Hyundai IONIQ electric is even better than we thought

2017 Hyundai IONIQ Electric charging

Months ago Hyundai released the initial EPA figures for the Hyundai IONIQ electric car as you can see it here.

Hyundai estimated an EPA range of 110 miles (177 km) and an efficiency of 125 MPGe (16,75 kWh/100 km). This initial estimation seems to be very pessimistic since the Nissan Leaf with the 30 kWh battery (28 kWh usable) has a 107 EPA miles range, only 3 miles less than the Hyundai IONIQ electric that is a lot more efficient and has a similar usable battery capacity.

But now that we are approaching the Los Angeles Auto Show, where Hyundai will show its electric car to the USA public, it seems that Hyundai has revised its own EPA estimations about range and efficiency.

Hyundai now says that the IONIQ electric has a 124 miles (200 km) range and a combined efficiency of 136 MPGe (15,4 kWh/100 km). And remember that EPA figures measure the efficiency from plug-to-wheels, so charging efficiency also counts.


These new figures make even more sense now that we start to get real road tests in Europe that prove that the Hyundai IONIQ electric is a lot more efficient than other electric cars currently available.


I wonder how much more range the IONIQ electric would have if 15-inch wheels (standard on the hybrid variant) were used instead of 16-inch wheels that are standard on the electric variant.


Until we see the EPA figures in the website, consider the figures provided by Hyundai as estimations that can change again.


Let’s compare the Hyundai IONIQ electric to other successful electric cars that aren’t Tesla.


Efficiency and Range:


  • 2017 Hyundai IONIQ electric: 136 MPGe (15,4 kWh/100 km) – 124 miles (199,56 km)
  • 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV: 119 MPGe (17,64 kWh/100 km) – 238  miles (383 km)
  • 2017 BMW I3 BEV (94 Ah battery): 118 MPGe (17,75 kWh/100 km) – 114 miles (183,47 km)
  • 2016 Nissan Leaf (30 kWh battery): 112 MPGe (18,7 kWh/100 km) – 107 miles (172,2 km)


In 2018, the Hyundai IONIQ electric is promised to get a new battery with a capacity around 42 kWh, 50 % more than the current 28 kWh.


Now that Toyota is more receptive to electric cars, it should definitely make an all electric Toyota Prius, it would be a very efficient electric car, similar to the Hyundai IONIQ electric.


As a side note, after very positive first test drive reports – mostly done in the sunny California – on the Chevrolet Bolt EV, I fear that we might be a little disappoint with the Opel Ampera-e in places colder than California. I saw a test drive of Opel Ampera-e in Germany and my initial feeling is that this car loses a lot more efficiency in colder climates than the Hyundai IONIQ electric. This is probably the confirmation that the Chevrolet Bolt EV doesn’t have a heat pump. Well, at least it has heated seats…


What do you think? Would you like to see more automakers following the Hyundai’s example and start to make more efficient electric cars? Or you only care about brute battery capacity?


Update: it’s official on the website, we have 136 MPGe (combined), 150 MPGe (city), 122 MPGe (highway) and a range of 124 miles.



More info:

Pedro Lima

My interest in electric transportation is mostly political. I’m tired of coups and wars for oil. My expectation is that the adoption of electric transportation will be a factor for peace and democracy all over the world.

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Battery capacity is important for two reasons – range and charging speed.

But the Ioniq’s efficiency has changed my thinking that battery size is the only thing that matters.

So in practice the range only needs to be sufficient for the daily commute and 3 hours of driving, but it needs to charge at least six times faster than the rate it consumes during driving.

4 years ago

Now imagine it with a 48kW battery ….

Jonas Jovial
4 years ago

I still think if it had a bigger battery, it would be a winner. Coming with a 28 kWh in 2017 is a big shot in their on foot… 🙁

4 years ago

Effiency matters and battery size but ultimately it seems like Hyundai made the correct trade offs between all things based off of MSRP but I doubt they will be giving huge incentives ala Nissan…

4 years ago

Tesla doesn’t have a heat pump neither, right?

4 years ago

Efficiency is an even better way to improve range than increased capacity, if the cost of each route is the same per unit of additional range. It is more eco friendly and cheaper to run, after all.

But it was a huge bummer that they didn’t equip it with a battery suitable for a new car launching as a 2017 model. Efficient as it is, it still doesn’t have enough range with this small battery, and it was so easy to remedy.

Here in Norway I can expect only half the range on the coldest winter days. And I want the remaining capacity after 10 or 15 years to still be enough to serve as the only car, all year round. A pack with more capacity can afford to lose a bit more, and loses capacity more slowly. And that makes a big difference. My LEAF these days tells me I’ve got 80 km when I switch it on in the morning… (I charge to 80% whenever I plug in. If only the software supported smarter charging I’d have it charge to 60% whenever I plug in, but 90% in the morning. But it can’t do that. It’s either 80 or 100 and either whenever or once a day. Awfully limited software!)

4 years ago