The motor industry is going to be a disruptive force with more and more manufacturers making the move to penetrate the electric vehicle market.
While the Tesla brand continues to dominate, emerging EV manufacturers are entering the fore. The latest newcomer is Hyundai. The South Korean carmaker has recently launched its first all-electric vehicle, the Ioniq 5.
Before Volkswagen released its ID.3 and ID.4, Kia and Hyundai had managed to slot in between the premium Tesla models and Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf. The Hyundai Kona, Kia Soul EV and Kia e-Niro provided ranges around 300 miles and offered adequate performance. These models come from a Hyundai-Kia collaboration but were not pure battery electric powered.
Hyundai has now taken the step to go all out pure electric with the Ioniq 5. This model has been designed to use a dedicated electric platform called E-GMP, and it offers a sleek design with decent specs. The battery sizes range up to 72.6kWh and support 800V charging. This allows for the Ioniq 5 to utilize the 350kW charging stations where the battery can charge 80% in under 20 minutes. With just a 5 minute charge, it will get just over 60 miles of range. It also offers an all-wheel-drive option that can deliver over 300hp and 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds, which is nearly similar to the new Porsche Taycan RWD.
What stands out is the Ioniq’s Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) system. It allows the vehicle to supply up to 3.6kW to external devices via an AC socket. It’s available to back seat passengers and is next to the external charge port to charge devices that are outside the car. This can come in highly useful for a number of uses.
The recent launch was not just to show off a flashy prototype because the Ioniq 5 has been seen in Seoul as well as at the Chelsea Football Club in London during a training session where its V2L feature was used by machines to shoot footballs at the players.
The Ioniq 5 is the first in a series of BEVs that we are going to see come from Hyundai. It is expected that the Ioniq 6 will be available in 2022 and the Ioniq 7 will arrive in early 2024.
So, while the South Korean manufacturer is moving into the all-electric terrain, it’s not focusing solely on the BEV offerings. The carmaker has also produced hydrogen-powered cars such as the Nexo, which is one of the two Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) worth considering. The other being Toyota’s Mirai.
Hyundai though seems to be more interested in hydrogen for its trucks and buses using its Xcient Fuel Cell transportation solution. Xcient is powered by a 190kW hydrogen fuel cell system with dual 95kW fuel cell stacks. Hyundai’s vehicles using the Xcient Fuel Cell can get a range of about 250 miles.
Fuel Cell System is the core device enabling electrochemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen to produce electric energy and the high-voltage battery pack support this system by storing or discharging electricity. The battery pack further allows recuperation during braking.
But for BEVs, Hyundai is going to focus on the passenger car. The new Ioniq 5 is priced similar to Tesla’s Model Y Long Range and also has a similar performance specification, but with unique features such as the V2L. With Hyundai getting the car ready for European sales within a couple of months, it may just beat delivery of the Model Y.
While Hyundai may be enjoying the limelight and compliments, it is also having to deal with a recall of 82,000 units of the Kona models for battery replacements. This comes after a fire battery risk was identified and the recall is estimated to cost the manufacturer around $900 million.