Hyundai Motor Co presents its new Ioniq 5 as being capable of doing more than the average electric vehicle.
In a series of promotional YouTube videos, a camper is shown running on a treadmill connected to the car’s battery, listening to his favorite songs on a speaker bank, and even rustling a roast chicken dinner in a portable oven. The car can provide up to 3.6 kilowatts of energy, enough to run devices like refrigerators and stoves.
It’s part of a move by Hyundai to attract a younger audience as it catches up with the electric vehicle market. The South Korean automaker is behind EV pioneers such as Tesla Inc and established brands like Volkswagen AG and BMW AG, which only introduced its electric car in 2016.
“We looked at the broader meaning of space which would include the outdoor and everyday activities that consumers can do with their cars,” said Heung Soo Kim, senior vice president and head of product and vehicle operations electric, in an interview last month. “We are constantly looking for new features that will appeal to users.”
Hyundai claims to be the first major electric car maker to offer two-way charging, which means owners can power electronic devices from the car’s battery. While conventional car batteries can be used to charge laptops and phones, they drain quickly if plugged into something more powerful, like a portable refrigerator or audio system, which means serious campers need to install a dual battery system or lug around heavy, noisy generators. to fuel their comfort at home.
The Ioniq 5 also comes with the option of installing a solar panel roof that will charge the battery, giving the vehicle an additional range of around 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) per year.
The American start-up Rivian Automotive Inc. is also seeking to attract buyers who love the great outdoors, but with a certain comfort. She developed a sliding camp kitchen for her Sedona SUV with an induction cooktop powered by the car’s battery.
Over the next few months, Hyundai is expected to begin sales of the Ioniq 5, its first electric vehicle built on a dedicated platform called the Electric-Global Modular Platform, or E-GMP. The flattened chassis allows the automaker to create roomier interiors, another card to pull in to entice drivers to switch from conventional gasoline vehicles.
“This year will mark the start of a new era for Hyundai and Kia with the release of its complete electric vehicles,” said Lee Jae-il, analyst at Eugene Investment & Securities Co in Seoul. “Hyundai has come a long way between being one of the laggards in the electric vehicle market and offering a very competitive product with the Ioniq 5.”
Still, demand for the Ioniq 5 is expected to be slow initially. Hyundai received orders for just over 20,000 vehicles in South Korea on the day pre-orders opened. The automaker aims to sell 26,500 of the EV model in its home market this year, a fraction of its total sales target of 741,500 vehicles.
The Ioniq 5 will start at 52 million won ($ 46,000) before subsidies, according to Hyundai’s website. The smaller Kona EV starts at 49 million won before subsidies, and its Palisade SUV starts at 36.4 million won.
Hyundai shares rose 0.4% at the start of trading in Seoul on Wednesday. They have grown 20% this year, making it one of the top performing auto titles behind VW, General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co.
Another feature that sets it apart from its competitors is Hyundai’s charging speed. The platform allows electric vehicles to charge up to 80% of their capacity from 10% in 18 minutes and add up to 100 kilometers of range in just 5 minutes. They will have a maximum range of 500 kilometers on a single charge. It will also charge at 800 volts and 400 volts, giving owners access to more charging infrastructure, Kim said.
This compares to Volkswagen’s ID.4, which takes about 38 minutes to charge up to 80% of 5% in about 38 minutes and add 100 kilometers in about 10 minutes. It falls short of the Porsche Taycan, which can add enough charge for 100 kilometers in 4 minutes, and has a total range of 450 kilometers. Tesla markets the Long Range version of its Model 3 at around 515 kilometers.
Hyundai’s Kia Corp unit also unveiled its new EV6 model last month which will be assembled on the same E-GMP platform and is expected to go on sale in July.
“We have also focused on having a modular platform that will allow us to offer different types of vehicles on the same platform,” said Kim.
Hyundai is also working on building a charging infrastructure to encourage more people to buy electric vehicles. The conglomerate unveiled in March its intention to provide ultra-high-speed charging stations through its E-pit brand. It plans to open 20 stations in South Korea this year and will work with potential partners overseas to build the infrastructure.
Emerging markets are also getting attention, with India and Southeast Asia part of the company’s long-term strategy, Kim said. Hyundai is also considering partnerships with local governments to build charging infrastructure to support demand for electric vehicles, he said.
Read: Here’s why there is a shortage of new cars in South Africa right now