Electric vehicles have been zooming ahead in recent years. One decent measure of this is how many EV models there are to choose from: drivers only had two choices in 2010, and only twenty by 2015, but there were nearly 50 during 2020. Now, Bank of America analysts estimate that at least 85 additional electric car models will launch by 2024. In fact, there are so many new options that even telling them apart can be a challenge. For example, both Kia Motors and its parent company, Hyundai Motor Group, have rolled out award-winning EVs, which share the same platform architecture and use the same batteries and motors.
Plus, whereas EVs were once limited by their technology, today’s options are significantly cheaper, faster, longer lasting and more reliable than they used to be. It’s no wonder that battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have accelerated from barely 1% of US car sales in 2018 to well over 5% this year. Given that experts, automakers and politicians expect EVs to reach 50% of US passenger car sales by 2030, and that California just banned new gas-powered cars from being sold by 2035, this might be the perfect time to go electric., this might be the perfect time to go electric.
So, let’s consider two of the hottest new green models: the Kia EV6 and the Hyundai Ioniq 5. The former has won countless awards, including Best European Car, Best Premium German Car and Best Irish Car at the 2022 “Car of the Year” awards. It also won “What Car?” magazine’s trophy for Car of the Year, the Red Dot’s “Best of the Best” award, and numerous other such prizes. The Ioniq 5 has received similarly positive recognition, being named “Car and Driver” magazine’s “EV of the Year” and then sweeping the 2022 “Car of the Year” awards for World Car of the Year, World EV of the Year, and World Car Design of the Year. Clearly, neither of these options will steer you wrong!
Basic features: Kia EV 6 vs Hyundai Ioniq 5
These two cars are close relatives—because Hyundai owns Kia—and it shows. Many of their notable assets and attributes are similar. Though they appear noticeably different, what’s “under the hood” is mostly the same: from the way their high-tech “powertrains” handle, to the cost and cargo volume.
As mentioned above, these two cars are close relatives—because Hyundai owns Kia—and it shows: both ride on Hyundai’s Electric-Global Modular Platform, use the same batteries, and come with identical front and rear permanent-magnet electric motors. Thus, both share many of the same features, including all-wheel drive, one-speed automatic transmission, four levels of regenerative braking and so forth.
Their warranties, airbags, wheels, tires, brakes, and recommended fuel are entirely equivalent. Both come with 77.4 kWh batteries, 320 horses of power and 446 pound-feet of torque.
Even their differences don’t make much of a difference: the Ioniq 5 accelerates from zero to sixty in 4.4 seconds and can then brake back to zero in 123 feet; meanwhile, the EV6 takes 4.5 seconds to reach that speed, and can stop in 117 feet. The former has an EPA range of 256 miles, compared with 274 for the latter; the former gets an equivalent of 98 miles-per-gallon, while the latter gets 105. The Ioniq 5 weighs about 0.5% less than the EV6, turns ever so slightly wider, and rides a bit less smoothly on the road. It has about an inch more headroom, an inch less legroom and an equal amount of shoulder room. The most obvious difference between these near twins might be that the Ioniq 5 has noticeably more storage space, though they’re both SUVs, which means that most people should be fine with fitting their cargo in either.
Of course, they also look slightly different, on the outside and the inside. The Ioniq 5 looks boxier and more futuristic, like a larger-than-life hatchback. Its interior might remind you of a sleek spaceship or an Apple store, with smooth white panels, shiny blue buttons, and metallic silver accents. In contrast, the EV6 exterior looks more conventional, confident, assertive and agile. Its cabin is lined with suede and fake leather, serving up a more traditional and sportier feel. However underneath all their distinct stylistic choices, their substance remains the same: for example, both provide the driver with a Head-Up Display, a two-spoke steering wheel, and twin 12.3-inch dashboard screens.
And the winner is
To sum up, the Ioniq 5 has a bit more cargo volume, while the EV6 has a bit more range and handles a bit better. However, their base prices are so similar—$55,725 versus $57,115, respectively—that even the cost hardly helps us distinguish them. Ultimately, the choice is up to personal preference.
They’re both great deals: Comparing & contrasting with competitors
The main reason that the Ioniq 5 and EV6 are so similar might is that they’re often much better than their competition. Whether you’re interested in getting a good deal on price, range, efficiency or reliability, both of these cars outperform the overall EV market.
If you’re considering an electric vehicle, you should know that the average EV price in the US is now $66,000. However, the Ioniq 5 and EV6 also still qualify for the full $7,500 federal tax credit on EVs, unlike much of their competition, so you can think of these two high-performance rides as each costing less than $50,000. Further, there are similarly substantial state and local tax incentives for purchasing an electric car and for installing a Level 2 EV home charger. Overall, despite winning countless awards, these luxury cars look like a steal.
The average new fully electric vehicle can now travel about 217 miles on a single charge; in 2017, the average was only 151 miles, and in 2012 it was below 100. In contrast, both the Ioniq 5 and the EV6 can easily reach further than 250 miles. Additionally, because both allow for 800-volt charging, they can fill up at about double the rate of many rival EVs, which often limit their systems to 400-volt refueling. In practice, this looks like the difference between taking 15 minutes at a charger station and having to wait for 30 minutes when you fill up on the go. However, Level 2 systems are less convenient when you’re on road trips, because they often take nearly eight hours to completely fill up an empty battery.
Obviously, electric vehicles emit less pollution than combustion engines do. This also means you emit far less money: the typical EV driver spends less than $15.00 per week on refueling their battery, whereas the average gas driver spends more than $50.00. That shakes out to nearly $2,000 of savings per year. While the standard 2022 EV model gets 78 “Miles per Gallon Equivalent,” the Ioniq 5 and EV6 each get about 100, which means that the savings for you and the planet are even bigger.
EVs also cost much less to fix up and maintain than gas-powered vehicles do. According to Consumer Reports, consumers who own an electric car can expect to save an average of $4,600 in repair and maintenance costs over the life of the vehicle, compared to a gas-powered car. However, by far the most expensive such cost for EV drivers is replacing a degraded battery. Because Hyundai and Kia both offer full 10-year, 100,000-mile warranties on their batteries, you can probably expect even bigger savings with the Ioniq 5 and EV6. Also, the best way to make your battery last longer is to use a Level 2 home charger like the JuiceBox.
Summing up: A “plug” for going electric
Drivers used to sacrifice performance, money and convenience to go green. Now it clearly seems like these EVs will give you superior performance for a lower cost, and help you avoid the inconvenience of relying on gas stations. According to the Department of Energy, 80% of EV charging happens at home, often on a Level 2 charger like the award-winning JuiceBox. Whereas Level 1 chargers take over 24 hours to fill up the Ioniq 5 or EV6, the JuiceBox 48 fills them up completely in about seven hours, using the standard J1772 charging plug, which works with every EV on the market. No wonder over 95% of EV drivers say they won’t go back to gas!