The kids have flown the coop and are getting on with their own lives. The house is quiet and there’s time to think, time to reflect and make some important decisions. How do we really want to live? What’s important to us now we are two?
When you start doing your homework about your lifestyle, your environmental footprint and making some changes that can create an impact, the conversation often turns to eco cars. And invariably, it feels like a trade-off. You probably know somebody who knows somebody with a Tesla. But it’s not right for you. Too much of a statement car.
Are the major manufacturers too far behind the game to offer some serious and sensible choices? Why aren’t they using their knowledge to package up something that has more mainstream appeal? Something that doesn’t feel like driving an experiment. In Hyundai Australia’s case, they’ve listened and now have an extensive range of vehicles that deliver premium motoring experiences, all the modern bells and whistles and exceptional safety systems. They also happen to be eco cars.
The automotive journalists have also been paying attention and are positive about recent developments. Here’s what James Cleary, Deputy Editor at Cars Guide, had to say about the 2020 Ioniq Electric Premium:
“Hats off to Hyundai Australia for offering a mainstream model covering the gamut of petrol-electric hybrid and full zero (tailpipe) emissions powertrain options. Power walking the walk while other new car brands are still just talking the EV talk.” **
The Ioniq was first introduced in 2018 and it’s since been revised inside and out with new tech and more battery capacity. Standard inclusions are extensive with an impressively large media touchscreen (good for those of us with ageing eyes) that’s linked to an eight-speaker Infinity audio system that connects to a vast array of modern devices that make driving a trouble-free pleasure. The list of active and passive safety tech is also long and comprehensive. The Ioniq is also offered as a hybrid car or a plug-in hybrid. Options? Tick.
The Ioniq is one of two electric vehicles in the brand’s lineup, the other being the Kona. The Kona is billed as Australia’s first 100 per cent electric small SUV. If you have questions about range with an EV, then the Hyundai Kona could well be the answer. The manufacturer notes that it can cover up to 449 kilometres on a single charge.
As part of Hyundai’s push to build vehicles that contribute to a cleaner tomorrow, hydrogen is an important plank in their sustainability strategy. To quote Dr Saehoon Kim, Senior Vice President and Head of Fuel Cell Centre at Hyundai: “Hydrogen is about much more than cars. Across a range of industries, it will power a greener future.”
It’s estimated that by 2050, hydrogen energy could power about 25 per cent of all vehicles*. The only emission from hydrogen energy is water and Hyundai is committed to making a hydrogen-powered future a reality.
Leading the way, the Hyundai Nexo is the first hydrogen car that has been formally certified for Australia. The Ioniq Hydrogen variant is another important milestone in the company’s plans to take a leadership position on environmental issues.
While we’re behind what’s already happening in Europe and North America, the transition has begun with sales and leasing. One advantage is that it’s quicker to refill from empty when compared to an electric car. The current disadvantage is that the infrastructure of hydrogen refuelling stations is still being built.
EV’s are different by design and are meant to challenge existing notions of mobility. Yes, there are compromises to consider and they are certainly worth thinking through.
What about price? EV’s are not at the budget end of the automotive spectrum, but manufacturers like Hyundai are providing ever-greater affordability. The savings are more about reducing your carbon footprint and leaving fossil fuels behind.
Range is another concern that often gets mentioned and the term ‘range anxiety’ has entered the vernacular. Nobody wants a flat battery any more than they want to run out of petrol and the infrastructure needed for complete peace of mind is still underway. The supply of charging stations throughout Australia is growing quickly to meet the demand of many more eco cars.
According to Infrastructure Australia, EV’s are projected to account for between 70 to 100 per cent of new vehicle sales and at least 30 per cent of the vehicle fleet in Australia by 2040. *** In the UK, there are now more electric charging points than petrol stations. Australia isn’t far behind
What about home charging? Hyundai also seems to have this covered, with an optional wall-mounted accessory unit that allows for easy overnight charging. They can provide an emergency charging cable that plugs into a 240V wall outlet.
In summary then: Hyundai now has a range of comfortable, quick, well equipped eco cars that are more everyday than oddball. They’ve worked out how to combine zero tailpipe emissions with mass marketing very effectively.
Options now. And options for the future. If you’re in the market for an eco car, maybe it’s time to look at a Hyundai.