Hyundai Ioniq To Be Offered In BEV, PHEV, HEV In 2016


Hyundai Ioniq Teaser

Hyundai Ioniq Teaser

In 2016, Hyundai will become the first automaker to offer a car with the choice of three different electrified powertrains:

  • Battery electric
  • Plug-In Hybrid
  • Conventional hybrid

The car, called IONIQ, will make it world premier debut in January 2016 in Korea, followed by debuts at auto shows in March both in Europe (Geneva) and in the U.S. (New York).

Of IONIQ, Hyundai states:

“The IONIQ breaks hybrid stereotype by delivering entertaining drive alongside class-leading fuel economy and appealing design.”

Hyundai makes no mention of pricing or on-sale date in the press release on IONIQ, but the automaker does says that IONIQ is built on its own dedicated platform and states:

“In its fully-electric (EV) form, the IONIQ is powered by a high capacity, ultra-efficient lithium ion battery. The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version combines a fuel-efficient energy with battery power obtained by charging the car with electricity, boosting its range while cutting its emissions. Finally, the hybrid (HEV) utilizes the gasoline engine and motion of the car to charge the on-board battery, which returns enhanced efficiency by supplementing the engine’s power.”

We suspect that IONIQ will go on sale before the end of 2017, though this has not been confirmed by the automaker.

What we do know is the IONIQ is fulfilment of a promise made back in March of 2014 to introduce a mid-size electric car, stated then (and reiterated often) to be released in 2016. It was further reported later that the company had signed a deal with LG Chem for use of its next generation cells in the EV.  We would not want to take a stab at estimating the range of the BEV or PHEV at this moment, but would suggest 150 miles+ would be a good starting point for the all-electric Hyundai.

The lone teaser image shown above is the only image released of IONIQ thus far by Hyundai.

Press release below:

Hyundai Motor introduces IONIQ, the first car to offer a choice of three electrified powertrains
• Electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid powertrains available in a single body type, a world first
• The IONIQ breaks hybrid stereotype by delivering entertaining drive alongside class-leading fuel economy and appealing design
• Global launch set for January 2016 in Korea, followed by Geneva and New York auto shows, an important step as Hyundai Motor works to be global green car market leader

December 7, 2015 – Hyundai Motor has announced the name of its advanced, alternative-fuel compact vehicle due for launch in 2016: the Hyundai IONIQ [pronunciation: a?|?:n?k]. The car will be available with electric, plug-in gasoline/electric hybrid, or gasoline/electric hybrid powertrain – the first car from any manufacturer to offer customers these three powertrain options in a single body type.

As part of Hyundai Motor’s ambition to chart the direction of future mobility, while enhancing the lives of its customers, the IONIQ responds to rapidly changing customer lifestyles by breaking the mold for hybrid vehicles. As the world’s first model to offer customers the choice of three powertrain options, the IONIQ combines class-leading fuel efficiency with a fun, responsive drive and attractive design, a unique mix not yet achieved by a hybrid vehicle.

Woong-Chul Yang, Head of Hyundai Motor R&D Center said, “Hyundai Motor has a heritage of building innovative, fuel-efficient vehicles, so we are proud to advance our eco-friendly car line-up with the introduction of IONIQ. Our vision for future mobility focuses on choice, with a variety of powertrain options to suit customers’ varied lifestyles, without compromising on design or driving enjoyment. IONIQ embodies Hyundai Motor’s vision to shift the automotive paradigm and future mobility; IONIQ is the fruit of our efforts to become the leader in the global green car market.”

The new car’s name references elements of its creation. An ion is an electrically-charged atom, linking to the car’s clever combination of electrified powertrains. The second part of the name references the unique offering it brings to the Hyundai range, demonstrating the brand’s environmental commitment and willingness to maximize choice for its customers. Finally, the Q is depicted in the car’s logo as a visual breakthrough, acknowledging the fresh new approach of this advanced, low-emission model.

Based on an exclusive new platform, made specifically for the car’s multi-powertrain options, the IONIQ chassis is optimized to deliver responsive handling while remaining efficient in each of its three powertrain configurations. In its fully-electric (EV) form, the IONIQ is powered by a high capacity, ultra-efficient lithium ion battery. The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version combines a fuel-efficient energy with battery power obtained by charging the car with electricity, boosting its range while cutting its emissions. Finally, the hybrid (HEV) utilizes the gasoline engine and motion of the car to charge the on-board battery, which returns enhanced efficiency by supplementing the engine’s power.

Hyundai Motor is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of hybrid vehicles and is committed to a future vehicle line-up comprising low- to zero-emission vehicles. This latest leap forward builds on Hyundai Motor’s heritage of world-first environmental developments. In 2013, Hyundai Motor became the first car manufacturer to mass-produce a hydrogen-fueled vehicle, the Tucson Fuel Cell (ix35 Fuel Cell in some markets).

Following its world premiere in Korea in January, the IONIQ is due to be shown at the Geneva International Motor Show, followed by the New York Auto Show, both in March 2016.

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33 Comments on "Hyundai Ioniq To Be Offered In BEV, PHEV, HEV In 2016"

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3 questions come to mind:
1) Range?
2) Range??
3) Range???

I predict it will be

BEV) Range?

HEV) Range??

PHEV) Range???

and also

HEV) Price?

PHEV) Price??

BEV) Price???


Anyway, this looks like something that could be very, very interesting. With ample range and a station wagon option I think this could be a real hit!

Honestly, I only want to know about the ranges of the plug-in versions. Regarding the hybrid, the MPG stat is the only interesting one.

Then we get into all the other questions like price, seating area, 0-60mph, etc.

For me it’s:

1) Range
2) Seating
3) Cargo Capacity

Price isn’t much of a consideration to me as long as it doesn’t break the bank (and I think it unlikely that a Hyundai will break the bank).

If price is no issue, go pick up a used Tesla Model S for $50k on the Certified Pre-Owned site. There are many available right now as owners upgrade to auto pilot cars.

I wonder HOW EXCLUSIVE the platform will be to accomdate “BOTH” or all powertrains. Sounds like it might be a Universal a Patch up ICE Conversion Job…

I’m not enthusiastic about the plan to build a “dedicated alternative fuel” platform chassis for both gasoline hybrid and BEV use. I just don’t see a way for a chassis built to accommodate a thermal exhaust and fuel tank to also embrace a skateboard style battery pack, so every BEV model is going to have to make major compromises on the battery capacity, allowing the carmaker to use that as an excuse for underperforming.

Honda and Hyundai are both doing it, and both are going to put off the BEV model for as long as they can.

I wonder if they’ll switch from Chademo to CCS.

The EU version was seen testing charging on CCS at a Fastned charger recently.

Here a video CCS testing in Europe.

If Hyundai adopts CCS, I predict Chademo is on it’s way out. The momentum at this point just counts for more than existing installed base.

Depending on how well they execute Ioniq BEV, it could be FCEV killer for them, probably for Toyota as well.

Generally speaking, i think PHEVs are the real FCEV killers, as they blow away any of the few arguments in favour of FCEVs over BEVs. Having Honda produce a PHEV on the same platform as their FCEV will really highlight this.

If this Hyundai PHEV shares a platform with a BEV, there’s good reason to expect strong EV mode performance, as the platform can likely accommodate a large battery.

My guess is only the BEV will offer any appreciable range. I’m a little surprised that at this point in the PHEV life-cycle we aren’t seeing more automakers dipping their toes into the BMW i3 rex / Chevy Volt model (i.e. extended range electrics). I am still figuring out what my gen 1 Volt’s replacement will be (note: lease was up in July). As much as I love the Tesla Model S, I am forced to admit it is still more challenging as a “go anywhere car” than my gen 1 Volt was here in Texas (much less gen 2). I even told the Model S folks at my most recent test drive “Honestly, if the Model S had a small range extender engine…that would be ideal!”.

The battery is huge, same LG battery as Bolt, imo 150 mile EPA or more, out in 2016

The second generation NMC cells of LG Chem are 65 Ah and weight less than 1 kg (energy density is around 244 Wh/kg).

My guess is Chevy Bolt will have a 70,2 kWh (288 x 65 Ah x 3,65 V) battery

And this Hyundai will have a 46,8 kWh (192 x 65 Ah x 3,65 V) battery.

This Hyundai Ioniq will probably force Nissan to introduce a 48 kWh battery for first generation Leaf, before the 60 kWh for the second generation Leaf. The second generation Leaf will have both options, 48 kWh and 60 kWh.

Nice looking silhouette. Assuming AER, pricing and availability are fairly proportioned, and the merits of plug-ins well presented, it will be an interesting experiment on the popularity of all-electric drive.

Perhaps available like Kia Soul EV, in limited numbers, limited markets and only if you wait 6 months or have luck.

I saw a black and red Kia Soul driving south on the I-5 near Boeing Field this morning, and looked carefully for a tailpipe… didn’t have one !

The advertising renderings are lovely, but I agree that you’ll probably not see the BEV version until 2018, and even then maybe only in LA and Seoul.

I never saw one in the wild, i drive Soul EV on a event and its a nice car. But how Kia concerns nothing at all to push sales i will remain with Nissan.

Not so. I see plenty of Soul EVs here in Norway. I know, we’re too small to matter, but we’re not in Korea and we’re not in L.A.

My brother decided to get one and had to wait a while week for delivery. 🙂 I have a Leaf, and the difference is shocking! The Soul is so much more quiet and feels like a luxury car by comparison. It is also better equipped and goes a bit farther than my 2012 Nissan.

I think things are progressing nicely with EVs, although most countries should do far more to hasten adoption. There’s no longer any real doubt in my mind that the electrification of cars is going to happen.

On one hand, it’s great to see more and more plug in vehicles “in the works” from multiple manufacturers.

On the other hand, I sincerely hope this isn’t a halfhearted effort like some others have been. For example, a really expensive price tag with really low range.

It will be a direct comparison, assuming the prices are in line with costs, we will see which sells better. I believe the HEV will sell more, then the PHEV, then the EV.

Some good spy shots of the Hyundai Ioniq:

This car is based on the platform exclusively developed for the use of Hyundai-Kia green cars.

The same platform and drivetrains will be used on Kia Niro.

the cold weather bttry only distance sucks for most hybrid plug in cars. chevy volt and other rex cars interior heating system is a joke.give me a break. RESISTANCE HEATING ONLY !!! nuts. i live in new york and my bev CODA has an intense hi-tech cabin heating system. rex cars are for punks. nothing like range anxiety to perk up your commute. LOL

I find comments like yours encouraging. They suggest to me that EVs are starting to go mainstream; reaching a less literate demographic.


Ampzilla you of course realize that if the resistance heating isn’t good enough for you in the VOLT, that the gasoline engine provides as much heat as efficiently as any other car.

Looks like Hyundai has (wisely) put fuel cells on the back burner and jumped onto the plug-in bandwagon.

More affordable BEV offerings are welcome. We’ll hit some sort of tipping point soon and then the disruption will be swift and deadly for non-participants.

The list is missing the BEV+Rex version. Like Cris said it is surprising that the i3 system is not copied since it give a good ev range but still retain the very long range possibility. For at least ghe next 5 years hhat is the best combination of price and very long range.

The BEV+Rex version is a PlugInHybrid, aka PHEV. The only difference is you have high AER. Hyundai released nothing about AER of the PHEV, so you don’t know if it is more like a BEV+Rex (i3 style) or a BEV for 5 miles + Rex (PHEV). We will see next year, nice to have options. 😉

I think the real difference between PHEV and REx is whether or not you have full performance in EV mode. Most recently, I believe the Volt and the Cadilac ELR have begun to even blur that line by showing SLIGHTLY improved acceleration times with the engine on.