Hyundai Ioniq 5 owner Paul Guard’s new EV can not only tow things and brew a damn good coffee, but it can also charge another EV, thanks to its vehicle-to-load function.
It’s a whole new look into how electro-mobility is changing the world – something evidently close to Guard’s heart. When you walk up the path in front of Paul’s house it’s hard to ignore his environmental bias. The rubbish bins are adorned with the picture of LNP politicians and the motto – throw them in the bin. On his gate is the vivid yellow sign: climate action now!
His house, in a green, inner city suburb has been retrofitted with rooftop solar, a battery, solar hot water, efficient HVAC and LED lights. He has gotten rid of gas and even his garden tools are electric. Yes, the house is well insulated – but that was already there when he bought the place.
This is a man who takes sustainability seriously. Hence the Ioniq 5 parked in the carport, next to the electric cargo bike he uses to take his daughter to school.
Even more impressive perhaps is seeing the Ioniq 5 top up a Tesla.
Guard recently downsized from an Outlander PHEV and wanted the convenience of an SUV with plenty of range and space, but this time a fully electric one. The Tesla Y would have been considered if it was available. He also had a look at the Volvo XC recharge, which had the advantage of an extra 1.5 cm road clearance. The Kona’s cargo space was too small.
The Ioniq appealed for several reasons. It has the fastest charging of the three – it can add 300km of range in 18 minutes at a 350kW DC charger (mind you, there aren’t too many of those around Brisbane). He found the dash more familiar as it is similar to his previous car and he likes being able to use Android Auto – the car’s screen becomes an extension of the phone. The blind spot camera displays are in a convenient location on the dash.
But most of all, he is looking forward to using the vehicle to load capacity for camping, which allows him to supply up to 3.6kW of power to AC appliances via an adaptor that plugs into the car’s charging socket. Guard is a member of Rogaining Queensland.
A group of enthusiasts camp out and engage in long distance cross country navigation competitions. Next time, they won’t need a noisy petrol generator; the Ioniq 5 will be able to power the camp. He has had a tow bar fitted and with D bolts hanging from it he is ready to go.
He says that he doesn’t need a lot of the extra features that come with a Tesla, such as an app for the car and OTA updates.
Guard has owned his Ioniq 5 for about a month and travelled 1,500 kms. He is due for his first service which is free and will benefit from reduced cost servicing on an annual basis. He hopes to keep the car for about 8 years – perhaps I won’t need a car by then, he ponders.
Buying the car required all of his navigation expertise. He missed the first round. Hyundai moved from dealers based orders to online ordering for this model. Those who had put a deposit with a dealer got their money back, and received priority invitation to order online.
Those who registered by letter were invited to order by email in early October, but the online system overloaded with 10,000 people trying to put a deposit down at the same time. It was definitely not a pleasant experience.
Guard managed to get through, put down a $2,000 deposit and waited for word on his preferred white All Wheel Drive. Sadly, he received a message saying that they had not got the car he wanted. Paul thought he had missed out, but then came the question, would he accept a digital teal coloured AWD. Would he ever!
Guard and his family have had a few trips in the new car – Toowoomba, O’Reilly’s, Sunshine Coast. The 72.6kWh battery provides ample range. Paul says that coming from a PHEV to a BEV meant it was less of a learning curve than coming straight from petrol.
Guard charges in his car port from a 15 amp power point. He juggles the timing around the pool pump and his other household power requirements, making sure to maximise self-consumption of his own solar power generation.
So, what can you do with an $80,000 Ioniq 5? You can take it camping; you can take it to the dump; you can brew coffee with it. You can take it to running club and impress your mates with “rocket mode”. Guard says his kids were pretty impressed with the acceleration also. Overall, he says, “it’s pretty hard to fault!”
David Waterworth is a researcher and writer, a retired school teacher who continues to provoke thought through his writing. He divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He is long on Tesla.