With a throng of new automotive firms launching during the past decade, it’s easy to get lost among the trees. New firms striving to break the code into the emerging electric vehicle (EV) market are up against established, legacy brands intending to expand, not cede established territory.
Newer EV-specific companies such as Rivian, Fisker, Lucid, Nikola and Mullen find themselves up against long-established, better funded players General Motors, Toyota and Ford.
And then, there’s Genesis, Hyundai Motor Group’s newish luxury brand jumping into the fray during the 2017 model year. South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group chose Genesis as moniker for a completely new stand-alone luxury arm, similar to what Toyota executed with Lexus in the late 1980s.
Confusion arises because in 2009, Hyundai Motors North America selected the Genesis name for its all-new ultra-luxury sedan. Many consumers are slow to grasp Genesis as a stand-alone brand; still envisioning it as a single model. Genesis Motors North America is quickening the pace of establishing a greater number of stand-alone Genesis dealerships helping to settle any lingering doubts.
In the 2023 model year, Genesis takes the next evolutionary step as a brand and debuts its first all-electric vehicle in the form of the compact, posh, five-door GV60, the brand’s third and smallest luxury crossover.
As of May of 2023, the five-door GV60 crossover is available in 23 states, including Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin with coast-to-coast availability as production numbers dictate. All-wheel drive comes standard for now.
Hyundai Motors North America received high marks for its all-electric Ioniq introduced in 2016, becoming one of the best-selling none-Tesla EVs here in the states. Genesis GV60 benefits from lessons learning during Ioniq’s successes with an extra layer of luxury.
Both the Hyundai Ioniq EV and Genesis GV60 EV share Hyundai Motor Group’s Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) resembling a low-to-the-ground skateboard layout where battery cells, modules and packs reside below the load floor between front and rear axles. This flexible structure may be scaled up to accommodate future mid-size and larger EV offerings.
The GV60’s ultra-modern-looking couple-like exterior features a functional hexagonal lower black air dam with rows and columns of diamond-shaped inserts allows air exchanges with the battery system, a front grille differing from the GV80 and GV70, two recently introduced Genesis crossovers motoring via internal combustion engines.
Above narrow headlight housing accommodates an upper and lower birth of five-in-a-row be-jeweled LED bulbs. Dual hood creases begin at the A-pillar and touch up with the headlight housing’s top shelf. Flush-mounted, narrow, rectangular pull bars teeter out from all four side doors when unlocking via the key fob or through a unique GV60 keyless entry system.
A small, flat facial recognition rectangle with infrared-enhanced software builds into the driver-side B pillar (with a two-face recognition limit) allowing for keyless entry. Designated drivers need not depend upon a key fob once enacted. Coupled with inside fingerprint software allowing keyless electric motor starting/stopping, traditional fobs can be left at home rather than mistakenly left in the sand at Lake Michigan beaches.
The bottom of the lower rear side windows curve upward from the lower center B pillar to upper C pillar region. The rear window’s lower edge includes, a thin black horizonal spoiler adding flair but also features prominently when peering into the rearview mirror. Front and rear overhangs beyond the circular wheel wells remain minimal.
Genesis locates the plug-port receptacle on the driver’s side rear fender behind a round hinged door resembling a familiar gas tank lead cover of old. This receptacle accepts several charging opportunities: Level 1, Level 2 and DC (Direct Current) fast charging.
With no traditional internal combustion engine crammed under hood, new opportunities await wider open spaces. Motor oil dip sticks as well as pistons and plugs give way to well-marked ports for windshield wiper fluid and a covered, hinged flat storage region.
Inside the traditional glove box pulls out reminiscent of a file cabinet drawer rather than a drop-down effect. The elimination of a vertical transmission floor hump running the length of the interior serves up a flat foot surface with enhanced leg room throughout.
This compact-sized quiet transport accommodates three in-back riders if situations dictate. If cargo room prioritizes the day, second row seatbacks fold down in a 70/30 fashion. The power-operated lift hatch raises extra high allowing ample head clearance. The standard Level 1 power cord stores in a compartment under the flat cargo floor.
Dominating the dash, a wide flat black screen connecting two regions; the 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and 12.3-inch multi-function audio/map/infotainment section. The top extends up from slightly from the dash creating a clean look found many new-age Electric Vehicles, although a recently tested 2023 Kia Carnival minivan, with old-school internal combustion engine and old-age Soccer Mom stigma, also shares this exact wide black screen format.
The HVAC operations control from a separate, smaller touch screen below attractive narrow and long horizontal air vents, although dual front zone temperature settings monitor from tactile up-down tabs.
The dashboard electronic start/stop push button locates right of the steering column. Push to start and a snow-globe like orb between Nappa-leathered surfaced front bucket seats performs a 180-degree summersault to reveal a tactile twistable half-moon drive selector for choosing among drive, reverse and neutral. Park selects via a push down of an on-top-of-the-moon button. This motive gem also changes color dependent upon a selected ambient interior pin-lighting hue.
The official device title is Rotating Orb Crystal Sphere Gear Selector. Besides selecting forward, reverse and park, the system serves as a visual reminder when quiet electric motors are at work. If the selectable gear orb remain visible, GV60 is operational, spot the colorful sphere underside, and the system is inactive and turned off.
The center arm rest between front buckets extends out in a plank-like floating fashion. The plank houses the crystal sphere gear selector, a large traditional twist and push dial working in tandem with the multi-function touch screen and two scroll dials monitoring volume and station selection. Between the scroll dials, the flat fingerprint recognition system circle stands ready for use. Also walking the plank, dual right-side inline beverage holders and a wireless phone charger vertical pocket near the rearward arm/rest storage bin with flip cover. Orbed interior door latches resemble ‘silver-shaded onion rings,’ according to a long-time shotgun participant and travel weary spouse.
The GV60 builds small cameras into side view mirrors projecting a color, live stream of real-time blind spot feeds within the digital instrument panel activated when utilizing the turn signal stalk; a simple, effective and easily interpreted safety tool.
Two GV60 trim levels include Advanced and up-market Performance. Advanced starts at $52,290 with Performance kicked up to $68,290.
The Performance trim includes two electric/traction motors, one on each axle creating an all-wheel drive format. Both motors crank out 160 kilowatts for a total output of 320 kilowatts translating to an impressive 429 horsepower. The Advanced trim, released later this year, sports a slightly smaller 74kw motor in front with the 160-kilowatt electric motor clamped to the rear axle and 314 horsepower. Advanced will also be offered in editions with one traction motor supporting rear wheel drive.
Need more excitement? Performance trims include a bright yellow ‘Boost’ button on the steering wheel. Give it a push while tooling the Tollway and get an extra 50 or so horsepower boost. It’s only a 10-second burst but a great talking point.
Both trims include a sizeable 77.4 kWh battery pack with 384 individual pouch-style DC battery cells. Twelve cells group together to form a module (a total of 32 modules create GV60’s flat battery pack center sub floor) powering the two traction motors. When fully charged, expect an EPA rated 248-mile range with Advanced trims, 235-mile range estimated with Performance trims; slightly below the industry average but keep in mind, these numbers are estimates with expected increases during milder, warmer weather. The EPA tends to low ball EV range estimates.
Regenerative braking, a hallmark of EVs, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and old-school hybrid electric vehicles like the original Toyota Prius, creates electricity (while gently increasing the GV60’s all-electric range) through the friction-generating braking process and restores this kinetic energy for later use. The level of regeneration (braking strength) adjusts though three settings within the center touch screen menu or via steering wheel paddle shifters, reminiscent of ‘manumantic’ finger shifters from the internal combustion engine era except now, a drivers select a greater or lesser degree of continuous brake grip.
Mastering this technology is seamlessly simple with immediate slowing feedback and the benefits keep giving. Expect reduced brake pad wear when compared to traditional internal combustion engine cars.
Lithium-ion batteries enjoy mild 70-degree temperatures for maximum efficiency (don’t we all) and Genesis incorporates a battery efficiency function to manage temperature. This system preheats to secure better performance when battery temperature fall below certain levels. An optimally temperate battery pack also quickens charging times.
An onboard integrated charging control unit (ICCU) converts level 1 and level 2 alternating current (AC) from the electric grid into direct current, for storage into the rechargeable DC lithium-ion battery pack. A DC fast charger bypasses the (ICCU), delivering a DC charge directly into the lithium-ion DC battery pack within a much faster time frame.
One advantage GV60 brings to the fore is a relatively updated, top-limit 800-volt (350kw) charging function when utilizing a commercially available DC Fast Charger. However, not all DC Fast Chargers are created equally and rated at 800 volts. If and when locating one, reaching an eighty percent charge from a remaining five percent level is possible within approximately 18 minutes, a sizeable time-saving improvement over a 400-volt DC fast-charging ports delivering between 50 to 150kw taking approximately 50 minutes to charge to an eighty percent level.
Just like ubiquitous cellular phone charging, going from a 90 percent state of charge to 100 percent takes proportionally more time as built-in safety measures prevent overcharging when reaching upper limits.
A Level 1 charger represents a common 120-volt household outlet limited to between 10 and 12 amperes (amps) which when charging an EV translates to about four electric miles per hour. Our at-home Level 1 test with the GV60 produced only two electric miles per hour. Thus, when purchasing a Genesis GV60 or any EV with ranges above 200 electric miles, an investment in a more potent Level 2 garage wall charger is almost a given.
Level 2 chargers deliver 240-volts, commonly used for a home’s washer/dryers and other higher-energy appliances. The 2023 charging capacity for a GV60’s onboard ICCU charging module transmits a relative generous 11kw rate of charge which translates into quicker electron fill ups with properly aligned Level 2 chargers.
Just a few short years ago, an EV’s rate of charge through the onboard charging module averaged 7.2kw. Expect a complete charge with a Level 2 charger in about eight hours from a near zeroed-out GV60 battery pack. A growing number of Chicago area shopping centers offer complimentary Level 2 charging stations for customers while parked (usually with a two-hour honor system limit).
Within the confines of the 2022 inflation reduction act recently passed by Congress, expect a growing number of for-profit DC fast charging stations along interstates and shopping malls, but remember, the convenience of faster charging comes with a higher cost than a home-bound level 1 or level 2 charger, on average double the price of a Level 2 charge.
Federal tax credits remain an enticing reason when considering an EV purchase. However, the devils in the details and details remain ever evolving and frustrating at times to decode with a sliding scale of available credits.
In order to qualify for the entire $7,500 tax credit, an EV must be assembled on U.S. soil and meet a host of other qualifications including battery component requirements. Very few EVs quality for the full $7,500 Federal tax credit (IRS Form 8936) as of this writing (5/12/23) and updated sets of IRS guidelines entered the fray in March of 2023. The credit is taken in the year one takes delivery of the EV.
Unfortunately for GV60 buyers in 2023, no portion Federal tax credit is applicable during purchase. However, leasing a GV60 could qualify for a portion of the existing tax credits. The Hyundai Motor Group announced plans in 2022 to open an EV battery cell assembly plant in Georgia to better align with the Inflation Reduction Act. Although Hyundai Motor America has an assembly facility in Montgomery Alabama, currently the GV60 assembles in South Korea. However, the Alabama facility does churn out the brand's second entry into all-electric travel, the slightly larger GV70 'Electrified' crossover which qualifies for a portions of the Federal tax credit and available at select Illinois dealers.
A Federal tax credit is now available through 2032 when installing EV Level 2 home chargers. Generally, this tax credit covers approximately 30 percent of hardware and installation up to $1,000. The state of Illinois also includes home charging purchase and installation credits.
2023 GV60 EV
Price as tested: $69,560
Battery: 77.4 -KWh Lithium-Ion
Electric range: 235 miles
Wheelbase: 114.2 inches
Overall Length: 177.8 inches
Overall Height: 62.4 inches
Overall Width: 74.4 inches
Curb Weight: 4,872 pounds
EV Battery/System Warranty: 10-years/100,000 miles
Assembly: South Korea