Hyundai Ioniq – An Atom that may gain

It might be surprising, but Hyundai has yet to put a dedicated hybrid into production. Well, now the Korean automaker is ready to make up for lost time by introducing one vehicle in three flavors of electric performance, and it brought them along to the 2016 New York Auto Show,

As the debate over the relative merits of different hybrid technologies and pure-electric power trains continue to simmer if not quite rage, Hyundai offers a compellingly simple solution: sell them all.

The company was planning to offer 3 power train choices for its Ioniq: hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and pure electric. Now, with its official unveiling at the Geneva Auto Show, here are further details for this Prius competing notchback.

Although, the Ioniq is not on sale yet, but here’s what we know. There will be three models: a hybrid, an EV, and later in the spring of 2017, a plug-in.

Hyundai IONIQ

The 2017 IONIQ is a brand-new model designed to be offered with only hybrid, plug-in hybrid or electric drive train. Here is a comprehensive preview on this vehicle:

Engine and Performance:

Both the Ioniq Hybrid and Ioniq Plug-in use Hyundai’s new Kappa 1.6-liter four-cylinder direct-injected engine. This produces 104 horsepower and 109 lb-ft of torque and has been tuned, predictably, for maximum economy. Those models also have an electric motor and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which was chosen, the company says, to avoid the rubber-band sensation of a continuously variable automatic.

Then things start to diverge, with the plug-in being more than just a hybrid with a plug. The hybrid’s permanent-magnet synchronous AC motor makes 43 horsepower and draws juice from a lithium-ion-polymer battery pack rated at 1.6 kWh and located under the rear seats. The plug-in may share the same 1.6-liter engine and dual-clutch gearbox, but it gets a meatier, 60-hp electric motor wired to a bigger, 8.9-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Hyundai says its targeting more than 25 miles of range on electric power.

The Ioniq electric ditches the whole internal-combustion power train in favor of a single, 120-hp motor that drives the front wheels through a single-speed direct-drive gear. It gets a 28.0-kWh battery, which is estimated to be good for 110 miles of range. A 100-kW fast charger can recharge the battery to 80 percent of its maximum capacity in about 20 minutes, but it also will be possible to charge it from a household socket, albeit much more slowly.

More details:

Although the performance numbers claims aren’t yet revealed, the IONIQ sits on a new “eco” platform that will also underpin the Kia Niro Hybrid later this year. Weight is kept down by the use of high-strength steel and aluminum, and the Ioniq’s shape has been designed for aerodynamic efficiency. The three versions are distinguished by different front-end treatments, the Ioniq EV doing without an open grille on the basis that there’s no engine radiator in need of cooling air. It also has different rear lights to distinguish it from its old-fashioned fossil-gargling siblings.

Hyundai IONIQ

Interiors:

This EV gets a copper-colored character line and interior detailing in the same hue to, as the official release puts it, “create the impression that electricity is flowing through the whole car’s interior.” That sounds painful. The cabin otherwise seems quite conventional, with the hybrid and the plug-in getting console-mounted shifters and the electric model offering push buttons to select gears. The cars on the stand in Geneva featured a large central touch screen in the dashboard with the promise of integration with both Android Auto and Apple Car Play. There’s also a reconfigurable TFT instrument cluster and an inductive charging pad for compatible smart phones.

Hyundai has made no secret of the fact it wants to get to where Toyota is as quickly as possible, and the Ioniq is aimed squarely at a part of the market that the Japanese giant has owned ever since the Prius debuted. Hyundai is committed to producing 12 hybrids, six plug-in hybrids, two EVs, and two hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles by 2020, with the Ioniq in its three guises leading the way. On first impressions, it looks set to be the Prius’s toughest challenger when it goes on sale later this year.

Hyundai IONIQ Interiors

Bottom Line:

A car with a 200-mile range on the EPA Test Cycle would put Hyundai well in line with automakers like GMC, Tesla Motors as well as Nissan. A car with 250 miles or range for 2022 seems like a logical progression. This seems like a perfect strategically thought out decision. That said, Hyundai’s long-standing 7-year warranty program is all the assurance needed for this car. So, that said, would you consider a 200-mile electric car from Hyundai? Also, would it be really worth the money?

Do comment 🙂

The Hybrid and Electric Automotive Scene in India

The Indian automotive industry has always been a little late to adapt to the changing times. While markets such as America and UK have embraced hybrids and electrics by offering vast tax benefits and infrastructure to promote the use of such vehicles, the Indian government has not yet made alternative fuel powered vehicles as accessible as some of budget hatchbacks currently in the market. However, Mahindra, BMW and a few other car makers are now investing in hybrid and electric vehicles for the Indian market. We take a look at some production models and concepts from manufacturers that showcase the progress in these niche segments.

BMW i8

The BMW i8 was the car that showed us how exciting moderately powered hybrids can be. First showcased at the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo, the i8 made its big debut early last year. Despite being powered by the same 1.5 l three cylinder motor found on newer Minis, the i8 can propel itself from 0 to 100 kmph in a staggering 3.6 seconds. The immense speed coupled with the cyberpunk styling and swan doors, endows the i8 with hypercar levels of charisma. Sadly however, despite its breakthroughs, the i8 is far beyond the reach of the general public.

front view BMW i8
The BMW i8’s high price tag puts it far beyond the reach of common man

Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius has been on sale here in India for quite a few years now. However, while markets abroad are treated with the all new Prius, Toyota Kirloskar is still selling the older model for the Indian market. Although the Prius is touted as an accessible, entry level hybrid, the staggering price of INR 38 lakhs keeps it out of reach for the majority populace.

The Toyota Prius' older generation is still on sale here in India
The Toyota Prius’ older generation is still on sale here in India

Mahindra e2o

Soon after Mahindra acquired the REVA electric company, the Indian car maker launched the new and improved e2o EV. Unlike the bare bones Reva electric, the e2o features numerous hardware and software features that put the vehicle well ahead of its time. Priced at a reasonable INR 5.96 lakhs, the two door, four seater electric hatchback features interesting features such as full LCD instrument cluster, touchscreen infotainment system and projector headlights. While the electric motor that drives the front wheels produces a meager 26 hp, the car’s lightweight and small size ensure the motor isn’t overworked.

The Mahindra e2o is a much better product than its predecessor
The Mahindra e2o is a much better product than its predecessor

Mahindra Halo

The Mahindra Halo was a concept sports car showcased at the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo. Although Mahindra has made no recent headlines for the future of its Halo concept, the electric sports car showcased the car maker’s plans for the future. Although exact details were not revealed, Mahindra did claim that the Halo concept can reach speeds of up to 200 km/h.  The interiors feature a combination of current and next gen elements such as the conventional glove box, large touchscreen infotainment system and the sporty flat bottomed steering wheel.

Mahindra's Halo concept is an electric sports car capable of 200 kmph
Mahindra’s Halo concept is an electric sports car capable of 200 kmph

Toyota Camry Hybrid

At INR 31.9 lakhs, the Camry Hybrid sedan, is far cheaper and better equipped than the Prius. However, the lackluster styling and overdose of chrome is rather jarring in a segment populated by cars such as the Audi A3 and Mercedes Benz CLA Class. The car produces a total of 158 bhp @ 5700 RPM and a peak torque figure of 213 Nm @ 4500 RPM. Power is sent to the front wheels via a six speed automatic gearbox.

The Camry Hybrid is a fuel saving luxury executive saloon
The Camry Hybrid is a fuel saving luxury executive saloon

Maruti Suzuki Ciaz SHVS

Maruti Suzuki, one of the biggest manufacturers of the Indian car industry has its grasp in almost every segment. However, similar to other car makers, up until now Maruti Suzuki lacked the initiative to launch hybrid or electric vehicles due to their high cost of research and low return. With the 2015 Ciaz SHVS, Maruti Suzuki has taken the first small step into the still niche mainstream hybrid car segment. Unlike traditional hybrids such as the Prius and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, the Ciaz SHVS implements a host of small fuel saving techniques to earn the moniker of a hybrid. Some of the fuel saving features the Ciaz SHVS makes use of are the automatic start-stop system, Deceleration Energy Regenerating function and the Engine Power Assist function. With added bonus of a fairly reasonable price tag (INR 8.23 lakhs) and the exemption from Delhi’s odd-even rule, the Ciaz was one of the most interesting launches of last year.

The Mahindra XUV500 Diesel Hybrid is yet to hit production
The Mahindra XUV500 Diesel Hybrid is yet to hit production

Mahindra XUV5OO Diesel Hybrid

The Mahindra XUV500 is one of the most popular SUVs currently on sale. Its impressive exterior, feature laden cabin and attractive price tag was more than enough to catapult the indigenous SUV to the top. At the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo, Mahindra also showcased the XUV5oo hybrid, which was touted to be India’s first diesel hybrid. However, the XUV500 is yet to reach production stages and hopefully we might see the full fledged hybrid later this year.

Electric Micro super car- an overview

The usage of the conventional sources of energy like coal and petroleum is growing at a rapid rate and since they are perishable, the world would finally end up with no more such resources. The majority is being used in the transport sector. On- road vehicle population is increasing rapidly and is expected to grow higher and higher. Thus there is a need of  driving vehicles by using resources like bio fuels, electric drive, solar energy and many more.

Electric Micro Super Car:

In one such initiative by EU(European Union) an electric micro super-car concept has been developed.This concept is a product of three years, million dollars of investment between industry and academia along with lot of hard work form the designers team. Electric cars are powered by energy from batteries and which are further charged by power generated by power plants. Thus these vehicles are also not completely clean because pollutants are released during electricity generation.

The electric micro super-car concept is an all green car as it is powered by solar energy. The project named P-MOB is focused on development of light weight electric vehicles with harvesting of solar energy for mobility and  low aerodynamic drag. The vehicle is designed considering the urban driving conditions.

Electric Micro Super Car

The vehicle is a three seater, solar powered with a mass less than 600 kg without batteries pack.    It has top speed of 100 kmph and fully charged battery range of 100km. However when powered by solar energy alone, it can manage 20 km based on testing done on Fit test tracks in Italy. 20 km distance is found to be more than the average distance by daily commuters in Europe.  This makes it suitable for short city drives and will not be able to cope up with the long highway drives. It has a kinetic energy recovery system during braking and is claimed to have 30 percent less aerodynamic drag when compared to the vehicles of same class.The little car has a good deal of style, four wheel drive, good handling and swift acceleration.

The vehicle is made from a low-cost tubular steel frame with sheet metal forming in order to comply with the crash worthiness based on regulations. It has two doors on one side which makes it safe and ergonomic for passengers. In order to make it compact, the designers have installed an integration system technique which simultaneously works with several operating systems like magnetic controls, solar cells and power management devices. The system allows two motors and two differentials to function simultaneously for achieving four wheel drive capability. It also helps in providing better control on sharp turns, higher grip in wet and icy road conditions, faster acceleration without drawing large  power.  In this type of vehicle’s where the output power is small such integration system  helps in the energy management of the vehicle. Mono-crystalline solar cells with self control systems are installed.

The self control helps in compensating for the shadow falling on the vehicle. The solar panels are installed on the vehicle roof and windshields under an area of around 2 square meters. The panels have smart diodes to minimize energy loss during low light conditions. The concept also showcases the distribution of the battery modules. The photo voltaic can be used to power front axle motors and the batteries for rear axle. The batteries (8 kg pack)can also be swapped very easily for driving only over solar power. With minor changes the vehicle can comply with the regulations for micro electric vehicles as well as for M1 vehicle category. Such concepts are being seen as business booster’s by manufacturers. All the concepts of this vehicle are patented.

BOTTOM LINE:

Electric micro super car’s have met the safety aspects, lowest footprints, very low energy usage, which would make this vehicle ideal for urban roads. Green vehicles definitely have the potential of taking a large share of automotive markets across the globe. They will be supported by the subsidy from the respective Government authorities of every country.

In India, the government has a plan of National electric mobility mission plan which will provide a subsidy of around 14, 000 crores for electric vehicles. Thus there is huge potential of business in this range of vehicles. At present intensive research is going on to find the ways for future mobility. All this is because we are getting depleted of the conventional resources at a fast phase.