2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric: first drive review of 124-mile electric car Page 2

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2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric - frame from video road test

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric - frame from video road test

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Efficiency vs range

So, about that 124 miles of range.

Hyundai has repeatedly suggested that the energy efficiency of electric cars is just as important as their rated range in miles.

Indeed, the electric Ioniq's rating of 136 MPGe is higher than that of any other car in the U.S. this year, including every other car with a plug.

Over less than 50 miles of mixed driving, we got 4.0 to 5.0 miles of range per kilowatt-hour. That's efficient indeed.

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric (European spec), 2016 Geneva Motor Show

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric (European spec), 2016 Geneva Motor Show

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The challenge is that even the least efficient plug-in electric car uses energy more efficiently than any non-plug-in vehicle with a gasoline or diesel engine.

It's unclear if electric-car shoppers care about how efficiently their electrons are used. We'll find out.

All 50 states, sort of

Two trim levels and five exterior colors are offered, but the Electric's interior comes only in black—the optional tan interior on the hybrid Ioniq isn't available.

Electric models will arrive at dealers in California starting in April 2017, with a handful of other states to follow.

Hyundai stresses, however, that the electric Ioniq will be available as a special order in every state.

Overall, we enjoyed our limited time in the all-electric Ioniq.

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric

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It adds a strong and efficient new competitor to the field of electric cars under 200 miles of range.

How much electric range will prove to be "enough" to boost sales remains to be determined.

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