On the road

Driving the Hyundai IONIQ

This Mother’s Day we took the new Hyundai IONIQ Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) to the Tasman Peninsula.

This model was the perfect match for our road trip, as it combined an electric experience with a hybrid system (electric motor and petrol engine).

Charging the IONIQ at home via a power point and extension cord was easy and, when I thought about it, no different to charging my phone every night. With a full battery and tank of petrol we set off silently the next morning (yes, silently! The IONIQ doesn’t make a sound when you turn it on) for our Mother’s Day adventure on the Tasman Peninsula.

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Port Arthur Lavender - Supplied courtesy of Port Arthur Lavender.

Our first stop was lunch at Port Arthur Lavender. We were greeted with the warmth of the log fire and the calming smell of lavender from the moment we walked in. As we sat down, I couldn’t get over the glorious view of Long Bay through the floor to ceiling windows – a beautiful setting to tuck into veggie burgers and scallop skewers. We resisted the urge to buy everything in the gift shop, which was full of local products such as soaps, body lotions, candles, teas, chocolates and essential oils – the list goes on – all made with the lavender grown on the farm. I get my huge sweet tooth from my Mum, so we couldn’t leave without trying the white chocolate and lavender ice cream – it was delicious! I’ll definitely be stopping into Port Arthur Lavender between December and February to see the flowers in full bloom – and for some more ice cream.

We continued south to one of our favourite spots in Tassie, White Beach. White Beach is heavenly on a warm summer’s day with its crystal-clear water and 2km stretch of white sand. Although it was a little chilly and there was more seaweed than sand on this particular Sunday, it felt good to stretch our legs, get some fresh air and take in the afternoon sun.

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White Beach - Tourism Tasmania & Kathryn Leahy.

There’s always so much to do on the Tasman Peninsula. The Remarkable Cave, Tasman Arch, Devil’s Kitchen and the Blowhole are just some of my favourite natural wonders to check out whenever I’m down that way, but this time we stopped at the Tessellated Pavement. The reflections on the water that pools in the grid of rock never fail to amaze me.

With lots of highways, twists, turns and hills along the Tasman Peninsula route, I took the chance to test the IONIQ’s Smart Cruise Control. It was very responsive and quickly earned my trust as it maintained my desired speed while automatically braking and accelerating to adjust to the speed of the cars in front of me. The IONIQ is also packed with a suite of safety features including seven airbags, rear view camera, blind spot collision warning, lane keep assist and rear cross traffic-collision warning. It’s important to remember that any form of cruise control or driver assistance system should never replace your full attention.

The PHEV battery has a range of approximately 63km on one full charge, which varies with factors such as driving style and the type of journey. With that in mind, from Kingston we made it to the Sorell/Forcett region using predominantly battery power before it automatically switched to the hybrid system. To prep for our road trip, I plugged in the vehicle the night before. The battery wasn’t completely flat, and it took a bit over four hours to reach 100% using the emergency charging cable I was supplied with.

How fast your electric vehicle charges will depend on your car, the charging station and the equipment you use.

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The Hyundai IONIQ (PHEV) at White Beach.

Overall, our Mother’s Day adventure in the IONIQ was smooth, comfortable and fuel efficient (we didn’t even use a quarter of a tank).


I think the Hyundai IONIQ PHEV would be ideal for someone like my Mum, who lives and works in the same suburb. If you’re mainly travelling around your local area or even heading into the city with a full battery from a neighbouring suburb, the PHEV would run predominantly on the electric motor (unless additional power is needed), immediately cutting down your trips to the petrol station and reducing your carbon footprint. But, it’s nice to know the petrol power is there when you need that extra flexibility and range.

There are three Hyundai IONIQ models to choose from – Electric, Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid – each with their own Elite and Premium variants. The range varies from around $38,000 drive away for the Hybrid model and up to $54,000 drive away for the top-of-the-range Electric model.

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Hero image: Kathryn Leahy.

Written by our Communications Coordinator Zoe Cooney.