Doug and his wife bought their Hyundai Ioniq Elite 12 months ago, primarily because of environmental concerns about carbon dioxide emissions. He was curious about what it would be like to drive an electric vehicle and was looking forward to the low running costs.
At $55,000, the Ioniq was cheaper than the Tesla at the time. He also had the belief that the Tesla was not readily available in Australia.
He cross shopped the Nissan Leaf and found that the Ioniq got much better reviews on YouTube. He had had a Hyundai Sonata which had given him many years of reliable service some time ago, although he was not wedded to the brand. At the time of purchase the Kona was available but was more expensive than the Ioniq.
So, after careful research, the Ioniq order was made in July 2020. The car was delivered after a 2 month wait.
Doug’s old Camry had served the family for 15 years and travelled over 200,000 kms. It still ran well but was getting tired and the suspicion was growing that large repair bills may have to be paid.
Although the Camry was a comfortable, quiet car, the Ioniq is quieter, has greater acceleration and more gadgets. The technology can be an overload at times. There are lot of options, lots of sources of information. Some of the options don’t get used. He is sure there are options he doesn’t even know exist.
Doug says the screens and the GPS are very handy. The screen is brighter and clearer than his relative’s Toyota hybrid. He appreciates the hands free telephone, the digital radio, etc. But it’s taking a while to get used to the rear view camera.
He likes the adaptive cruise control but doesn’t like the lane assist with its gentle tug on the wheel. Blind spot alert is another positive. The Ioniq doesn’t come with a spare tyre.
So far, the Ioniq has travelled over 9,000 km and is used most of the time for running around in the local areas. He says he is still getting used to the range issue.
“Can we make it to Tin Can Bay from Brisbane and return?” Doug muses. The Ioniq has a stated range of 300km. He has taken the car to the Gold Coast and back on a single charge. The dashboard display provides plenty of information regarding battery charge and estimated available range.
Doug has a Delta charger installed in his garage that was organised by his dealer. Supplied and installed at a cost of $1,800. He finds it annoying that there are different plugs and charging rates and is experimenting with charging from a normal power socket. Insurance and registration costs are about the same as a four-cylinder ICE car.
Under warranty terms, the Ioniq must have a dealer service every 12 months, or 15,000 km. The invoice lists a range of items that have been checked – instruments, lights, rotate tyres, inspected bolts, nuts, etc – as per on an ICE vehicle.
Only thing they didn’t do was the change oil. However, there is an item on the bill for oil – $40. That is something Doug is going to investigate. Cost of service: $105 for labour, $40 for oil.
A Subaru Forrester is kept for those jobs you wouldn’t use a nearly new car for, trucking garden materials, carrying large items on the roof rack. It is 12 years old.
The Ioniq is seen as an expensive vehicle by Doug’s family and friends. A bit outside their range. They are curious and interested – especially in the gadgetry. As the year’s tick by, and the savings add up, it will be interesting to see how people’s opinions change.
David Waterworth is a researcher and writer, a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He owns 50 shares of Tesla.