Hyundai’s 2018 Plug-in Hybrid Ioniq (earlier post) is heading to dealerships now—joining the Hybrid and Electric models—with an aggressive starting price of $24,950—$5,000 less than the full battery-electric version of the Ioniq but with more than five times the range. Depending upon the carbon intensity of the electricity used to charge the battery, the PHEV model can also have well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions relatively close to that of its electric sibling.
For example, in Chicago (calculations via the US Department of Energy (DOE) fueleconomy.gov site) the Ioniq PHEV is responsible for 200 g GHG/mile, upstream and downstream. The Ioniq Electric: 180 g/mile. That picture changes considerably in California, with the PHEV model tagged with 150 g/mile, while the electric carries a burden of 90 g/mile. Nevertheless, at its price point, and with its functionality, the Hyundai Ioniq plug-in hybrid is a solid option for an environmentally responsible, quality, cost-conscious car that can eradicate range-anxiety issues.
The Ioniq line-up—similar to Honda’s Clarity—offers three electrified versions based on a single, dedicated vehicle platform. (The Honda Clarity line includes fuel cell, battery-electric and plug-in hybrid versions.) The new 2018 Ioniq 5-passenger hatchback Plug-in Hybrid and other Ioniq models offer a sleek, aerodynamic silhouette with an industry-leading 0.24 Cd.
The 2018 Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid provides an all-electric range of more than 29 miles (47 km), 119 MPGe in EV mode and 52 MPG in hybrid mode based on EPA estimates, powered by a 8.9 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. The PHEV has a 3.3 kW on-board charger, enabling a refresh of the battery at Level 2 in 2 hours and 18 minutes. DC fast charging is not available, unlike the Ioniq Electric, which can recharge to 80% in 30 minutes at 50 kW (23 minutes at 100 kW).
|Ioniq Hybrid (Blue)||Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid||Ioniq Electric|
|EPA combined fuel economy||58 mpg||115 mpge (electric)
52 mpg gas+electric
|Tailpipe CO2 (average)||154 g/mi||75 g/mi||0 g/mi|
|WTW GHG||184 g/mi||150 g/mi (SoCal)
180 g/mi (Chicago)
|Total system hp||139 hp||139 hp||118 hp|
The Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid features a new Kappa 1.6L direct-injected Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine with a thermal efficiency of 40%; the engine delivers an estimated 104 hp and 109 lb-ft (148 N·m) of torque.
This engine has been specifically tailored to the hybrid application and is combined with a quick-shifting six-speed double-clutch transmission—differentiating Ioniq from its key competitors with a more dynamic and engaging driving experience.
The Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid’s 45 kW (60 hp) electric motor can operate at speeds up to 75 mph and delivers instantaneous torque at low speeds, with available power-assist at higher vehicle speeds.
The Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid features a six-speed EcoShift dual-clutch transmission (DCT), which boasts best-in-class transfer efficiency through the use of low-friction bearings and low-viscosity transmission oil, and is able to achieve a unique mix of driving performance and fuel efficiency for a spirited and fun-to-drive character. We experienced this on a medium-length drive over hilly terrain in Southern California. While not a performance or sports car, the Ioniq PHEV is a fine choice for spirited mainstream driving.
Enhancing the car’s fuel efficiency and dynamic driving characteristics, the driver can select either SPORT or ECO modes. The SPORT function holds lower gears longer and combines power from the engine and electric motor for maximum performance. In ECO mode, the DCT optimizes gear selection for efficiency, upshifting earlier to achieve class-leading fuel economy.
The powertrain components were designed to be compact and highly efficient. The combined extra weight of the Plug-in Hybrid technology therefore adds minimal weight to the Ioniq, but significantly increases its efficiency.
The permanent magnet synchronous motor was optimized—like the notor in the hybrid model—by reducing the thickness of core components by up to 10% and adopting rectangular-section copper wire to decrease core and copper loss.
Hyundai uses a lithium-ion polymer battery pack for all Ioniq models which is 20% lighter than non-polymer lithium-ion batteries and can be shaped more optimally to the interior than standard cell format batteries. This also provides lower memory sensitivity, excellent charge and discharge efficiency, and outstanding maximum output.
The battery system is located underneath the rear seats so that the impact on the passenger cabin and cargo area is minimized; the Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid offers total interior volume of an estimated 119.2 cubic feet.
Ioniq sought significant weight reduction targets without compromising fun-to-drive and comfort characteristics. Ioniq uses aluminum in the hood and tailgate, reducing weight by 27 lbs (12.25 kg) compared with conventional steel and with no measurable disadvantages in noise or vibration.
In addition, the lead-acid auxiliary 12V battery found in competitors’ hybrid models has been omitted for the Ioniq Hybrid, resulting in an approximate 26-pound reduction in weight. Lightweighting also extended to less obvious areas such as the cargo-screen cover. With higher usage of lightweight components and a more compact build, the cargo-screen cover is about 25% lighter than the types used in other Hyundai models.
Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid feature a multi-link rear suspension system with dual lower control arms for agile ride and handling coupled with excellent ride quality. In addition, extensive use of aluminum in front and rear suspension components saves around 22 lbs (10 kg) of weight compared with conventional materials. A reduction of 5 lbs (2.27 kg) per front lower arm unit saves 13 lbs (5.9 kg) at the front suspension, while nearly 9 lbs (4.1 kg) is reduced at the rear suspension. In addition, the placement of the battery systems below the rear seats provides a lower center of gravity for more responsive handling.
The multi-link suspension system of Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid has been adapted to work most efficiently with low-rolling-resistance tires while minimizing typical tire performance trade-offs.
In addition to general exterior design details from the Hybrid, such as the hexagonal grille and the vertical C-shaped LED daytime running lights, the Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid also features low-beam LED headlamps. The Plug-in Hybrid also integrates a charging portal into the left front fender for the lithium-ion polymer battery. Specially-designed 16-inch alloy wheels further differentiate the Plug-in Hybrid model.
A key characteristic of the Ioniq is its innovative use of recycled or ecologically-sensitive materials. The interior door covers are made of plastic combined with powdered wood and volcanic stone while providing the same quality appearance of typical plastic-based materials. The softer, more natural feel is achieved along with less reliance on oil-based products. This approach extends to other areas of the car as well. Raw materials extracted from sugar cane are partly applied on the headliner and carpet. Paint with renewable ingredients extracted from soybean oil is used to achieve lustrous metallic colors on key components.
Active and passive safety features. Ioniq’s light-yet-rigid body is the result of advanced design, construction methods and materials. Featuring more than 50% Advanced High Strength Steel, the chassis benefits from superior rigidity for responsive handling and safety, with high impact-energy absorption and minimized cabin distortion to protect passengers in the event of a collision. This rigid structure also leverages 476 feet of advanced structural adhesives in its design, simultaneously yielding both lightweighting and rigidity benefits.
Ioniq offers Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist function, Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, for high levels of both active and passive vehicle safety. These electronic systems are class-leading as Ioniq continues to break the mold for alternative fuel vehicle safety standards.
Blind Spot Detection works with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert to warn the driver of any surrounding vehicles, passengers or objects that could lead to a collision. Lane Departure Warning (LDW) with Lane Keep Assist sounds an alarm as the car moves over lane lines if the driver did not signal for an intended lane change and helps keep drivers in their intended lane with small steering corrections. Additional safety features include rear parking sensors and headlights with Dynamic Bending Light (DBL).
The Ioniq is also fitted with Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) with Pedestrian Detection, an advanced active safety feature that alerts drivers to emergency situations, even braking automatically as required. With sensor-fusion technology that utilizes the front radar and camera sensors, AEB operates in three stages. Initially warning the driver visually and acoustically, it controls the brake according to the collision danger stage, applying maximum braking immediately before an imminent collision. When a vehicle or pedestrian is sensed in front of the car, the system is activated, operating at speeds of more than 5 mph, and minimizes damage when a collision is otherwise unavoidable.
A Tire Pressure Monitoring System also helps ensure each individual tire is properly inflated. A total of seven airbags, including a knee airbag for the driver, help protect the vehicle’s occupants in the event of a collision. Body structure improvements, complemented by a high-strength fiber-reinforced rear bumper fascia make the entire Ioniq line-up strong and durable in the event of a crash.
ChargePoint. Hyundai is also working with ChargePoint to further enhance the Ioniq Electric and Plug-in Hybrid ownership experience. Ioniq owners will receive welcome kits, informing them with key information and benefits in the use of the ChargePoint charging network, and ChargePoint access cards that are easy to activate. In addition, owners will have the capability to conveniently locate ChargePoint chargers on their mobile devices using the MyHyundai/Blue Link app.