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EPA Finds Hyundai's Ioniq Sedan as the Most Efficient Electric Vehicle Tested

It didn't take long for Hyundai's electric sedan to make a name for itself in the U.S., and that was even before it actually became available for purchase.
Hyundai Ioniq electric 9 photos
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Hyundai has been touting with the idea of liquid hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and together with Toyota and Honda, it was one of the most active brands supporting this technology. Recently, though, after several years that have seen very little progress in the necessary infrastructure, the Korean carmakers is now starting to give battery power a go.

The first car it hangs its EV hopes on is the Ioniq sedan - a compact-sized three-box design that's been around its domestic market for the past year and has recently been launched in Europe as well. As for the U.S., it is set to get it early next year.

The specs of the Ioniq Electric are somewhat underwhelming: it comes with a 28 kWh battery pack and gets an EPA-rated maximum range of 124 miles (200 km). That's precisely the same as the new Volkswagen e-Golf, and not nearly enough to compete with the top dogs - the Chevrolet Bolt, for instance, or the upcoming Nissan LEAF or Tesla Model 3.

However, Hyundai seems well aware of this and has pledged to increase the EV's range in the shortest time possible - "over 200 miles by 2018," that is. Through the voice of its CEO, Dave Zuchowski, the company also announced four new electric models over the next four years, which shows a clear commitment. Especially since over the same period, there's only one fuel cell vehicle planned.

But even though the Ioniq Electric falls short in the range category, according to EPA's fuel economy ratings, its efficiency is significantly better than its competitors'. The MPGe equivalent for Hyundai's EV is 136 (combined city/highway), which is 12 MPGe better than the second on the list, the BMW i3. The Chevrolet Bolt comes in fourth (behind the Ioniq and two i3 versions) with 119 MPGe.

Hyundai hasn't announced its U.S. pricing for the Ioniq, but considering what it asks for it in other markets, expect it to be around the $35,000 mark. That means it won't be an immediate sales success - not with the Bolt's 238 maximum range or the Tesla Model 3 - but if Hyundai is true to its word and offers an improved version in a little over a year, then things could change.


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