Hyundai has officially launched its first electric vehicle range in Australia, and confirmed that the Ioniq full electric will be first new EV with decent range priced under $A50,000 and will be available for purchase from mid-December.

The launch of Hyundai’s Ioniq range will the first of a number of new electric vehicle offerings from a range of manufacturers over the coming 12 months, all around this $A45,000-$A55,000 price range. These include another Hyundai offering, the Nissan Leaf version 2.0, Kia, and Tesla with its base-level Model 3.

The Ioniq will be available from 18 Hyundai dealerships around the country, although the company is keeping quiet about the number of models available, or the anticipated sales.

Australia’s EV sales trail western economies, accounting for just 0.2 per cent of total new vehicle sales and an accumulated total so far of around 8,000 vehicles, including hybrids, although a Senate report next week could outline a strategy, including targets and incentives, to remedy that.

Hyundai is launching three versions of Ioniq at the same time – and this range will serve as a useful reference point to consumers weighing up varying up-front and running costs of hybrid cars, plug-in hybrids and full electric vehicles.

As reported by The Driven in October, Hyundai confirms that the base model of the Ioniq battery EV will be $A44,990 plus on-road costs. The plug in hybrid will cost $A40,990 plus on-roads, with the hybrid at $A33,990. The premium versions (mostly around trim) add between $A4,000 and $A5,000.

The pricing gives the first true like-for-like comparison between full electrics and their hybrid versions. The up front cost of the full electric may be $10,000 more than the hybrid, but is likely to save more than $1,000 a year on fuel and maintenance costs, based on annual driving of around 20,000kms.

The South Korean motoring giant is hosting auto industry journalists and industry representatives at a series of launch events and driving tests for the 2019 Ioniq range in Brisbane this week.

“The new Hyundai Ioniq marks the opening of an exciting new chapter for our company,” said Hyundai Motor Company Australia CEO J.W. Lee in a statement.

“In a first for both Hyundai and the market, the choice of three electrified powertrains in the new 2019 Ioniq brings a version to suit every green vehicle customer.”

The full electric has a 28kWh lithium-ion polymer battery that delivers 230kms of “real-world” range (and 280kms under ADR 81/02 & NEDC ratings) and can support fast-charging of up to 100kW DC.

The plug in hybrid has a 8.9kWh battery that delivers 63kms before the petrol engine is required, while the hybrid combines petrol and a 1.56kWh battery and delivers a fuel economy of 3.4 litres/100km.

Hyundai says that the Ioniq electric will have a high-output 88 kW permanent-magnet synchronous motor that delivers a peak of 295Nm of torque with instant responsiveness, which will give it faster acceleration than similar internal combustion engine models.

“Because the electric motor produces peak torque across a wide range, the Ioniq Electric does not require multiple forward gearbox ratios,” the company says. “Instead, a smooth, refined and efficient single-speed reduction gearbox seamlessly transmits motor power to the wheels.”

All three versions will feature regenerative braking system can capture excess kinetic energy, using it to charge the battery rather than seeing it go to waste as heat in the brakes.

The Ioniq Electric can plug-in to a standard household socket using the supplied In-Cable Control Box (ICCB), as well as into an AC charging station, or a specialised 100kW DC fast-charging station.

A commercial 100kW DC fast charging station can charged the electric up to 80 percent in as little as 23 minutes (or in 30 minutes when connected to a 50kW fast charging station).

The 6.6kW on-board AC charger can charge the high-voltage battery in 4 hours 25 minutes when connected to a charging station of equal or higher capacity.

In circumstances where a charging station is not available, the standard In-Cable Control Box (ICCB) in the boot of every Ioniq Electric allows the battery to be charged via any household 240V AC outlet. It takes about 12 hours to reach full charge from zero when plugged in using the ICCB.

The Ioniq battery warranty extends for 8 years or 160,000 kilometres. Serving costs for the full electric are $700 cheaper over the 5-year car warranty.

Check out our latest update of all electric vehicles available or soon-to-be-available in Australia. And look out for our new models page providing details on price, specifications, reviews, road trips and news – coming very soon.

Giles Parkinson

Giles Parkinson is founder and editor of www.TheDriven.io, and also edits and founded RenewEconomy.com.au and OneStepOffTheGrid.com.au. He has been a journalist for 35 years and is a former business and deputy editor of the Australian Financial Review.

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