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Hyundai takes lead in EV efficiency with Ioniq 6

The Hyundai Ioniq 6 (Hyundai Motor)
The Hyundai Ioniq 6 (Hyundai Motor)
Hyundai Motor is expected to renew energy efficiency competition among electric vehicles, with its upcoming Ioniq 6 boasting the world’s best energy efficiency.

The Ioniq 6, Hyundai’s second all-electric vehicle that made its global debut at the Busan Motor Show on Thursday, has an energy efficiency of 6 kilometers per kilowatt-hour, the highest rate among EVs around the world.

The carmaker pointed to its EV-dedicated platform E-GMP with optimal heat, battery and power control systems and also its aerodynamic design as the most important contributing factors to enhancing energy efficiency.

The Ioniq 6 has an ultralow drag coefficient of just 0.21, assisted by its low nose, active air flaps at the front, wheel gap reducers and optional slim digital side mirrors, according to Hyundai.

Lowering the drag coefficient by 0.01 has the effect of increasing the battery capacity by 1.1 kWh while reducing the price of the battery pack by $20, according to market research company BloombergNEF.

Hyundai will start taking preorders for the Ioniq 6 from July 28, with an official launch planned for September. Its US debut is expected to be made in the first half of next year.

Currently, the most energy efficient EV on the market is Tesla’s Model 3 Standard RWD with an energy efficiency of 5.7 km per kWh. Other EVs are well behind: Mercedes-Benz’s EQA and EQS are at 4.0 km per kWh and 3.8 km per kWh, respectively, while BMW i4 and iX3 have efficiencies of 4.6 km per kWh and 4.1 km per kWh, respectively.

Although a longer driving rage on a single charge is still considered the key to competitiveness in the EV market, industry officials say that from now on the competition will shift to energy efficiency.

This is because battery makers have now been able to produce similar high-spec batteries, which means the onus is on carmakers to figure out how to use them to become more energy efficient.

To do so, carmakers are focusing on enhancing competitiveness in the energy efficiency of batteries together with battery makers, industry insiders say.

“Because there are limitations in expanding battery capacity due to cost and physical constraints, cars with higher efficiency will have a competitive edge over rivals,” one official from a local car manufacturer said.

By Hong Yoo (yoohong@heraldcorp.com)
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