Hyundai's Ioniq Electric appears identical to the hybrid versions of the car at first glance, but look closely and you'll see that the grille is sealed off. There's no grille because there's no radiator, and there's no radiator because there's no engine. The Hyundai Ioniq Electric is entirely battery-powered, with a range of 124 miles. That's not anywhere near as much as Chevrolet's 238-mile Bolt EV, but it matches or betters the range of most other electric cars on the market.
Like the Ioniq Hybrid, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric's charms go beyond its efficiency. Smart packaging gives the Ioniq a lot of cargo space, and the price, by EV standards, is tantalizingly low. If maximum range isn't a concern, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric is a sensible choice among electric vehicles.
Current Hyundai Ioniq Electric
The Hyundai Ioniq Electric can be ordered in base Electric and Limited trims. We imagine most buyers will be perfectly happy with the base trim, which comes equipped with heated front seats, an Apple CarPlay/Android Auto-compatible stereo, and keyless ignition and entry. But with the Ioniq's low price (compared to other electric vehicles, that is), it's not a big financial leap to spring for the leather-lined Limited model. It offers advanced driver aids, such as adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking, along with nice-to-haves, such as a sunroof and a wireless phone charger.
Speaking of financial leaps, Hyundai is using the Ioniq Electric to pilot its innovative Ioniq Unlimited subscription program. It's a bit like a lease, but there's no negotiation and no down payment. Customers choose a 24- or 36-month term and make a monthly payment that includes the vehicle, charging costs, scheduled maintenance and registration, though they must pay for insurance separately.
The Hyundai Ioniq Electric is powered by an 88-kW (118-hp) electric motor that drives the front wheels. Acceleration is punchy off the line, though the Ioniq doesn't feel as quick as other electric vehicles we've tested. Like the hybrid version, the Ioniq Electric offers good handling with modest grip and reasonably accurate steering. The din of a gas engine often masks other noises that come through loud and clear in an electric car, but Hyundai has done a good job in this case. Road noise is a bit excessive, but we didn't notice any wind noise.
Thanks to its energy efficiency, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric can make do with a relatively small battery, in this case a 28-kWh lithium-ion pack that fits neatly beneath the rear seat. (For comparison, the Chevrolet Bolt EV's 60-kWh battery has more than twice the capacity of the Ioniq's battery but provides far less than twice the range.) Charging times are quick: 4.5 hours using a standard 240-volt Level II EV charger (the type most owners will install in their homes). The Ioniq also has DC fast-charging capability using an SAE combo charger, which can charge the battery to 80 percent in as little as 23 minutes.
The small battery pack also aids packaging efficiency. The Hyundai Ioniq Electric's 23.8-cubic-foot cargo bay is larger than that of many other EVs, with a split rear seatback that folds flat. Backseat space is acceptable, if not outstanding. The front seats are supportive and comfortable, and the control layout is logical, though the low roofline and split rear window hamper rear visibility.
Used Hyundai Ioniq Electric Models
The first-generation Hyundai Ioniq Electric was introduced for the 2017 model year. For 2018, Hyundai upgraded the lane departure warning system to a lane departure intervention system, which steers the car back into its lane.
Read the most recent 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Hyundai Ioniq Electric page.