line also on sale here its eventual arrival is a given. The biggest news to come from the reveal? A significantly larger battery for the Ioniq Electric.

Now that details are flowing on the imminently available 2020 Ioniq from overseas, we’re able to guess the model’s range.

According to Autocar, the switch from a 28 kWh battery to a 38.3 kWh unit earns the car a 36-percent improvement in driving range. Going by Europe’s WLTP cycle, that means 182 miles. On this side of the pond, simple math tells us that a 36-percent boost in range equates to 168 or 169 miles. That catapults the Ioniq EV’s range above that of the entry-level Leaf, which boasts 151 miles (moving up to the Leaf Plus earns you 226 miles, something Hyundai can’t offer unless you spend significantly more for a Kona EV).

Still, we await the EPA’s findings. Torque remains untouched at 218 horsepower while horsepower jumps from 118 to 134 hp, and charging speed gets a boost through a newly upgraded charger (7.2 kW versus the previous version’s 6.6 kW).

A price bump accompanies the added capacity, though where the model’s price will end up here remains unknown. A 2019 base Ioniq EV goes for $31,245 before a federal tax credit, of which Hyundai still has a generous stockpile. Moving up to the better-appointed Limited model will cost you an extra $5,500.

That’s assuming, of course, that you live in one of the 10 tree-hugging states where Hyundai actually sells the thing. Your author actually sees a couple of these budget EVs shuttling around on a regular basis. Less change is in store for the PHEV variant, though Autocar suggests an extra mile or two of range might be forthcoming. Currently, the Ioniq Plug-in rates an all-electric range of 29 miles and a starting price of $26,280 after destination.

Elsewhere, the model line dons new standard tech and safety equipment, plus a revamped front fascia and lighting.

While the Europeans can get their hands on the 2020 Ioniq fairly soon, North American customers remain in stay-tuned mode. In May, Hyundai said details would be forthcoming in the fall.

[Image: Hyundai]

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6 Comments on “Updated Bargain Basement EV Lands in Europe With Extra Range...”

  • avatar

    In the latest issue of SAE Automotive Engineering, there are some pretty high level supplier folks who say you currently can’t make any money on an electric-only car under about 60 grand. Tesla seems to be doing a pretty good job of proving that premise.

    • 0 avatar

      Despite very favorable reviews, I believe the BEVs from H/K remain “officially” restricted to only certain states. I think it is possible to order them if you live in one of the other states but you’re talking about minuscule additional volume in that scenario.
      That continuous restriction makes me wonder how financially sacrificial H/K’s EV program is.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        I drove 5 hours from PA to MD to get my Ioniq EV last fall. It is certainly one of the very few examples in PA. I love the car.

        But H/K isn’t serious about the EV market. They don’t sell widely, and they have chronic battery shortages. It’s likely that they are losing money on the program. I think they’re averaging about 50 sales per month of the electric version.

  • avatar

    Poor availability of the Kona EV was one reason we didn’t pursue it harder. (The other was packaging; it has less room inside than the considerably smaller Bolt.)

    Edit: This was supposed to be a reply to SCE to AUX.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    The availability is a legit concern. This is why all of my EV shopping leads back to Tesla.

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