Hyundai Motor Co. is pitching its new Ioniq 5 as being able to do more than the average EV.
In a series of promotional videos on YouTube, a camper is shown running on a treadmill hooked up to the car’s battery, listening to their favorite tunes on a bank of speakers, and even rustling up a roast-chicken dinner in a portable oven.
The car can supply up to 3.6 kilowatts of power, enough to run appliances like refrigerators and stoves.
It’s part of a push by Hyundai to appeal to a younger audience as it plays catch-up in the EV market.
The South Korean automaker is behind EV pioneers such as Tesla Inc. and established brands like Volkswagen AG and BMW AG, only introducing its electric car in 2016.
“We looked at the wider meaning of space that would include outdoor and daily activities that consumers can do with their cars,” Heung Soo Kim, a senior vice president and head of product and EV businesses, said in an interview last month.
“We are constantly looking into new features that will appeal to users.”
Hyundai says it’s the first major electric-car maker to offer bi-directional charging, which means owners can power electronic devices from the car battery.
While conventional car batteries can be used to charge laptops and phones, they drain quickly if hooked up to anything more powerful, like a portable fridge or sound system, meaning serious campers need to install a dual-battery system or lug around heavy, noisy generators to power their home comforts.
The Ioniq 5 also comes with the option to install a solar-panel roof that will charge the battery pack, giving the vehicle additional driving range of about 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) annually.
U.S.-based EV start-up Rivian Automotive Inc. is also looking to attract buyers who love the great outdoors, but with some creature comforts.
It has developed a slide-out camp kitchen for its Sedona SUV complete with an induction cooktop powered by the car battery.
“This year will be the start of a new era for Hyundai and Kia as its full EVs go on sale,” said Lee Jae-il, an analyst at Eugene Investment & Securities Co. in Seoul.
“Hyundai has come a long way from being one of the latecomers to the EV market to offering a very competitive product with the Ioniq 5.”
Still, demand for the Ioniq 5 is expected to be slow initially. Hyundai received orders for just more than 20,000 of the vehicles in South Korea on the day pre-orders opened.
The automaker aims to sell 26,500 of the EV model in its home market this year, a fraction of its total sales target of 741,500 vehicles.
The Ioniq 5 will start at 52 million won ($46,000) before subsidies, according to Hyundai’s website. The smaller Kona EV starts at 49 million won before subsidies, and its Palisade SUV starts at 36.4 million won.