I’ve written about the Ioniq three times on this blog since purchase in November of 2019:

  1. Taking Delivery
  2. 3,000 Mile Review
  3. 10,000 MIle Review

Hyundai Ioniq

On Saturday, I will be dropping the car off at a Carvana depot (more on that in a future post) and saying farewell. I wanted to detail the out of pocket costs first because I think that should get us to the reason I’m selling it. It actually comes down to money, followed by the Ioniq’s poor range and finally, its place in my garage.

Here’s what it cost me to get into this car:

  • $999 down
  • $79 a month x 36 months (30K Mile lease)
  • -$500 Bonus Drive (a deal through Allstate when you lease or buy a new Hyundai even if you don’t buy their insurance)
  • -$50 Gift Card (as a part of Hyundai’s test drive promotion)
  • $300 a year for insurance…technically $600 but I won’t drive this year-round so I can drop coverage when I’d like to comprehensive

Then things got weird. Not only was maintenance included for 3 years, insurance ended up being much cheaper at around $275 a year over the last 18 months, but Hyundai mailed a blank check to my town office to cover the first year (about $550 in registration) and then they sent me another check for something like $350 for no reason. 

I calculated first year costs at around $115 a month after all was said and done which includes electricity. The math gets fuzzy though when you consider I have solar panels but I’m not going to break out the spreadsheet for this post. 

Total Cost out of pocket from October 2019 – April 2021 (18 months)
$999 down + $1422 in payments minus $500 (BonusDrive) minus $50 (test drive gift card), minus $550 (avg, annual registration), minus $350 (check from Hyundai America out of nowhere), Plus $400 (insurance)

…okay, maybe we do need a spreadsheet?

  • Paid – $2281 total
  • Received – $1450 in rebates / incentives
  • Total 18 month cost of ownership $831

Let’s just count electricity a wash since I nearly always put it on my home power which is solar with excess production. I’m sure I probably spent another $100 in DC Fast charging here and there

Finally, the sale price. Hyundai, as of April 1st 2021 gave me a buyout quote of $15,509.77 and Carvana, based on the mileage of 13,000 offered me $16,570. 

Final cost of ownership when you consider I’ll be getting a check for $1061 on Saturday is -$230. That’s right, I made $230 by owning this Ioniq for 18 months. How’s that for gaming the system of depreciating assets?


If I’m ahead and will continue to be ahead given how little I actually owe Hyundai at this point (18 $79 payments or $1422 and how likely this car is to retain around a $15,000 value as that 30% first year depreciation is gone, why wouldn’t I just keep it?

The reason I’m selling can be distilled into a few key areas:

  • We own 4 vehicles, 2 of which are ‘summer cars’ which is a season I really only take my motorcycle unless it’s a long trip with Heather which doesn’t work in an EV
  • This vehicle is not a good Winter car as I previously had hoped (get it rusty and then give it back to Hyundai was the plan)
  • The valuation of this car isn’t guaranteed. Used cars are very hot right now and I have no idea if it’ll still be worth $14-$16K in a year
  • My solar production hasn’t been as good as I had hoped so my excess I had built up 2 years prior to buying this car was eaten away to the point where in March I had an electric bill thanks to the Hyundai eating up the credit I had accumulated
  • Annual Registration is due May 1st and that’ll be another $400 that cuts into the ‘profit’ 
  • It’s just subjectively a very bad car considering its MSRP of $36,000

The last bullet is the main kicker. If this was a great car, maybe all wheel drive and instead of a 65-135 mile range, it got 250 miles of range and if it had seats that didn’t hurt to sit in after an hour, some more storage, automatic wipers and a few creature comforts, I’d find a way to keep it and really not cost myself any more money. 

The Ioniq 5 has been announced and will be available this Fall. It doubles the battery size (currently 26 kilowatts) and it improves the technology and finally adds some driver assist features and it’s a little bit larger on the inside. That will be the car to buy and I imagine the used value of these will fall off a cliff. In fact, they sort of already have. Before I resorted to Carvana, the used price of this in November was about $21,000 and now I see them at $15-$17K with roughly the same miles. 

Ioniq’s 5 model will likely kill this car’s resale value and, like the first generation Nissan Leaf, people will just scroll past which is why Hyundai was willing to lease these with a residual value of about $13,500 (my buyout if I took the lease to full term). They baked in the value of this car from the get-go because they knew, after federal and state incentives, most people were paying around $30K for this vehicle and after 3 years, it would be replaced with a significant ground-up redesign and resale would sit around $13K. 

If this was our 2nd car instead of 4th, I still had excess solar and it had a longe range, I would probably be keeping it.

Obviously I’m very lucky to have come out making $230 by leasing this vehicle. I got to daily drive and experience an electric vehicle for 18 months and come to the terms that they make good commuter cars but not cars I’d want to live with even Teslas that have better range (and a higher price). I will one day own an electric vehicle but..well let’s digress for one moment on where I sit today with EVs as a whole ignoring the shortcomings of the generation one Ioniq:

  • I’m not happy where we are globally with rare-metals and recycling. I want to know the entire 100KWH battery I purchase from Tesla will be recycled and reclaimed as we’re not making more of these metals
  • I don’t think the price is great for what you get. I want buttons and adjustments and knobs and features, not a single tablet slate with no turn signal stalk or button for headlights. Simplicity does not feel premium when it comes to cars
  • I want 1000 mile range. I’m not joking and I want a 1000 mile range that I can re-fill up to 1000 miles in about 5 minutes. Not possible scientifically? Figure it out and get back to me. Swappable batteries? Yes, sure let’s do that. I can purchase a car and refill it in less than 5 minutes. Tesla fanboys tell me that no one wants to drive more than 250 miles without a break anyway. Not true, I do 1000 mile days on my motorcycle only stopping for gas and sandwiches, I’ve driven 21 straight hours with Heather just stopping for gas and if we had to wait 1-4 hours to recharge, we’d have to pony up for a hotel at some point because we’d turn a 21 hour trip into a 32 hour trip
  • I want payload and towing. I own a home, motorcycles, do projects, go on trips. I need an EV with space and towing
  • I need a car with a dealer network. The nearest Hyundai Dealer was 75 miles away south which was a long day for my annual service when I had to stop on the way down and back up to re-charge this car. Tesla is double that distance from me. Service would be a nightmare if my car just died
  • I need chargers at every fuel station and I’m not talking Level 2/3, I’m talking DC Fast chargers everywhere. I have 2 within 75 miles of my house…two which I can’t reach when it’s cold outside.
  • I need to not have the battery degrade in cold weather. I live where it’s regularly below zero down to -20F

I put my money where my mouth is and I drove an EV for a year and even if this thing had the features I listed above such as all wheel drive, I don’t think EVs are ready for me to sell 3 or all 4 of our combustion vehicle sand go electric. I hope we’re there in 10 years. 

The Ioniq was a good taste of the EV lifestyle and I stand by my 10,000 mile review that this would be an amazing car for a geographically locked teenager or retiree who wants a simple to maintain and practical low cost vehicle for going around town. No maintenance except tire rotations and you plug it in to the home charger every night but you can get to the bank, grocery store or school events with 3 of your friends and a fairly low insurance cost. Hyundai is going to sell tons of the Ioniq 5 models when they come out this fall.