Electricity Is Cool

2017 Hyundai Ionic Electric

Every automaker is stating that electric vehicles are the future. But electric cars have been around since 1834. Ponder that as you take a look at the 2017 Ionic electric sedan with a respectable 124 mile range.

I got to put the Ionic through its paces for a week. And by that I mean going to the store, driving to our kids homes and back from Kenmore to West Seattle, a 40 mile trip and driving to a Mariner baseball game in stop and go traffic. In other words, I drove this electric car just like one powered by dinosaurs and didn’t think twice. No range anxiety for me.

For you tech geeks, the Ionic is powered by an 88kW electric motor making 118-horsepower.

The batteries are lithium-ion polymer. The transmission is single speed. And the Ionic, even with all those batteries weighs just 3,164 pounds.

Hyundai designers went for an understated exterior. Unlike cars like the Leaf and the BMW i3 you wouldn’t know that the Ionic was an electric vehicle if you pulled up next to it.

Same goes for the interior, although Hyundai took a cue from BMW using recycled and ecologically sensitive materials. The door covers are made of plastic that they combined with volcanic stone and powered wood. The headliner and carpet contain sugar cane. Even the paint is made with renewable ingredients extracted from the oil of the soybean. Pretty cool Hyundai.

The gauges aren’t too bling but everything is easy to read and uncomplicated.There is a solo analog gauge surrounded by LED’s that keep you updated on power use and how much juice you have left. The infotainment screen is a high-definition 7-inch beauty. It’s super bright and crisp. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is included in the price of the car. And you can get a wireless inductive pad for new iPhones and other smartphones with wireless charging capabilities.

You won’t feel cramped in the the Ionic. It’s super roomy with plenty of headroom for you and your tall passengers. Everything is up to the usually great Hyundai standards. Fit and finish is spot on.

Driving this electric vehicle was surpassingly fun. The instant power when you put the pedal to the metal is so exhilarating and an experience that never gets old. The Ionic handles great too. I should also mention the brakes. Similar to the BMW i3, taking your foot off the go pedal acts like the brakes. In fact, once you get used to this new way of motoring you rarely use the brake pedal because lifting your foot off the accelerator slows you down to a full stop.

Hyundai hit it out of the park with their first all electric vehicle. And the price is right too.

Base price is a little over $29,000. Hyundai gave me the Limited version that came in at $32,500.00. For the extra bucks you get stuff like blind spot monitoring and Hid/Xenon headlights.

The Ionic is a great value and pretty fun to drive. Couple that with the usual Hyundai quality and they have produced a battery powered winner.

 

Mike West CBS

 

 

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