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Solar roof and socket: Hyundai presents the Ioniq 5 electric car on a new platform

With the Kona Elektro and the almost identical e-Niro from the subsidiary Kia, the South Korean Hyundai Group already has two electric cars on offer that in some ways – and at lower prices – come close to those of Tesla. Nevertheless, the company was surprised by the success of the Tesla Model 3 in its home market and announced last August that it wanted to bring out three new electric cars on a special e-platform and under the new sub-brand Ioniq by 2024. The first of these is the Ioniq 5, which Hyundai has now presented in detail – with some interesting solutions.

Fast Ioniq charging with 800 volts

With its crossover format between station wagon and SUV (Hyundai calls it CUV), the Ioniq 5 is in a sought-after segment that Tesla with its Model Y will probably not serve in Europe until this late summer at the earliest. For the energy supply, there are two battery sizes to choose from with 58 or 72.6 kilowatt hours, which should be sufficient for a WLTP range of up to 480 kilometers. Like Tesla, currently only with Model 3, the Ioniq offers either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. The acceleration of the top variant should be more than enough with 5.2 seconds from 0-100 kilometers per hour, even if performance Teslas are significantly faster.

Hyundai does not give any exact information in its long press release on the Ioniq 5 about the charging speed. It was also known that the new E-GMP platform, on which Hyundai is building its electric car offensive, works with a voltage of 800 volts like the Porsche Taycan, which makes higher performance possible. This value is now mentioned several times (alternatively, it can also be charged at 400-volt columns without an adapter), but no charging power in kilowatts. The only information about this is indirect: The Ioniq 5 should be charged from 10 percent to 80 percent battery level in 18 minutes. In the larger version, this corresponds to a good 50 kilowatt hours, so that over the 18 minutes there is an average output of almost 170 kilowatts.

And the electricity can not only be used for driving, but also to operate larger electrical devices. For this purpose, a socket known by Hyundai as a V2L port (for vehicle-to-load) is located under the seats in the second row and another on the outside of the charging socket. With an output of 3.6 kilowatts, it should even be sufficient to charge another electric car in an emergency. Also potentially useful: an electric trailer coupling for loads of up to 1,600 kilograms.

As with Tesla, the Ioniq 5 can now also start and stop charging with the Hyundai app; Preheating before departure is also possible. In addition, there are various “semi-autonomous” functions that are intended to intervene in a braking or steering manner when a hazard is detected. The attention of the person behind the wheel is also monitored, writes Hyundai.

Special model with solar roof at the start

Another interesting feature of the Ioniq 5, which Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently mentioned as a possibility for a later coming van, is an optional solar roof. It should be able to generate electricity and feed it into the battery. Hyundai does not provide any information on performance. Because the space on the roof is limited, there shouldn’t be much solar power available from there, but it might at least be enough to keep a vehicle parked in the blazing sun cool.

According to Hyundai, the marketing of the Ioniq 5 begins with the special Project 45 model for 59,550 euros, of which 49,980 euros remain after deduction of manufacturer and state premiums when buying an electric car in Germany. It should be possible to reserve it “immediately” on the web, but there was no way to find it on Tuesday morning at the link provided. The only 3000 copies of the start series worldwide have, for example, the solar roof and are intended to be “the first vehicles in customer hands”. Hyundai named early summer 2021 as the date for the general market launch, i.e. very soon, but it remained open whether the start of regular orders or delivery was meant.

Starting price Ioniq 5 under Tesla Model 3

Hyundai specifies the base price for the regular Ioniq 5 “with extensive equipment” at 41,900 euros, which should refer to the version with the smaller battery and rear-wheel drive. It starts a little below the Tesla Model 3. Its price was recently further reduced to 39,900 euros on the German Tesla website, but unlike most other manufacturers, it already has its own share of the environmental bonus of 3570 euros deducted.

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