We recently teamed up with West Riding Hyundai to put the new IONIQ 6 electric vehicle to the test alongside our Go-Pod Micro Tourer Caravans.
The IONIQ 6 is a sleek new sedan with an impressive range of features that promises to usher in a new era of electric mobility. Some of its capabilties will be of particular interest to caravan enthusiasts, especially those who prefer smaller, lightweight and more manageable 'micro caravans' like the Go-Pod.
About the Hyundai IONIQ 6
Winner of ‘World Car of the Year’, ‘World Electric Vehicle’ and ‘World Car Design of the Year’ at the 2023 World Car Awards, the IONIQ 6 has been recognized by a jury of 100 automotive journalists for its combination of strong emotional appeal with aerodynamic design and mindful space within.
It's a modern sedan with a total length of 4.85m and width of 1.88m. The 111.2 Ah battery system is capable of holding between 480 - 697 volts of charge, depending on specification.
There are 3 models available:
- Standard 2WD
- Long range AWD
- Long range 2WD
All 3 models benefit from Hyundai's ultra fast charging system, providing up to 301km range per 15-minute charge!
With a braked towing capacity of 1,500kg, the IONIQ 6 is more than capable of towing a Go-Pod (MTPLM 750Kg) and can comfortably tow most 2-4 berth caravans available on the market.
Vehicle-to-load (V2L) system
The IONIQ 6 utilises the revolutionary vehicle-to-load system, meaning that it's able to provide a 230V connection allowing charging and use of appliances or leisure vehicles up to 3.6Kw via a bi-directional socket on the exterior of the vehicle. There's also an additional 3-pin socket inside the cabin.
This is an absolute game changer for caravan enthusiasts, allowing them to venture out off-grid or to sites that are off the beaten path and without electric hookup facilities, and still power the 230V system of their caravan as if they were connected to mains hookup!
It's particularly useful for micro tourer caravans like the Go-Pod, whose appliances aren't as power hungry as the behemoth twin axle caravans that previously dominated the leisure industry.
You're no longer restricted to fully serviced campsites with the IONIQ 6 - the world is your oyster.
Go-Pods & the IONIQ 6
The team at West Riding Hyundai Colne reached out to us in early May 2023, as they recognised the potential of the IONIQ 6 to revolutionise the way that small leisure vehicles can be used in conjunction with an EV.
As a growing number of our customers are making the switch to EVs, we were more than happy to oblige by loaning them a 2023 Go-Pod to use in their tests.
They collected the Pod from us and set off for Skelwith Fold Caravan Park in the Lake District, owned by an acquaintance of the Managing Director of West Riding. It's a beautiful site set in 130 acres of ancient woodland, and is the perfect escape for motorhome, campervan and caravan owners.
Towing - estimated range and performance
The plan was to test the exceptional towing capabilities of the IONIQ 6 alongside an easy-to-use, lightweight micro tourer - for which the Go-Pod fitted the bill perfectly.
The IONIQ 6 has a "trailer mode" which adjusts the torque settings and provides optimal power to both axles (on AWD models) to ensure a smooth towing experience. It also automatically calculates the expected range based on the trailer weight that the user inputs.
Upon setting out at 100% battery charge, the IONIQ 6 automatically calculated the range based on the weight of the Go-Pod (which was fully loaded with our most popular accessories), giving an estimated range of 180 miles.
Skelwith Fold is 61.7 miles from West Riding Colne, and after making the journey there and back, the estimated range was still 85 miles - so the IONIQ 6 actually outperformed its own calculations by nearly 30 miles!
The aerodynamic design of both the IONIQ 6 and the Go-Pod definitely helped in this regard, as the wind resistance was much lower than would be expected with a trailer or normal touring caravan, which are typically 'boxy' and more difficult for air to pass over and around when in transit.
Vehicle-to-load - 230V without mains connection
The V2L system can provide 230V power and up to 15 amps (3.6Kw). If you were to completely max out the capacity, it would take around 23 hours to fully deplete the battery from 100% charge.
The guys from West Riding Hyundai ran the entire Go-Pod system (lights, tap, leisure battery charging) via the V2L connection, and it topped out at just 0.2kw. When they boiled a kettle to make a brew, that increased to just 0.6kw - so just a fraction of the maximum capacity.
At 0.2kw, it would take around 390 hours to fully deplete the IONIQ 6's battery from fully charged!
This usage would vary depending on the devices used, but with the Go-Pods components being incredibly energy efficient on the whole (most of which are designed to run from the 12V system and draw power from the leisure battery) it seems you could rely on the IONIQ 6's V2L system for longer stays too.
Go-Pod owners may find that they wouldn't need to stay connected to the IONIQ 6's V2L system, and instead only connect when power is needed to the 3-pin 230V sockets. They could rely on the 100W/120W solar panel to maintain the charge of their leisure battery, and in that case, the drain on the IONIQ 6 battery would be minimal. Using the capabilities of both the Go-Pod and IONIQ 6 in this manner would provide a greater level of flexibility and freedom.
There are a lot of EVs on the market in 2023, but the IONIQ 6 looks to provide a level of versatility that is unmatched. It's sure to be the top pick of many caravan enthusiasts considering making a switch to an electric vehicle, and the results of West Riding Hyundai's tests clearly demonstrate why.
As well as the exceptional towing range and adaptable "trailer mode", the V2L system is sure to send shockwaves across the leisure industry and beyond. 230V connection without mains electricity hookup was previously only possible with the use of an inverter (requiring a huge battery upgrade), generator or battery pack, which all carry their own costs and additional weight to consider. Now it's possible to provide the same functionality from your towing vehicle.
If you're interesting in having a chat about the IONIQ 6, give West Riding Hyundai a call on 01282 863 896!