2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric "Unlimited" subscription more limited this year

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WaiveCar Hyundai Ioniq Electric

WaiveCar Hyundai Ioniq Electric

While global demand for the Hyundai Ioniq Electric appears to be strong, supplies have remained limited.

The battery-electric compact hatchback, rated at 124 miles of range by the EPA, forgoes the "weird styling" of contenders like the previous Nissan Leaf.

In the U.S., however, the all-electric Ioniq has been limited in sales to certain areas of Southern California—and also offered on an innovative "Unlimited+" subscription service.

DON'T MISS: 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric: how 'Unlimited' subscription works (Mar 2017)

Now, for 2018, the terms of the "Unlimited+" service—you can view it as a lease with benefits—have gotten somewhat more limited.

As CarsDirect reported on Thursday, the company has quietly trimmed back some of the 2018 "Ioniq Unlimited" lease terms and boosted the price by up to $90 a month.

Specifically, the program no longer provides an allowance for monthly charging costs.

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric

That facet of the 2017 program was complicated, requiring a signup with Hyundai's "Blue Link" service and a complex formula to determine the reimbursement.

Hyundai dealerships will also no longer be reimbursed for the costs of tax, title, license, and fees they incurred delivering the car to the subscriber.

That means dealers may well add those fees into the amount subscribers must pay, one way or another—most likely as fees due at signing on top of the down payment.

WATCH THIS: 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric: first drive review video (Mar 2017)

As for the higher subscription fees, the monthly cost of a base 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric is now $295 per month with $2,500 due at signing. That's a $20 increase over the 2017 cost.

The cost for the 2018 Ioniq Electric Premium, the high-end model, rises considerably more: its $395 monthly cost is $90 higher than last year's fee.

There's a catch, though: this year's Premium trim is effectively last year's Premium Ultimate, since automatic emergency braking, blind-spot alert, leather seats, and other high-end features are now standard.

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Against the cost of a 2017 Premium Ultimate, the monthly increase is just $30.

The "Unlimited+" subscription still comes with unlimited mileage and a cohesive maintenance plan to the standard lease terms

CHECK OUT: Hyundai Ioniq electric car offered on 'Ioniq Unlimited' subscription model (Nov 2016)

We wouldn't be surprised if the now-departed reimbursement for charging fees turned out to be complicated, minimal, and not all that important to Ioniq Electric subscribers.

Meanwhile, we'd watch for an announcement about a higher-capacity battery to provide higher range for the Ioniq Electric, perhaps as soon as the 2019 model year.

 
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