I’ve been telling people that 2019 is going to be the year of the electric car. Yes, I’ve said it before, just a week or so ago. Well, It really is now. We have just taken delivery of our electric car.
It’s a beauty, totally silent running. It’s quite a wonderful experience to behold a powerful, yet simple, quiet and elegant car perform so well. And mostly running on sunshine too! Why has it taken so long for this type of car to become available in Australia?
Our new electric car is a Hyundai Ioniq, plug-in electric car. We ordered it a few weeks ago. The first to be delivered here in Australia, or so I’m told by the dealer. We had to order it and wait for it to be built in Korea, then shipped to Australia. The local dealership system doesn’t carry the ‘basic’ model in stock, only the premium model. This car has been available in Korea and other countries like New Zealand for 2 years. Why so long to get to Australia?
The Hyundai Ioniq electric car is available in 3 models. Fully electric, Normal hybrid (like a Toyota Prius), and a plug-in hybrid. After considerable research, we decided to choose the plug-in hybrid model. A fully electric car has a limited range of 230 kms. Not enough for us to live here out in the country and travel to Sydney and back for the day. Maybe in another few years there will be more recharge stations and better batteries? As it stands, we would need to own two cars, a petrol car and an electric one. For this reason we chose the plug-in electric hybrid, because we can do 95% of our trips on fully electric, battery-powered, solar generated electricity. But also be able to drive longer distances on petrol power when we need to go the long distances occasionally. Like our once a year trip to Canberra or up the North coast.
It’s a very modest car. Nothing showy. I have only owned it for one day so far, so very early days. The company claims 63 kms of fully electric power with ‘normal’ driving and 1000 more on a full tank of petrol. The blurb claims something like 110 kms per litre of fuel. I drove it around and reduced the battery down to 20%, where the petrol engine started to cut in occasionally, acting like a hybrid does. I plugged it into the standard 3-pin, 10 amp power point at home and it recharged itself in 3 and a bit hours using the built-in charger. Fully recharged on solar power.
The onboard computer keeps a track of how you drive. I have always driven carefully and steadily to conserve petrol in all my previous cars. Which have always been very small, fuel-efficient cars. Mostly 3 cylinder, 1 litre cars. This is the biggest car that we have ever owned, but it is still classed as a small car. A 5 seater 1.6 litre hatch-back. After charging the battery the computer tells me the distance I can travel on the battery and even shows me on the built-in sat nav screen, the radius of the places I can reach on the map + where all the nearest charging stations are.
We live 25 ks from the nearest towns where we do our shopping and banking, where we have all our accounts etc. So I expect that I can do 100% of our local trips on solar power in future.
So the first day has gone very well. The car does everything that I expected, It comes with an 8 year warranty on the battery and mechanical parts. I look forward to only visiting the fuel pump a few times a year in future. It’s a nice feeling to look forward to driving mostly on sunshine for the rest of my life. Because we already own a Tesla Powerwall II battery, we can always recharge the car on stored sunshine, even on dull over cast days.