Back in 2016, Hyundai released a mid-sized hatchback branded as the Ioniq available with hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric drivetrains. However, the first ‘ground-up’ EV from Hyundai is this, the IONIQ 5, and unlike its predecessor, the IONIQ 5 can actually tow and a very reasonable/practical towing capacity of 1,600 kg (3,527 lbs) too. The IONIQ 5 is based on a new dedicated electric vehicle platform called the Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) which other full-electric Hyundai vehicles will be based on. Hyundai’s sibling brand KIA is also using this platform with the EV6 which has similar specifications.
Key Hyundai IONIQ 5 Specs
- Official Towing Capacity – 1,600 kg/3,527 lbs
- Availability – Late 2021
- Price – Expected to start from around $30,000 up to around $45,000
- Expected EPA Range – 205 miles (Standard Range/2WD) > 250 miles (Long Range/2WD)
- Estimated Towing Range (50%) – 103 miles (Standard Range/2WD) > 125 miles (Long Range/2WD)
- Maximum Charge Rate – 175 kW (Standard Range/2WD) > 232 kW (Long Range/Project 45 varients)
Hyundai IONIQ 5 HP & Torque
- Standard Range/2WD – RWD with 168 HP and 258 lb-ft of torque
- Standard Range/AWD – AWD with 232 HP and 446 lb-ft of torque
- Long Range/2WD – RWD with 215 HP and 258 lb-ft of torque
- Long Range/AWD – AWD with 302 HP and 446 lb-ft of torque
- Project 45 – AWD with 302 HP and 446 lb-ft of torque
Hyundai IONIQ 5 Towing Capabilities
So first a little disclaimer, as of writing this article the IONIQ 5 was only revealed a few weeks prior and full towing details across the whole range of IONIQ 5 versions are yet to be confirmed. For instance, the Project 45 which is the launch edition has indeed been confirmed to have a 1,600 kg towing capacity. Hyundai has provided general comments that the ‘IONIQ 5 can tow a trailer with a capacity up to 1,600 kg (source)’, we don’t as yet know if that’s applicable to all standard/long-range versions.
I must admit, as Hyundai has not specifically stated the towing capacity in lbs for the US market, therefore take the 1,600 kg/3,527 lb towing capacity with a pinch of salt. If you read my articles on the VW I.D4, Nissan Ariya and Polestar 2 for example you will know different towing figures are stated for European and US market vehicles. Though it is interesting to note that while in the UK/Europe the Hyundai IONIQ 5 will get a 72.6kW in Long Range spec, the US market will actually get a slightly larger 77.4kW battery.
As for the Project 45 launch edition they were all quickly snapped up, with just 3,000 units available across the UK and Europe. Essentially the Project 45 is a bells and whistles Long Range/AWD version including features such as a solar roof which I’ll discuss more below. It’s called Project 45 in reference to the 45 EV concept car that Hyundai first showed off in 2019 and the IONIQ 5 does actually look very close to the concept which is not usually the case when comparing concept cars to productions cars.
What we do know about the Project 45 which also hopefully applies to the other IONIQ 5 versions is the maximum tongue weight for the tow ball, which is 100 kg (220 lbs). A maximum tongue of 220 lbs is very respectable/useable for a car with a 1,600 kg/3,527 lb towing capacity. A 220lb tongue weight capacity will give lots of options for different trailers/RVs.
Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) & Solar Roof
So the towing capacity, range and pricing all make the Hyundai IONIQ 5 a very compelling package. However, there are two other features on the IONIQ 5 that I think are very interesting. The IONIQ 5 features Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) technology, in other words, you can actually take power from the cars battery to power other things. With a maximum output of 3.6 kW (16 Amps), that’s the same amount of power a typical RV service post provides. Therefore, what the IONIQ 5 could offer which no other EV tow car currently does (along with its sibling the KIA EV6) is off-grid RV/camping potential.
Now, obviously, if you want to be able to power an RV from the IONIQ 5 and not end up stranded then arriving at your destination with a good amount of charge in the battery would be crucial. As I discuss in my electric tow car guide, a range reduction of 50%+ when towing with an EV is to be expected. Therefore, in an off-grid camping scenario when towing with the IONIQ 5 you would want to get in a good fast/rapid charge session as close to your final destination as possible.
The IONIQ 5 will also be available with a solar roof which can add charge back into the battery. No one should ever expect a significant number of additional driving miles from these roof-mounted solar panels, especially when towing. However, the roof-mounted solar panels on sunny days will add some charge to the battery. Hence, when I first read about the IONIQ 5 V2L capabilities and I thought about off-grid camping I also thought that additional power from that roof-mounted solar panels could provide a practical contribution to the RVs energy consumption.
How significant the contribution would be would obviously depend on how sunny the days were and how much power the RV was pulling (electric heating/cooling would pull a lot of power). However, in some scenarios at least the power coming from the solar roof could mean the remaining range in the car could be minimally impacted from powering the RV.
IONIQ 5 vs The EV Towing Competition
In terms of its price point and towing capacity, the Hyundai IONIQ 5 will be competing against the likes of the VW ID.4 and Nissan Ariya. However, the IONIQ 5 with its 1,600 kg/3,527 lbs towing capacity beats the VW ID.4 with its 2,700 lb towing capacity. The IONIQ 5 will also have a higher towing capacity than the Nissan Ariya with its maximum towing capacity of 1,500 lbs. This is of course is based on the hopeful presumption that Hyundai doesn’t downgrade the towing capacity of the IONIQ 5 for the US market. The Nissan Ariya is rated at 1,500 kg in the UK/EU but only 1,500 lbs in the US (680 kg), its towing capacity for the US market was effectively cut in half.
In fact, the IONIQ 5 (along with its KIA sibling the EV6) has specifications more closely matched to the Tesla Model Y. The Model Y is rated with a 3,500 lb towing capacity. Hence, the Hyundai IONIQ 5 as things currently stand will directly compete with the Telsa Model Y as electric tow car competition, but at a lower price point. Also where the IONIQ 5 steps away from the other competitors and more closely compares to the Tesla Model Y is fast/rapid charging speeds.
As I discuss in my EV towing guide and more specifically in my fast/rapid charging guide with energy consumption typically more than doubled when towing, getting power back into the battery as quickly as possible is going to be important. How fast you can charge is limited by two factors, the charging technology within the car and the DC rapid/fast charger you are plugged into. Well, the IONIQ 5 will feature 400V and 800V charging technology. What that means is the IONIQ 5 will be able to charge at up to 232 kW (for the Long Range versions). That means at a sufficiently rated charger, typically rated at 350kW, the IONIQ 5 can charge from 10 to 80 per cent charge in just 18 minutes.
If you compare that to the VW ID.4 with its maximum rate of charge of 125kW or the Nissan Ariya at 130kW you can see that the Hyundai IONIQ 5 is far ahead of its immediate competition on fast/rapid charging speeds and much closer to the Tesla Model Y at 250 kW. Now, granted, the Tesla will still have the edge likely for several years to come as Tesla V3 Superchargers are currently more widely available than other charging network providers capable of those speeds. But the point remains, unlike the other competition above from VW and Nissan and many other more expensive options from Volvo/Polestar, the Hyundai IONIQ 5 is ready to take advantage of those fast charging speeds.
My Thoughts On The IONIQ 5…
Right, so, as I stated above, I love the styling of the IONIQ 5. When I was a kid, one of my favourite looking cars was the Alfa Romeo SV, and the front end/headlight design of the Hyundai IONIQ 5 definitely looks very similar and instantly got a thumbs up from me for that. But let’s put the styling of the IONIQ 5 to one side, this site is more about focusing on the towing capabilities/specifications of electric cars. Well, on the towing capacity/charging rate and other features (V2L/solar roof) the IONIQ 5 also gets a big thumbs up from me.
As an electric tow car, the IONIQ 5 besides a Tesla Model Y for a towing capacity of around 3,500 lbs is simply going to be one of the most logical choices. I’ll soon be writing an article on the sibling to the IONIQ 5 the KIA EV6 and the same goes for that car too. When it comes to an electric tow car, as you lose roughly 50% of the range while towing, the car’s range is obviously important. However, the rate at which the car can charge is equally as important, and that’s where the IONIQ 5 and sibling EV6 will be the first affordable electric tow cars to really compete with Tesla vehicles on that front.
There is something else to note as well which Robert at Fully Charged references in his video above, Hyundai are already really good at making efficient EVs, hence its highly likely that trend will continue with the IONIQ 5. Getting as many miles as possible from each kWh of energy in the battery is something Hyundai are very good at. Therefore, when you consider all of the above, I think the IONIQ 5 is going to be a very compelling electric tow car.