Hyundai’s plan to launch three electrified versions of its Ioniq is now complete thanks to the arrival of this plug-in model to join the existing hybrid and fully electric versions. As with any plug-in car, the idea is to combine the advantages of a decent pure electric range – up to 39 miles in this case – with the reassurance of having a petrol engine as back-up.
The early signs are promising, too, because since its launch in 2016 the standard Ioniq hybrid has been quietly establishing itself as a cost-effective eco car for those who find the Toyota Prius either too wacky or too expensive. With a £3,000 difference between them – in the Hyundai’s favour – it’s not hard to see why it might appeal, even if the 83mpg it achieves on the official EU Combined cycle isn’t quite a match for the 94mpg of the Prius.
A similar pattern emerges when you start to compare this new Ioniq Plug-in with the Prius Plug-in: there’s a £4,200 price difference in the Korean car’s favour, but its Japanese rival wins for fuel economy with an official average of 283mpg versus 256mpg.
It should be noted that both of those fuel consumption figures are pure fantasy unless you plan to charge the car for a couple of hours every 30 or 40 miles. That said, even with the battery depleted you’ll get more than 60mpg out of your plug-in Ioniq or Prius, so throw in regular charges and an average economy well into three figures is achievable.
There’s also the other cost benefits that come with a plug-in car to consider such as exemption from the London Congestion Charge, £10 first year road tax (after which it increases to £130 per year) and more favourable BIK rates for company car drivers. All are a result of the extremely low CO2 emissions of such vehicles – in the Ioniq Plug-in’s case just 26g/km, versus 79g/km for the standard Ioniq hybrid.