IONIQ 5’s Sophisticated Regen System

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FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. – The new Hyundai IONIQ 5 electric crossover (CUV) is the Korean manufacturer’s initial “true” one-pedal vehicle thanks to a robust regenerative-braking system.

Details about the IONIQ 5’s regenerative-braking system as well as its comprehensive advanced driver-assist systems (ADAS) were recently outlined for The BRAKE Report during an interview with Trevor Lai, Sr. Manager, Product Planning for Hyundai Motor North America; Dan Hwang, Manager, Advanced Vehicle Tech Planning & Eco Compliance for HMNA, and Ryan Miller, Manager, Electrified Performance Development for Hyundai Kia America Technical Center. This post is the first of several from this interview.

Miller explained the IONIQ 5’s one-pedal driving as the next step from earlier systems.

“So, with IONIQ 5, the paddle-shift regen system is actually an evolution from what we’ve previously implemented,” he said. “And IONIQ 5 is our first application of what we’re calling i-Pedal. And i-Pedal is a true one-foot driving experience that will take the car all the way to a stop condition just with using the accelerator pedal.”

And there are no speed limitations to using i-Pedal.

“It works at all speeds from zero all the way to our max vehicle speed,” Miller said. The i-Pedal feature follows the most aggressive regen, going through the regen limit which ends up being about .25Gs deceleration rate.”

Stepping off the accelerator as well as application of the brake pedal will begin the regen cycle, but for a more aggressive use of the system, the driver can use the left steering-wheel paddle much like a brake pedal – right up to maximum regenerative-stopping power.

“If you cycle through the left paddle that increases the deceleration in our in our implementation,” explained Miller. “The car will be from the factory at level one (of regen braking). If you hit the paddle three times, it’ll take you to level two, then level three and then i-pedal which is the highest level.

“And then there’s also another feature which if you actually hold the left paddle, it will apply the max regen torque instantaneously. So, it’s another way to get the max decel feeling without being in i-Pedal itself. This applies as much [regenerative braking] as possible.”

Applying the brake pedal in the IONIQ 5, as mentioned, initially activates the regen braking and will switch to the friction brakes when additional stopping power is needed.

“The brake pedal, for us, we call a cooperative brake regen system,” said Miller. “We can only regen up to say .4Gs, which is pretty aggressive deceleration already. Beyond that, we would have to apply friction brake to make up more.”

As for owner/driver acceptance of the IONIQ 5’s regenerative-braking system and the i-Pedal concept, it is too early in the CUV’s life for any significant data.

“It’s pretty early on,” explained Lai about the crossover which hit the market at the end of 2021. “Some of the very [early] verbatims [feedback] that I’ve seen is that they appreciate having all these different ways of regenerative braking.

“Ryan talks about level 1-2-3, sub-level zero if you don’t want any regenerative braking, and we have i-Pedal; we have an auto mode, which is kind of nice, because it’ll keep pace with the vehicle in front of you and vary the regenerative braking that way as well.

“As Ryan expressed, we have a lot of different ways to capture as much energy as possible [through regenerative braking].

“And I think that’s where Ionic five is, is a bit different than other EVs in the market, because we do give the consumer are different ways to apply the regenerative braking.”

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Mike Geylin
Mike Geylin

Mike Geylin is the Editor-in-Chief at Hagman Media. Geylin has been in automotive communications for five decades working in all aspects of the industry from OEM to supplier to motorsports as well as reporting for both newspapers and magazines on the industry.