Smoothing out pot

holes on electric

avenue

Hyundai Ioniq hybrid, side
Hyundai Ioniq hybrid, front
Hyundai Ioniq hybrid, rear
Hyundai Ioniq hybrid, interior
Hyundai Ioniq hybrid, engine
Hyundai Ioniq hybrid, boot

A CONDITION of the human animal is that having discovered some new and seemingly beneficial technology, the very key to a Utopian future, it goes on to take careful measure of its discovery before wondering if this was such a fool-proof notion after all.

The Hadron accelerator, for instance, was seen as a sure-fire way to discover the God particle and the answer to everything, which of course is 42.

Now it is just a collision waiting to happen.

Nuclear energy was embraced as a future as indispensable as garlic bread, cheap electricity for generations to come until someone realised that putting the ashes out in the morning could leave you and the surrounding countryside with a rosy glow.

Bringing us to the electric motor car.

From the moment the famed Builders' Bum fault line was discovered across the Arctic, battery powered cars have been hawked about as the only viable transport to save the planet.

Just plug in and pull off in the self-righteous certainty that somewhere a Polar bear is adding your name to its Christmas card list.

However, this cunning plan has a teeny-weeny drawback, the tiniest hiccup, nothing to worry about so long as you have stocked up on candles.

The brownout.

Now I accept that the notion of brownouts sounds like something from a Blackadder script: "I had one of Mrs Miggins toad-in-the-hole pies and fear she may have used real toad - I am going for an extended brownout, Baldrick."

A brownout is the effect of unplanned voltage drops as groups of as few as six electric vehicles are charged simultaneously, one car requiring the same amount of electricity as an average home uses in three days.

It looks from where I am plugged in that the best existing route to electric propulsion remains the hybrid.

Cars like the Hyundai Ioniq.

This is one of the latest petrol-electrics to come to the party and represents, at £23,995 for the Premium SE, a competitively priced hybrid with exceptional equipment levels.

Powered by a 1,600cc petrol engine linked to a 32kw electric motor it is a family car which should save you money although not one to buy if speed is off the essence, 62mph comes up in 11.1 seconds not the stuff of hotness but pokey enough.

The six-speed dual-clutch gearbox shows some hesitancy out of the blocks but that electro glide of hybrid opening lines takes the mind off any such crudeness.

Obviously it is an urbanite at heart but there is no shortage of verve out on the B-roads and motorway progress is delightfully smooth, not least thanks to a cabin with upmarket materials and a quality finish.

It may no longer be excise duty-free but there is a promise of 70mpg which we know you can get from a diesel but the threat of particulates punishment has not yet gone away completely.

Premium trim brings with it a navigation system, seven-inch touch screen and all the modern entertainments and connections including Apple car play.

There is a rear-view camera and parking sensors along with automated lights and the gentrifications of puddle lights and LED running system and keyless start.

Safety kit includes lane departure warning, stability control and rear cross traffic alarm which halts the car if something is behind.

To be honest if you want it Ioniq has it with only 17-inch alloys and pretty paint jobs as an option on this version.

It is practical, plenty of passenger room front and back and a good boot if a little shallow.

So the future of the hybrid seems assured not least when there is a threat that future charging points may cost £10 a fizz plus membership of the Edison society for 100 miles range; not a lot different to the cost of petrol.

It should be pointed out that should this have no interest to you whatsoever that the Ioniq is also available as a plug-in hybrid and a pure electric vehicle.

Meanwhile I hear tell of cold-fusion and hydrogen fuel cells.

What a boom time we live in.

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