Back in December 2021, we had the opportunity to drive the AWD version of the excellent Hyundai Ioniq 5 EV near San Diego, California. Drivetrain and performance differences aside, it's pretty much identical to the RWD model we reviewed in the UK last October.
As a result, we decided to focus on some of the Ioniq 5's marquee features, like its speedy 350kW DC fast charging capability, and its unique V2L (vehicle-to-load) functionality.
350kW DC fast charging
As we mentioned in our review, the Ioniq 5 is a battery-electric crossover that's fun-to-drive, delightfully retro-modern outside, and spacious inside. It's available in three versions: a 168hp single motor model (RWD) with an EPA range of 220 miles (354km), a 225hp single motor model (RWD) with an EPA range of 303 miles (487km), and a 320hp dual motor configuration (AWD) with an EPA range of 256 miles (411km).
The 168hp Ioniq 5 "standard range" comes with a 58kWh battery, while the other two versions pack a 77kWh battery. Oh, and it sprints to 60mph in 5.1 to 7.3 seconds.
But what really sets this EV apart is its 800V architecture, which is shared with the Kia EV6. This enables even quicker DC fast charging. Other 800V EVs include the Porsche Taycan and Audi e-tron GT, but obviously, the Ioniq 5 is a lot more affordable.
Speaking of which, Ioniq 5 prices are now available for the US, and are summarized in the table above. In the UK and Australia, prices for 2022 range from £37,420 to £48,570, and from AU$71,900 to AU$75,900, respectively.
We took the Ioniq 5 to a 350kW Electrify America charging station right at the US / Mexico border, and charged from 31% to 80% in just 13 minutes, reaching a peak charging rate of 226kW.
While that's not close to 350kW, it's certainly the quickest charging rate we've experienced with a non-Tesla EV to date. As a point of reference, the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y routinely charge at up to 256kW at V3 Superchargers.
What is V2L technology?
But now onto the Ioniq 5's more exciting party trick.
Inverters built into cars are nothing new, but the factory inverters available in most ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles typically output less than 0.5kW, and rely on the relatively small 12V battery as a power source.
This means you can power lights, laptops and other small electronics just fine, but appliances like a fridge or blender are off limits, and you'll quickly drain the 12V battery unless you leave the engine running.
Some hybrid vehicles – like the Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid – have more powerful on-board inverters that output 1kW or more, draw power directly from the hybrid battery, and start the engine automatically when the hybrid battery is low.
But battery EVs make even more powerful inverters possible, something that's called V2L (vehicle to load) technology. Some cars can even output power via the charging port.
For example, Ford's F150 Lightning battery EV boasts V2L functionality up to 9.6kW, with 11 power outlets available on some trims, plus Ford Intelligent Backup Power.
This feature can power your home for up to 3 days in case of a power outage, but also requires the Ford Charge Station Pro to be installed in your home (along with a transfer switch), so it's really more of an integrated backup power solution for your home.
And this is where the Ioniq 5 stands out. In the US, V2L functionality up to 1.9kW (120V 16A) is standard on all trims via a $220 charging port adapter. The Limited trim also includes a power outlet under the rear seat.
In the UK, V2L functionality up to 3.6kW (230V 16A) is standard on the Ultimate trim, and optional (£365) on the Premium trim. This includes both the charging port adapter and power outlet under the rear seat.
Charging an EV... with an EV
Better yet, the charging port adapter is live even when the car is turned off, making it ideal to power appliances while camping, or even charge another EV – something we successfully tested.
The power outlet under the rear seat, however, only operates when the car is turned on. Regardless of which outlet you use (charging port adapter, rear seat, or both), the total power output cannot exceed 1.9kW at 120V, or 3.6kW at 230V.
What's particularly clever here is that you can use the infotainment system to set a discharge limit for the battery (between 20 and 80%). The V2L functionality is then disabled when the battery level reaches this discharge limit, so you don't have to worry about getting stranded with a depleted battery.
To test this, we plugged our MacBook Air charger (just 30W) into the outlet under the back seat and then plugged another Ioniq 5 into the charging port adapter via its own mobile charging cable, and ta-da, both were charging just fine.
Meanwhile, the other car (another Ioniq 5, seen in the video above) was only charging at about 4mph (6.5km/h) drawing about 1.7kW (120V ~14A). Still that's enough to add 12mi (19km of range) in 3 hours – perfect for an emergency.
In all, this V2L tech is pretty cool, and we really hope it becomes a standard feature in all EVs going forward.