In a recent press release, Hyundai Canada shared a customer story that should be interesting to people from all over North America. Why? Because the customer, Patrick Nadeau of Quebec, drove from there all the way to Mexico and back, proving along the way that the IONIQ 5 is more than suitable for road trips.
The big point Hyundai wanted to make in sharing this is that electric vehicles are not limited to urban commutes anymore. The backbone of improved EVs is their enhanced range and charging systems, which permits drivers to travel long distances at a fraction of the cost of a fossil-fuel vehicle. Mr. Patrick Nadeau’s recent journey to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, from Disraeli, Quebec, in his IONIQ 5 demonstrated this. The trip exemplified how improvements in EV technology and infrastructure have expanded their capabilities and usability in long-distance journeys.
Mr. Nadeau’s 15,700-kilometer (almost 10,000-mile) round trip from Quebec to Mexico only cost him $630 CAD ($460 USD at present rates) in charging costs. This cost is significantly lower than what he would have paid for fuel in an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. The low cost of charging was just one of the many benefits of this extraordinary road trip for Mr. Nadeau.
What may surprise some readers is that he used to own two large pickup trucks. Mr. Nadeau opted for the IONIQ 5 electric vehicle mainly due to financial reasons. Prior to purchasing the IONIQ 5, he paid around $1,200 to $1,400 CAD per month on gas alone. The IONIQ 5 proved to be an efficient electric vehicle that saved him hundreds of dollars every month. Apart from the cost savings, Mr. Nadeau also remarked that the IONIQ 5 had ample trunk space and could comfortably accommodate his family of five. He even used his IONIQ 5 for work purposes, further confirming its versatile usage.
Mr. Nadeau, the owner of a virtual reality company, brought his equipment along with him on his 116-day journey to create new virtual reality experiences of the national parks visited on his route. On the way there, he traveled through the Midwest, and on the way back, he traveled through the US Southwest, visiting popular national parks such as Bryce Canyon, Zion, Arches, and the Grand Canyon. Both his journey and his ability to create virtual reality experiences from these destinations demonstrate the versatility and convenience of the IONIQ 5.
During his trip, Mr. Nadeau would drive through the desert during the day, and at night he would set up camp in his IONIQ 5, where he would sleep. According to Mr. Nadeau, the desert nights were quite cold, so he would put his equipment in his tent and sleep in the car while keeping the heat on at 20 degrees. Even with the heating on all night, he noted that it only consumed about 10% of the car’s battery reserves. These features highlight the versatility and convenience of using an electric vehicle for long-distance trips.
The IONIQ 5’s V2L (Vehicle-to-Load) function allowed Mr. Nadeau to operate his electrical equipment by simply plugging it into the car’s V2L adapter.
“It allowed me to work and recharge the batteries of my equipment in national parks, where campgrounds are often without service,” he explained, even telling Hyundai Canada that he used the V2L feature to run an electric griddle.
Mr. Nadeau was able to travel to Puerto Vallarta without any issues due to the careful planning of his trip in light of the limited availability of fast charging stations in Mexico. The IONIQ 5 had a range of up to 460 kilometers (286 miles) on a single charge, with an extra 7% battery capacity available in reserve. Upon returning home, the car’s trip computer showed an average power consumption of 18.5 kWh/100 km for the duration of the journey.
Mr. Nadeau feels a sense of pride for successfully completing his tri-country trip, which demonstrated the viability of electric vehicles for long-distance travel. He hopes that his story can encourage more people to consider these vehicles when it comes to inter-continental journeys.
“I no longer see any real constraint to the adoption of electric vehicles,” Mr. Nadeau concluded.
Why This Matters
While most CleanTechnica readers know that EVs are suitable for road trips, and have been for years, it’s important to get stories out there that prove this, even in 2023.
The general population is starting to come around to EVs, but there’s still a lot of work to be done and there’s still a lot of misinformation and outright lies about EVs floating around, just like they have been since the Chevy Volt first came out. At that time, people were forwarding emails that ignored the fact that the Volt was a plugin hybrid (and could just use gas on trips) and claimed that the vehicle would take weeks or months to cross the United States due to limited electric range and lack of DC fast charging.
So, even today, there are many people who have no idea that EVs can be taken on road trips and not only be tolerable but pleasurable to drive. Well, that’s assuming you have a decent vehicle with liquid cooling and semi-decent Level 3 charge rates. If you do something crazy like I did in 2019 and drive a Nissan LEAF 1200 miles, you might still suffer, but the Hyundai IONIQ has an 800-volt charging system that even puts Teslas to shame on charge rates, so that’s increasingly becoming a problem of the past.
But, it’s also important to note that you don’t need the latest and greatest EVs, or the most expensive ones, to make road trips. Even my lowly and tech-ancient Bolt EUV has proven to be quite drivable on road trips, even all the way across Texas. Yes, having to spend 45–60 minutes charging at almost every Electrify America can be a pain and make the trip kind of long, but with today’s infrastructure, the trip is a lot easier than it once would have been.
Featured image provided by Hyundai Canada.
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