Hyundai Ioniq Won’t Have a Starter Battery


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Hyundai’s Ioniq is unique in many ways, and here’s one of those: It won’t have a traditional 12-volt lead-acid battery used to power the starter motor.

Instead, the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid will use a lithium-ion battery for the starter motor. This makes it the first modern production vehicle to not use a 12-volt lead-acid battery to start the vehicle.

Failsafe In Place for Discharged Battery

If you’re worried that you won’t be able to start your car should the lithium-ion battery discharge somehow, well, Hyundai says don’t be. A reset button will feed juice from the main hybrid battery to the starter battery, as long are there aren’t any other problems.

The alternator would then recharge the lithium-ion battery, just like alternators charge lead-acid batteries in all other cars.

Weight Savings Key to Approach

One big benefit of this approach is weight savings – in this case, 26 pounds. That may not sound like a lot, but it is, and that matters for a hybrid vehicle that has a mission of being highly fuel-efficient. It also gives this version of the Ioniq two percent more cubic feet of cargo space than its EV and plug-in hybrid versions.

Drawbacks

There are downsides – the lithium-ion battery is sealed under the seats, meaning you won’t be able to use your Ioniq to jumpstart someone else’s car. That also means it will likely cost much more to repair or replace than a current battery, and longevity is an unanswered question. Hyundai will offer a lifetime warranty with unrestricted mileage to the original owner and a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty to alleviate those concerns.

Tech Could Spread Across Industry

If this new tech serves Hyundai well, we may see it spread across the industry (at least among hybrids), due to the weight savings. Weight is the enemy of fuel economy and driving performance, so Hyundai may have found another way to shave pounds with this move.


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