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Hyundai’s electric Ioniq 5 crossover could be the ultimate camping companion

With two-way charging, the Ioniq 5 could supply power for a full range of electrical devices

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Hyundai unveiled the all-new Ioniq 5, an electric midsize SUV with nearly 300 miles of range and a two-way charging feature that is sure to make this a popular EV for outdoor activities.

The Ioniq 5, which will go on sale in the first half of 2021, is the first vehicle to be built on Hyundai’s new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) that the automaker says will serve as the basis for an entire family of planned EVs. Hyundai and its sister company Kia aim to sell 1 million EVs in 2025 in a bid to capture 10 percent of the global EV market.

The Ioniq 5 looks like a promising start to that effort

The Ioniq 5 looks like a promising start to that effort. The sharp-edged crossover SUV takes some of its design cues from the automaker’s 45 concept vehicle first unveiled in 2019, which was an homage to the 1974 Pony Coupe, Hyundai’s first mass-produced car and first export.

In lieu of a traditional grille, the front of the car features Hyundai’s first clamshell hood and a front bumper with a distinctive V-shape that incorporates a set of unique daytime running lights. These small, pixel-like clusters also appear at the rear of the vehicle.

But Hyundai packed the interior with a number of really interesting surprises. The center console can slide back as much as 140 millimeters, allowing either driver or passenger to enter and exit through whichever door they choose. This “universal island,” as Hyundai is branding it, could prove useful in especially tight parking situations. The movable console also provides access to the vehicle’s integrated 15-watt wireless phone charger, in addition to tons of extra storage space.

Most of the Ioniq 5’s interior touch points — seats, headliner, door trim, floor, and armrest — use eco-friendly materials, such as recycled PET bottles, plant-based yarns, and natural wool yarns, eco-processed leather with plant-based extracts, and bio paint with plant extracts. But unlike other EVs like the Polestar 2, Hyundai doesn’t go so far as to claim that its interior is 100 percent vegan.

That said, it may be comfortable enough to take a nap (but not while driving, obviously). The driver and passenger seats recline enough to offer a “weightless” feeling, Hyundai claims. The design theme is “living space,” which is meant to emphasize the roomy interior where you can kick up your feet and relax.

The Ioniq 5 comes in standard and long-range configurations, with either 58 kilowatt-hours or 77.4 kilowatt-hours of respective battery capacity. Hyundai estimates that the driving range will fall between 470-480 kilometers, or just under 300 miles, based on the European Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). Hyundai has yet to certify its range estimates, but it’s helpful to remember that WLTP estimates are typically more optimistic than the EPA, so expect that number to be less when the Ioniq 5 reaches the states.

Still, this represents a serious improvement over Hyundai’s previous EV offerings. The Ioniq 5’s range is up nearly 20 percent from the Kona EV, for example, which previously had the longest range among Hyundai’s EV lineup.

EV ownership is often defined by how much time you need to spend charging the battery, and by that measure the Ioniq 5 sounds like it could be a winner. Hyundai says the EV supports up to 350kW DC fast charging and is capable of getting up to 80 percent in as little as 18 minutes.

The Ioniq 5 supports both 400-volt and 800-volt charging. In fact, Hyundai’s E-GMP platform offers 800V charging as standard, along with 400V charging, without the need for additional adapters. Hyundai says this multi-charging system is a “world’s first patented technology that operates the motor and inverter to boost 400 V to 800 V for stable charging compatibility.”

But that charging capability flows both ways — literally

But that charging capability flows both ways — literally. The Ioniq 5 boasts a two-way charging feature that Hyundai calls “vehicle-to-load,” which can supply up to 3.6kW of power. There are two charging ports, one located under the second-row seats and the other at the charging port on the exterior. Using a converter, customers can charge a range of electrical devices, including electric bicycles, scooters, or camping equipment. The outside port provides power even when the vehicle is turned off.

(A commercial for the EV features actors using the Ioniq 5 to power a convection oven, treadmill, and half a dozen speakers, all while camping.)

This two-way charging feature is not unique to Hyundai, but it is rare for a passenger vehicle. The Ford F-150 Powerboost, a hybrid version of its full-size truck, can provide as much as 7.2kW of power through a built-in generator. But 3.6kW is a decent amount of output. To be sure, the Ioniq 5 doesn’t generate its own energy, so any power drawn from its battery will ultimately come off the vehicle’s range.


If you’re wondering how the Ioniq 5’s price compares to other electric crossover SUVs, like the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Volkswagen ID 4, or Tesla Model Y... well, so are we. Hyundai didn’t release any price information for the EV, unfortunately, though we expect it to be in the $30,000-$40,000 range, before tax incentives.

Unlike Tesla or General Motors, Hyundai is still eligible for the full $7,500 federal EV tax credit, which should help the automaker move a lot of units. Customers will also be looking for a range certification from the EPA and more details about partnerships with EV charging station operators before making their decision.

For the first time in, well, forever, customers will have a range of options when it comes to shopping for midsize electric SUVs. And the Ioniq 5 is already looking like it will be a strong contender.