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2020 Nissan LEAF


Hyundai Ioniq Range Increase; Nissan LEAF Makes Safety Shield 360 Standard

Hyundai has increased the size of the battery in the Ioniq to give the car 46 more miles of range for a modest increase in price. The Nissan LEAF now comes with Safety Shield 360 standard on all models.

Last year, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric started at $29,815. This year, the price has gone up to $33,045. What do customers get for the extra money? A battery that is 37% bigger — 38.3 kWh versus 28 kWh. Along with the larger battery comes more range — up to 170 miles (273 km) according to the EPA. Last year’s car could only manage 124 miles (199 km) of range, which was too little for most EV shoppers.

Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Hyundai Ioniq Electric center. Image credit: Hyundai

When you consider the Hyundai Ioniq Electric is eligible for the full federal tax credit of $7,500, owning one could have a net cost of just $25,545. Of course, any state or local incentives would lower that cost even more. The car is not available in all states.

Except for Tesla, Hyundai and corporate cousin KIA are making some of the most efficient electric vehicles available. For comparison purposes, the new MINI SE with a 32.6 kWh battery has an EPA rating of just 110 miles. The EPA says the 2020 Ioniq Electric can go 4 miles on one kWh of electricity. The Tesla Model 3 Long Range is rated at 3.8 miles per kWh and the Model 3 Standard Range+ is rated at 4.2 miles per kWh. The Chevy Bolt comes in at 3.1 miles per kWh and the Nissan LEAF at 3.4 miles per kWh, according to Car & Driver. The Ioniq Electric has one of the highest MPGe ratings at 133. Only the Tesla Model 3 SR  beats that number at 141.

There’s more good news about the Ioniq Electric. The on-board charger has increased from 6.6 kW to 7.2 kW. Using a 100-kW fast-charging station, the new battery can reach an 80% charge in as little as 54 minutes using a 100 kW fast charger. And the motor now delivers 134 horsepower, up from 118 in the previous version of the car. Torque is said to be 218 lb-ft (296 N·m) of torque), according to Green Car Congress.

The Ioniq Electric Limited lists for $38,615, including Forward Collision Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection; Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, Highway Drive Assist; a 10.25 inch navigation system screen, and a Harman Kardon premium audio system.

The Hyundai Ioniq is attractively styled — always a Hyundai strong point. The question for many shoppers will be, is 170 miles of range enough? Objectively, the answer for most people should be yes. The world still doesn’t understand the majority of electric cars are charged overnight at home or during the day at work, so every trip starts with a full, or nearly full, battery charge. People who have never driven an EV have difficulty wrapping their head around that difference.

But in the world of marketing, common sense often takes a back seat. The general perception is cars need at least 200 miles (321 km) of range just to get people to consider owning one. Perception is reality and so Hyundai has a bit of an uphill climb when it comes to finding buyers for the latest version of the Ioniq Electric. Which is a bit of a shame; it is a really good car but many will not even consider it if the range quoted doesn’t start with a “2.” People who appreciate the value of efficiency in an electric car should find the Ioniq Electric very appealing, however.

2020 Nissan LEAF

2020 Nissan LEAF

Image credit: Nissan

Over at Nissan, the news is a little less dramatic. All models of the 2020 LEAF — even the base LEAF S which starts at $31,600 — will come standard Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 package. It includes:

  • Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Rear automatic braking
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Blind spot warning
  • Lane departure warning
  • High beam assist

In addition, every 2020 LEAF will have Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Lane Intervention, and Blind Spot Intervention. An 8″ touchscreen display will be standard on all cars with the 40 kWh battery, and every LEAF will be equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, according to a Nissan press release. In the US, a new synthesized sound known as Canto will be heard below 19 mph to alert pedestrians to the presence of the car.

The LEAF is available with two battery sizes — 40 kWh and 62 kWh. The range topping LEAF SL Plus lists for $43,900. All LEAF vehicles sold in the US are still eligible for the full federal EV tax credit of $7,500.

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Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. 3000 years ago, Socrates said, "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." Perhaps it's time we listened?


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