Even though the Hyundai Ioniq has been around for a few years, we have yet to see one for storage. We got the opportunity to store one this past week.
We were surprised to discover that the car has no 12 volt battery. That’s right, there is no starter battery. Almost every car has one (even fully electrics like Tesla and the Nissan Leaf) even if only to power the car’s accessories.
After doing some research, it looks like Hyundai has combined the giant traction battery with the 12 volt battery into one sealed unit …or rather the traction battery has a sectioned off portion to manage 12 volt battery’s functions.
This can be useful. The Hyundai Ioniq, in the case of a dead 12 volt battery can push power from the traction battery to the 12 volt partition in a sort of self jump start function. Hyundai has also extended a 3 year 36,000 mile warranty to the 12 volt partition. The traction battery carries an industry leading unlimited time and mileage warranty if you are the first owner.
For us however, this presents some issues…
We are used to disconnecting the 12 volt battery during storage to save it from draining. However all components of this battery system are locked away under a sealed unit making it difficult to access.
Additionally the 12 volt partition is a lithium ion battery just like the traction battery portion. This requires special care compared to a standard lead acid battery.
We would also prefer to trickle charge the battery but there is no guarantee that the jump leads under the hood will get current to the battery effectively enough so that it’s properly conditioned.
So what do we do?
Well, we are going to test out the trickle charger. We will let the car sit for a month with the trickle charger on it. If the current stays strong and battery health holds, we’ll know that the under-hood leads are reliable. If you are trying this, just make sure you have a Lithium Ion specific trickle charger.
If this does not work, we’ll just keep the car shallow in our warehouse so that we may start it often.
We’ll let you know how it goes!