Every now and then at Ausdroid we like to review things that are outside the box, but more recently, the box has expanded and whereas once talking about cars might’ve been a bit off topic, the modern electric vehicle (or EV) is squarely in the realm of technology… and so we’ve been talking about them a bit more.

You may recall that back in August 2021 I reviewed Hyundai’s Ioniq Electric EV. The conclusion of my review was rather positive … and so, not long after completing the review, I put my money where my mouth was, and went and bought the same car.


Having driven a few EVs and hybrids in 2021, the decision wasn’t really all that difficult. The decision points back then were:

  • Price – the Ioniq EV was a bit cheaper than the Tesla Model 3, though a little dearer than the MG ZS EV. Given it was an ex demonstrator, I paid around $46k for mine, which compared very favourably to the pricing / features of others.
  • Style – it might just be me, but the Tesla Model 3 looks a little bland, and it’s not really like a car inside. I like traditional car stylings, and the Ioniq was more my flavour.
  • Features – Tesla’s interface in the car is quite cool, but I like Android Auto and Car Play, and I like cabin layout that suits how I drive. The Ioniq is more polished to me… and not as minimalist as the Tesla.

What did I miss out on? Not all that much:

  • The Ioniq’s range is a little less than the Tesla – depending on the model you pay for – but 311km range is perfect for what I need.
  • Tesla has more bells and whistles in its cars, but honestly, I don’t really need most of them, and there’s some I just don’t want.
  • I reckon the Tesla is easier to charge – the charge port is more easily accessible, and it doesn’t have the stupid cap on it that the Ioniq does. It’s a small annoyance.

How’s it been?

Quite honestly? Brilliant.

The car I drove before the Ioniq EV was a Skoda Octavia wagon, a car I had wanted for ages and rather enjoyed driving too. It was frugal on fuel, easy to drive, had plenty of space and just met my needs effortlessly.

Moving to an EV, I lost a few things – the Octavia had more luggage space and I do tend to cart around a bit in the boot. It had slightly more leg room, and of course, it could go a lot further than 311km on a single tank of fuel. It would routinely get around 600-650 out of a tank.

However, the elephant in the room – which became much more significant in the last 18 months – was fuel prices. Fuel has become incredibly expensive, and with its 43 litre tank, it could cost around $75 – $80 to fill it, and that price has remained fairly stable. In terms of bang for buck, that’s around 13c per km.

The Ioniq, at anywhere between free and 14c per kWh to fill its battery, can cost anywhere from nothing to $5.40 to fill it. Bang for buck, that’s around 1.7c per km.

Want to put that in real terms? If I drive an average of 20,000 km a year (which I do), in a petrol car that costs me around $2,600 a year in fuel. There’s also the more expensive maintenance – an ICE car has more moving parts and requires more labour to keep it on the road – but let’s just leave it at fuel.

The same distance in an electric car costs me just $340, and that’s presuming that I pay for every kWh put back into the car; a good amount of my recharging is done during the day, so it costs me nothing because the solar covers the car’s consumption.

$340 for a year’s worth of driving, vs $2,600 is a significant change, and as soon as I figured that out, I’ve not looked back even once. I’ll gladly tolerate having to stop and charge on longer journeys – which I rarely do anyway – when it costs me so little to run the car.

About those longer drives – do you have range anxiety?

Only twice has the car given me a bit of a fright, and one of those times it was simply a lack of planning. The other one… well… I’ll explain, but before I get to that, the short answer is no. I rarely pay too much attention to the battery charge level, distance remaining or anything else.

I surely did for the first few months of ownership as I didn’t want to get caught out, but once you get over the new car wow feelings and settle into your routine use, you get used to what the car can do and working with it becomes second nature. For me, for example, I charge the car most evenings and – if I’m home during the day, or know I’m going to be – I’ll arrange to charge the car during the day when it costs me nothing.

For longer drives, I’ve got a Type II charging cable in the boot so I can pretty much use any public charger to top up if I need to, but I very rarely use public charging infrastructure. I just don’t need to.

So.. range anxiety isn’t a daily, weekly or even monthly thing. Let’s talk about the two times it was.

Mid 2022, we took a weekend up to Orange to get a bit of R&R. The drive up to Orange was easily within the car’s range, but we decided to stop at Lithgow anyway for a quick charge while we bought a drink and used the loo. That got us comfortably to – and home from – Orange without any range issues whatsoever.

However, while we were there, we drove from Orange to Wellington. It’s around 100km each way, and the road is fairly good. However, as we’d been driving locally around Orange I hadn’t been all that prudent with keeping the car topped up, and so we left with around 260km range. Should’ve given us a 60km buffer which I thought would be okay.

Turns out, that’s not quite how it worked and I learned a valuable lesson – EVs driving at 110km/h tend to chew through the juice a little faster. Turns out that round trip of around 200km nearly drained the battery, and we made it back into Orange with around 20km range left on the car. By this stage, it was flashing up warnings and I must admit there was a decent time there where I suspected we mightn’t make it back to the fast charger in town. Fortunately we did, and 45 mins – and lunch – later, the car was full and back to normal.

The other occasion was similar: driving 120km each way and not charging the car overnight meant that the following morning, I was coming up about 20km short on the range estimate and had to very quickly find any available public charger on the way to top off so I could make it home.

The lesson here? If you know you’re going to be driving further than usual, charge up before you go, and if need be, chuck the 10A wall charger in the boot – yes, it charges slowly and it still means you need to find a power socket, but at least you’re not going to end up stuck on the side of the road. Worst case, you find a friendly business, sling them $10 to plug your car in for a couple of hours, and get on with it.

The other option, of course, is to maintain NRMA Roadside Assistance membership, and as long as you’re not a goose, if your car genuinely does run flat on your way somewhere, they’ll give you a tow to the nearest public charger or your destination. Not a bad deal.

Have there been any major downsides?

No, not really.

There’s some things you shouldn’t do with an EV – the extra weight and relatively low clearance means they’re not really suited to going off-road, and they’re not really designed to tow anything. Theoretically, you could tow a small box trailer or similar with the Ioniq, but I wouldn’t – your range would be vastly reduced.

The battery being the size that it is, often EVs don’t come with a full-size spare tyre. Some come with a space saver, and some – like the Ioniq EV – don’t come with a spare at all. You do get a “wheel repair kit” which, from experience, is basically useless.

For running about town, I’m not too fussed by this – even with a slow leak, you can usually find a servo near by, blow the tyre up to a high pressure, and that’ll let you drive far enough to a garage or a tyre place to get it repaired. Worst case, the tyre’s ruined and if you must run the car on a flat for a short distance you’re not going to do much damage, or you can get the car towed.

However, if you’re driving longer distances a bit more regularly, or more at risk of a tyre puncture – driving in industrial or commercial areas where there seem to be more nails and screws on the road – buying a space-saver spare and throwing it in the boot probably isn’t the worst idea. A spare and a basic tool kit won’t take a lot of room, and they’re not hard to use for the peace of mind it offers.

I really should get onto that.

In conclusion

The last 18 months with a Hyundai Ioniq EV have been a breeze; it’s started conversations with strangers who are keen to learn more about how the electric cars work. It’s met every need that I’ve had – driving myself to work, driving the family around on weekends, and long distance driving. It’s cost me 5/8ths of nothing to run in the scheme of things, and if I’m careful, I can charge it for free. It has plenty of room for me – I’m 6 foot tall and fairly solid – as well as partner, kids and crap in the boot.

There’s basically nothing I’ve not been able to do, and it’s saved me a fortune in running and maintenance costs.

There’s a lot of talk about range anxiety, and yes driving an EV does mean you need to think a little bit about where you’re going and when, but it’s hardly a stressful experience. There’s great services out there to help you figure out longer distance trips and charging options – PlugShare’s Trip Planner is the best by far – and it really takes away the need to panic.

Owning an EV has been a breeze, though I do admit there are some people for whom it just might not work so well – charging EVs in strata buildings can be difficult as there aren’t power points near alloted parking spaces in some buildings, if you routinely drive long distances, then charging might start to eat into your time, and if you don’t have off-street parking, charging an EV can make you reliant on public charging infrastructure which – while improving – is far from everywhere.

Got questions? Ask them in the comments, I’d love to stay and chat.

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    Totally agree. I have one too. 
    I’ve found ABetterRoutePlanner to be better as it even factors in charging times and will even (with the Premium version) factor in realtime headwinds and tailwinds.

    Mark Dutton

    So nice to get actual owner reviews who understand the subject matter rather than journos who only have a few minutes to comment and tell you what anyone doing a test drive might learn.

    Owning an EV has a couple of disadvantages compared to ICE *some* of the time for *some* people, but most people who venture into EV will be glad they did.


    Nice to see an article bigging up the Ioniq. Such a shame they are not available anymore. We love ours even though we had a recurring motor issue that took 18 months to resolve. And now after 50000km we haven’t seen any range reduction either and with my partners steady daily drive in traffic the GOM says 401km! We can count on 250km on country drives and it has taken us up to Monkey Mia, a 2000km round trip. This has cost us just over $1000 which is a $7500 saving from what our old Mazda6 would have cost as… Read more »


    Also happy with our Ioniq. It may be the way I drive, but I generally see 320+ range at 100%. Going up hills is worse than freeway travel in terms of impact on the range (Conversely going down, you can often gain power). A minor downside for me is the AC charge is limited to 7kW and DC to 50. Can’t take real advantage of the ultra-fast 350 kW chargers. I could never understand the benefit of a spacesaver spare; if you do unfortunately end up with a flat and replace with the spacesaver, you have a full size tyre… Read more »


    Yes, I’ve always been confused by the spacesavers too! So happy I’m not the only one!

    Andrew H

    Great stuff. The biggest point to get across is that, while EV’s aren’t appropriate for *everyone*, for 99% of sedan, hatchback, and even city based vans, EV’s are entirely suitable.

    And for those 99% of vehicles, EV’s are actually more convenient than conventional cars.


    It doesn’t cost nothing – you lose the FiT from your solar. So real cost is 7c-8c/kWh

    Bryan Ackerly

    Actually not quite. My solar export is limited to 5kW/phase. So I regularly charge the car with the excess to avoid it being throttled. I wouldn’t otherwise get the extra FIT. And it won’t be long until the FIT goes to zero anyway!

    Andrew H

    Not entirely. Many solar installations are now export limited. So you don’t freely export to the grid, but if you increase your load (like plugging your car in) your solar system will produce more.

    So, your statement is true for some installations, but the author’s statement is true for other installations.


    Nice one! I am looking at buying my first EV this year. Glad to hear it’s working well for you.