Hyundai’s first all-electric car in US; Chevy’s Green Car

Chevrolet Bolt:

Its quick on its feet, its peppy to drive, its nimble and it’s the Green Car of the year, all of that and still the Chevy Bolt stands humble and strong. This is one car that has given even Tesla a run for its money. General Motors, a 108-year-old monolithic automaker now sells a battery-electric hatchback that delivers more than 200 miles of driving range and can be had for less than the price of the average car.

The arrival of the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, the electric car reaches a major milestone, one that also secures its future and makes a move towards mass appeal. The Bolt has enough range to cover a day’s task plus the unexpected. Electric cars appear to have laid down permanent roots in the automotive landscape with the first long-range with an affordable EV from an established mainstream automaker.

 

It’s here, its yours:

The bolt is priced at an introductory $37,495 in LT trim and comes with a $ 7500 federal tax credit that will pull the price way under $30,000.  Go from work hours to after hours without compromise with its EPS-estimated mileage of 238 miles once fully charged up.

Variants:

Born with 2 different trims, the Bolt comes with an LT and a Premier trim and this makes it quite the choice of enthusiasts. The ET comes with features such as Electronic precision shift, Michelin self-sealing tires, a 10.2 inch diagonal color touch-screen along with a Rear-vision camera. The Premier model on the other hand comes with all the LT features along with a Rear camera mirror, Surround vision along with Leather-wrapped heated steering wheel.

Braking in your hands:

A simple pull of the paddle that is located on the steering wheel of the car is able to slow down the car without having to use the brake pedal. This is definitely a cool feature and comes in handy.

 

Power starts with the battery:

A nickel-rich lithium-ion battery technology makes it possible for the Bolt EV to last longer than any other battery. The technology involved here is pretty interesting. The battery chemistry enhances heat resistance that allows the battery to tolerate heat before using power to cool it down. It has an active thermal management system that helps manage the battery temperature in extremely hot and cold weather conditions. The battery pack has an energy capacity of 60 kWh that offers an EPA estimated at 238 miles of range on full charge. The Bolt EV offers the driver 100,000 miles or 8-year warranty whichever comes first and so, you’ve got to be rest assured that you will get to where you need to go.

Charging is as easy as charging your phone:

Charging the Bolt EV is as easy as it gets. Simply plug it in at night and by the morning, its charged up and ready for you. The Bolt has 240-volt charging unit and the fastest way to recharge it is at home that offers more power than the standard 120-volt outlet.

Location based Charging:

The car can be programmed to charge whether you’re home or away. It uses the GPS signal and this helps the Bolt know when the driver is home and will activate according to the present time. If the driver is somewhere else, the EV will know to charge immediately and the charging can also be delayed until utility rates are at their lowest off-peak prices.

HYUNDAI TO LAUNCH ITS FIRST ALL-ELECTRIC CAR IN THE U.S:

In other news, the Korean automaker the Ioniq, all-electric car will be available in the U.S by the end of 2016. The plug-in hybrid car will be the last to arrive sometime by the 3rd quarter of 2017. Hyundai claims that the Ioniq will return an estimated 124 miles or 200 kilometers range. The company is expecting the standard hybrid variant to be its best seller of the 3 and is estimating that the high efficiency Blue model will return 58 mpg combined.  However, contrary to popular belief, it is said that the range of 124 miles is pretty good but, is it really good enough to capture a huge market share considering all factors is a big challenge and this will come into reality only in 2017.

 

Bottom Line:

èChevrolet Bolt EV has most certainly proven its worth in the international market and it is without any question the classier Green car of the year.

èIts good to know that Hyundai is upping its game and trying to penetrate into the electric car segment. Let’s hope they succeed with all that they claim.

 

 

 

 

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 🙂

2015 Hyundai Elite i20 vs 2015 Maruti Swift

red Suzuki Swift

2015 brings another great year for cars. The new i20 is all set to lock horns with the updated Swift. Although the Swift has been around for so long, the car has managed to keep its momentum going for generations now. The next gen i20 is finally here. Following year after year of churning out massive volumes, Hyundai brings yet another best seller to the table. The next generation Hyundai Elite i20 was primarily created with handling characteristics and design in focus. Has it worked out? We find out.

Design:

Hyundai i20:

As always, Hyundai has done a phenomenal job with the design of its car. Unlike the previous generation, the 2015 i20 is far more restrained. Still keeping its impressive and striking profile, the i20’s exterior has evolved to create an image that will impress both the young and old. The bonnet’s side profile however, could’ve used more curves. While the front could use some work, the rear is beautifully designed. The new i20’s tailights are simply stunning.

elite i20 red
The Hyundai i20

Maruti Suzuki Swift:

The Maruti Suzuki Swift receives only minor updates for 2015. The front end is refreshed with the addition of LED daytime running lights and slightly revamped lower bumper. Maruti Suzuki is also offering all new alloys as well as three new paint jobs. However, despite the revamped interiors and bumped up engine efficiency, in the face of updated competitors such as the new Polo and i20, the Swift’s aging exteriors have begun to show.

2015 maruti suzuki swift side
The New Swift Does Not See Any Major Changes

Winner: Elite i20

Interiors:

Hyundai i20:

Compared to the interiors of old model, the i20 may seem a little boring. However, the interiors of the new model is far more ergonomically designed. The use of beige and light colored plastics give the new i20’s cabin an airy feel to it. The infotainment system’s display has been moved down from the top of the dashboard back to its conventional position. Functionality remains the same with the music system offering bluetooth, AUX in, iPod and mobile connectivity. The fuel gauge and temperature gauge has gone all digital in the latest model. Interesting

Interiors of the Hyundai Elite i20
Interiors of the Hyundai Elite i20

Maruti Suzuki Swift:

The basic layout of the Swift’s interiors has been left largely unchanged. The top end models will receive push button start. Although the all black interior is sure to impress a younger crowd, however, the older generations may not take to such a dark cabin.

 

2015 maruti suzuki swift interiors
Interiors of the New Swift

Winner: Elite i20

Engine:

Hyundai i20:

Hyundai has never approached the question of its weak engines. The South Korean car maker has once again fitted the new i20 with the same 1.2 l petrol and the 1.4 l CRDI engine. Although both engines produce the industry standard of 82 and 89 BHP, the massive size and weight of the car prevents the car from having the same levels of acceleration as the Swift. The petrol variant gives a claimed mileage of an unimpressive 18.6 km/l and the diesel engine gives out 22 km/l.

drive new 2014 i20
The New i20 is Still Sluggish at Lower RPMs

However, cabin noise insulation is superb and the occupants will feel little to no noise at all from the engine. Sadly good NVH levels means a compromise on a different front and the low end torque is almost non existent. The 2016 model has done away with the generally unsuccessful automatic variant.

Maruti Suzuki Swift:

The Swift has always been known for its peppy performance. The little Indian hatch has garnered a cult following for its low price tag and impressive handling and engine characteristics. Powering the petrol variant is a 1.2 L engine that develops 83 HP @ 6000 RPM and 114 nm of torque @ 4000 RPM. Power has been sacrificed for fuel economy. The petrol variant gives out a supposedly 20.4 kkm/l. The diesel engine is a Fiat sourced DDiS 1.3 L unit that churns out 74 bhp @ 4000 RPM and max torque of 190 Nm @ 2000 RPM. Despite the relatively lower power figures, the good torque numbers ensure the car is on the power at all times.

suzuki swift diesel ddis engine
The Diesel Motor Gives An Impressive 25.2 km/l

Winner: Suzuki Swift

Verdict:

Despite all the new features that the new i20 is loaded with, a driver will always prefer the Maruti Suzuki Swift as his/her first choice. However, one cannot simply ignore the oodles of tech and features offered by the 2016 i20. If you want to drive around in comfort and love fiddling with the multitude of features on a car then the i20 is for you. But if you love the experience of driving and nothing else then the Swift is the car for you.

red Suzuki Swift
The Suzuki Swift Will Always Be A Driver’s Car

Faceoff: Hyundai Elite i20 vs Fiat Punto Evo

punto flyout new

Hatchbacks are undeniably India’s favorite class of cars. While the demand for them is revelatory of this fact, manufacturers’ preoccupation with keeping the hatchbacks in their portfolio fresh also shows how important they are in the market. In 2014, the competition has heated up with the launch of two updated models- Hyundai Elite i20 and Fiat Punto Evo. Let’s take a spin showing you all the features and specifications of these newly launched Hyundai and Fiat hatches.

elite i20 red review

EXTERIOR

The new Hyundai Elite i20 comes with bold and aggressive front, sleek swept back headlamps, sporty alloy wheels on the side and dynamic signs running along the sides, which gives the side profile of the car an interesting appearance. The outside door handles are finished in chrome while the electrically-adjustable rear-view mirrors come  with integrated turn indicators. The side swept tail lamps visible from the side profile are quite chunky. The classy looking tail lamp combination gives a very attractive look to the rear of the car. On the other hand, the new Fiat Punto Evo bears a very elegant look due to the rounded elements which comply with its Italian roots. The side profile of the Evo has not changed much and bears similar appearance to previous models. They have retained the flaring wheel arches, one of the more edgy features of the car’s exterior. The rear of the car has completely redesigned tail lamps and also a newly designed bumper.

This round score:

Fiat Punto Evo        : 4

Hyundai Elite i20  : 4

 Fiat Punto Evo review compare

INTERIORS

The Hyundai Elite i20 and Fiat Punto Evo share many attributes in terms of features on the interiors- with climate control, 2-DIN music system (BT+USB+AUX) and steering mounted audio and multimedia controls being common between the two. You also find rear air conditioning vents in top of the line variants in both the cars. But it seems like the Hyundai Elite i20 grabs the edge in the interiors as it holds some exclusive features like- chilled glove box, two 12V power outlets, telescope adjustment for the steering, 1GB internal memory, and rear view parking camera. These are some niceties that the Punto Evo does not boast.  In terms of upholstery, the Fiat Punto Evo gets a complete black nourishment in its interiors whereas the Hyundai Elite i20 uses dual tone beige and black interiors. the new Punto Evo is spacious enough to accommodate five passengers comfortably. However, the Elite i20 takes the cake as being one of the most premium-looking cars in terms of how the cabin feels.

This round score:

Fiat Punto Evo        : 4

Hyundai Elite i20: 4.5

interiors new punto evo

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

The Elite i20 continues to gain power from the 1.2 litre Kappa VTVT petrol engine. The diesel version of the car houses a 1.4 litre U2CRDi engine. The 1.2 litre Kappa mill  delivers  a peak power of 82bhp at 6000 rpm and an upper torque figure of 115 Nm at 4000rpm. The 1.4 litre diesel unit develops 89bhp at 4000rpm and 220Nm of torque at 2750rpm.The hatchback is available in two petrol and one diesel engine variants. The 1.2 litre petrol engine pumps out peak output of 67bhp, and the 1.4 litre diesel unit churns out  90bhp. Fiat’s 1.3 litre Multi-jet diesel engine comes with two power output options – 75bhp and 92bhp. The 92bhp version of the Punto Evo is the most powerful engine in its league.

Performance is where the Punto Evo tends to lose ground against the Hyundai Elite i20. It is more powerful on paper but the drive is quite sluggish and the car feels slow out of the blocks. The engine aboard the Elite i20 feels a lot more refined. The electronically-controlled throttle control ensures that the power-delivery is consistent with the amount of load that is being placed on the car.

This round score:

Fiat Punto Evo       : 3.5

Hyundai Elite i20 : 4

 New Hyundai i20 review

PRICE

Hyundai Elite i20: 6.09-7.66 lakhs

Fiat Punto Evo : 5.27-7.2 lakhs

In terms of value for money, the Punto Evo tends to take a hit for its slightly lesser fuel efficiency. This has to do with the fact that the car has a mileage of 20.5kmpl, which falls short of the approximately 22.5 liters to the kilometer that diesel variants of the Elite i20 deliver . The higher pricing of the Hyundai hatch can be explained by the fact that it offers a lot more feature and better comfort. These factors even out playing field in terms of price and value for money.

This round score:

Fiat Punto Evo       : 4

Hyundai Elite i20  : 4

 fiat punto evo review compare

VERDICT

After looking at the specifications of both the cars it can be said that Hyundai Motor India Limited has best of the package in the form of Elite i20. It delivers well on accounts of power, torque and wheel base. But the only department where the Fiat Punto Evo has an edge over Elite i20 is in the availability of more engine options. But in comparison with Fiat, Hyundai has a larger service network, by which the parts can be obtained faster and cheaper, which certainly favours the South Korean manufacturer.

Increasing Hyundai Recalls in United States

Everyone is aware of the General Motors recall of around 1.5 million vehicles due to the faulty ignition switches which can shut off the engine at any time and the vehicle can end up in a crash. Even reports of several deaths across the United States were received due  to the fault switches. Now its Hyundai, which has recalled its various models which includes Sonata sedans, Santa Fe Crossover and Veracruz SUV’s.

All these recalls are made for several issues which involves defective transmission shift cable, corrosion of suspension springs, oil leakage from engine and brake problems. All these things are related to the safety aspect of the passengers driving the vehicle. It is good to know that Hyundai has not received any report of crash accidents happened due to the malfunction in the above mentioned systems.  Recall will ensure that all the issues in the vehicles will be solved at the dealerships with no cost form the customer. Now, we will look at various Hyundai vehicles which are recalled and the issues reported in them.

8,83,000 SONATA SEDANS RECALLED FOR TRANSMISSION ISSUES:

Hyundai has recalled about 8, 83, 000 mid-sized sonata sedans due to problems with the the transmission shift cable. The vehicles manufactured from 2011 to 2014 will be inspected and repaired at the dealerships. As per U.S safety regulators, the transmission shift cable might get detached from the shift lever and thus would not provide the gear given by the driver and which might result in improper handling of the vehicle and finally to a fatal crash.

A driver can select the park position but as the gears are not matching, the vehicle might just roll down. According to NHTSA( National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), around 8,80,000 vehicles were sold in United States and rest in Puerto Rico. Hyundai is notifying all the affected vehicle customers through e-mail.

Hyundai Sonata recall
Hyundai Sonata (Source: yahoo.com)

1,33,075 SONATA RECALLED FOR BRAKE LINE ISSUES:

About 1, 33, 075 Sonata Sedans manufactured between December 11, 2009 to September,1  2010 are recalled by Hyundai for problems in the brake lines. There are chances of brake fluid leakage from the brake lines connected from the master cylinder to the Hydraulic Electronic control unit due to insufficient sealing. Brake fluid leakage will result in longer stopping distance and would raise the safety concern of the passengers. Brake hoses will be replaced by a new part free of cost.

2, 25, 000 SANTA FE CROSSOVER SUV’S RECALLED FOR COIL SPRINGS REPAIR:

According to NHTSA, Hyundai has recalled 2,25, 000 Santa FE Crossover SUV’s from the 21 salt belt states. The models manufactured from 2001-2006 are being recalled. Road salt which is used in winter can lead to the corrosion of the front suspension coil springs and finally break them. Broken springs can lead to tire puncture which might cause a fatal crash. The vehicles are being recalled from various districts like Columbia, Indiana , Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, New jersey, Ohio etc.  Hyundai will be notifying the customers and the coil springs will be replaced at free of cost. The recall is expected to start by September 2014 ending.

Hyundai Santa Fe recall
Hyundai Santa Fe (Source: google.com)

61,222 VERACRUZ RECALLED FOR OIL LEAKAGE:

Veracruz manufactured from December 26, 2012 -July 24, 2012 are being recalled by Hyundai due to oil leakage from the engine cylinder head. If oil gets dropped on the alternator, operation of the charging system might become non-operational. This would resulting in loss of power from the engine and finally the vehicle would stop down. The trailing drivers might get panicked by the sudden slowing down of the vehicle.

Hyundai Vercaruz recall
Hyundai Vercaruz (Source: yahoo.com)

BOTTOM LINE:

All the above mentioned recalls are majorly associated with the safety of all the occupants in the vehicle. It is important that the issues are found out very early and thus avoiding any fatal accidents. There has been huge number of recent recalls in United States with the General Motors recall being the most talked about. General Motors was also fined for the same. In India, also there have been recalls by Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra and Mahindra, Ford India etc.

The recall policies are being examined by the transport ministry. Also there are possibilities of strict norm against the recall by the vehicle manufacturers. The vehicle manufacturers need to take appropriate steps in order to avoid such recalls. This can be done at the early stage of the complete vehicle validation and testing. They can also approach customers who are the final users of the vehicle. Addressing of their issue through dealers help them identify the problems which might be region specific, part specific etc. In short they can obtain the details regarding any continuous faults being faced in the vehicle. NO recall will ensure higher levels of automotive safety from the manufacturers point of view and will certainly help in avoiding fatal accidents.