The LA auto show kicked off this week and Hyundai used the occasion to debut the Ioniq 6 sedan while sharing some of the details about the US spec car. The first thing anyone will notice about the Ioniq 6 is the ultra-slippery styling which gives the car an aerodynamic drag coefficient of just 0.22. That’s one of the lowest of any production vehicle ever made. You may love it or hate it, but it is anything but bland and it helps the car go as much as 340 miles on a single charge. More about that in a minute.
Three Ioniq 6 Trim Levels
The Hyundai Ioniq 6 and Ioniq 5 are built on the same E-GMP electric car platform, so there are many similarities between the two cars. Hyundai says there will be three trim levels offered in North America that are virtually identical to the three Ioniq 5 trim levels.
RWD Standard Range — 53 kWh battery, single rear motor with 149 hp (111 kW) and 258 ft-lb (350 Nm) of torque. No range or acceleration times were given, but the similar Ioniq 5 has a range of 220 miles. The Ioniq 6 may squeeze a few extra miles out of a single battery charge because of its more slippery design.
RWD Extended Range — step up to the 77.4 kWh battery and you get 255 hp (168 kW) with the same 258 ft-lb (350 Nm) of torque. Hyundai says this car will allow a range of 340 miles.
AWD Extended Range — this is the car performance oriented drivers will want. It features two electric motors — one front and one aft — with a combined 320 hp (239 Nm) and 446 ft-lb (605 Nm) of torque. It uses the same 77.4 kWh battery and Hyundai hints it will sprint to 60 mph in under 5 seconds. Range, however, takes a bit of hit. The company says to expect 310 miles on a battery charge with this version.
Prices in the US were not announced in LA, but you can expect them to be similar to those for the Ioniq 5, which starts at $41,450 (including destination) and tops out at around $52,600. The dual motor Tesla Model 3 costs about $5,000 more, but has 40 miles more range.
The Ioniq 6 Good Stuff
The Ioniq 6 will be the first car from Hyundai that can update the car’s firmware via over-the-air updates, which will allow the company to alter major aspects of how the car drives without even touching it. According to Autoblog, it could change acceleration characteristics by uploading a new accelerator pedal map or adjust steering sensitivity without the car needing to visit a dealer.
The Ioniq 6 will also introduce Active Sound Design, which Hyundai says “uses an acoustic design processor to provide unique driving sounds inside the cabin and the ability to set the volume.” This sort of foolishness is all the rage in the world of EVs these days, with cars able to adapt lighting, sounds, and even aromas to soothe and cosset those inside. Seems silly to us, but manufacturers must think there is a demand for such accouterments.
Hyundai says the Ioniq 6 can charge from 10% to 80% SOC in just 18 minutes when using a 350 kW fast charger. That is a bit misleading, however, as the the maximum charging rate is 235 kW — the same as the Ioniq 5.
The new navigation system for the Ioniq 6 includes a route planner for road trips that automatically displays charging stops along the way. The car will automatically preheat the battery pack to the optimal charging temperature to ensure drivers get the fastest possible charging. Hyundai claims the car will know what charging stations are in use or broken and automatically skip those. Whether that feature will be added to existing electric cars from Hyundai and Kia is unknown at this time. Ioniq 6 owners will also get free charging (up to 30 minutes) at Electrify America charging stations for the first two years.
Elon Musk and Tesla don’t want to hear about V2L, V2H, or V2G, but every other electric car manufacturer seems to want to expand into those spaces. Also this week, Hyundai announced the next phase of its Hyundai Home service, which offers drivers the opportunity to enhance their EV experience with dedicated home chargers, rooftop solar, and energy storage systems.
In a press release, the company says is has partnered with Electrum to develop a one-stop online marketplace to connect homeowners in select states to solar panels, energy storage systems, EV chargers, and local installers. The collaboration combines Electrum’s home energy expertise and national network of certified installers with Hyundai’s leadership in electric mobility. Hyundai Home can help customers live more sustainable lives, lower their energy bills, and make their homes more resilient with solar panels, energy storage systems, and electric vehicle chargers. Hyundai Home is now available through Hyundai dealerships in 16 states.
“Last year, we introduced Hyundai Home as a proof of concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show and the response was outstanding,” says Olabisi Boyle, head of product planning and mobility strategy for Hyundai Motor North America. “Hyundai Home is now live and is ready to help customers make a seamless transition to sustainable living. Hyundai is committed to changing the way people view transportation and elevating their quality of life. Hyundai Home embodies Hyundai’s mission, Progress for Humanity, ensuring universal mobility and accessible sustainable living for everyone.”
Using the Hyundai Home Marketplace, customers can purchase a home charger, learn about home solar and energy storage, and access their own dedicated Energy Advisor. These advisors help guide customers through the purchase process, answer questions about suitable energy system options, and help determine the right system for customers’ home energy needs.
The marketplace will present customers with three installation bids per project, sourced from Electrum’s network of trusted electricians. Customers can then review the proposals, consult with their Energy Advisor, and ultimately select the best offer for their project. Hyundai and the Electrum Energy Advisor will provide customer service throughout the ownership experience. Hyundai’s dealers in the available states will be able to educate customers on the Hyundai Home offering and connect them directly to the online marketplace.
A few days ago, we did a story about Tenet and Treehouse, two companies that are looking at EV financing in new ways. They are offering something similar to Hyundai Home for all electric car owners and have noticed that once an EV enters the picture, owners are more open to the idea of rooftop solar, home energy storage, and other ways of using energy in their homes more efficiently.
This seems to be a market trend that Tesla is missing out on. Although it was an early leader in the field, others are now crowding into that space, which Tesla has virtually abandoned without explanation. Meanwhile, others are happy to step in to fill the vacuum.
We may be witnessing a sea change in attitudes about electric cars as people come to realize they are about more than getting to the Piggly Wiggly and back. They are becoming an integral part of family living that leverages their energy storage capability to help people live more affordably with lower emissions. What a beautiful thing.
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