When the delivery driver dropped off the Genesis G80, I could tell by the smile on his face it was a premium product. He walked me around the car and explained the controls – including the remote control. By that I mean the remote-control movement of the car from the key fob (as long as you are within 13 feet). The only thing he wasn’t so sure of was where the actual charging socket was located. Luckily, my wife was on hand to figure it out and show us both.

Picture of Genesis G80 electric vehicle

The car was a very nice green colour with a white leather interior. The combination worked well and many people who saw the car commented on how nice the colour looked. This was my first experience of driving an EV over an extended time frame. Up until now, every test-drive I had lasted less than one hour. I really wanted to understand what it was like to live with an EV and if it could be practical in the real world.

Picture showing the Genesis G80 rear interior

The interior was more spacious than the Mercedes E220d I normally drive. It felt more premium too. The steering wheel was quite large, and it had the usual volume buttons along with the driver aids for adaptive cruise control and steering assistance. The gear selector was on a rotary dial on the centre console which was easy to use. There was a 14” touch screen for the rest of the controls. As with any car, it took a little while to find my way around but, it was simple to use. Something different to a regular car was the battery screen which showed charge and range.

Driving the car was a great experience. It was whisper quiet, silky smooth and very well mannered. For anyone unfamiliar with the Genesis brand, it is Korean and comes from the same stable as Kia and Hyundai. Having driven both the EV6 and the Ioniq5, this is definitely a more premium experience. The electric drive train works just as well but, the ride quality and calming nature of the car justifies the re-branding. Some time ago, I drove a Hyundai Santa Fe. It was extremely well equipped but, the ride quality could not rival a Mercedes.

View of the Genesis G80 interior

It is a big statement to make but, the Genesis G80 really did ride as well as a Mercedes. Combined with the overall build quality, it positioned the vehicle in my mind as desirable. To reinforce this thought, the blind spot cameras (which show in the drivers display) and the heads-up display added to the gadget list. At £77,000 however, it is not a purchase decision you could make on a whim. Personally, I would have to add the massaging seats and sun blinds to make the car a complete package. Then, there is the charging process and the cost to consider!

Using the menu on the car ‘s display, I was surprised to find eight different charging stations close to where I live in North East Wales. This was a positive. However, some chargers are quicker than others and unlike a fossil fuel station, they are not under cover. Gladly, the weather was fine so it wasn’t an issue but, in the winter, it could be. The first station I used only delivered at 50kW. This was slow. The second I used gave 125kW. Just under 30 minutes of being connected resulted in 250 miles of range but, the cost was just over £50.

Image of EV screen charging receipt

Comparing the Genesis G80 extended test drive to the Mercedes E220d (W213), the cost of public charging was incredibly expensive, especially when considering there is no fuel duty on electricity. A £50 refuel of diesel provides around 450 miles of driving. A full tank regularly returns 800 miles. The cost of electric vehicle recharging can be reduced though. Installing a home charger and charging over a few hours could cost just a tenth of the public price at 7.5p/kWh. Likewise, joining a network would also reduce the cost (by up to 50%).

So, overall, what did I think of the Genesis G80 extended test drive and the EV experience? Well, I have moved my outlook from EVs are ‘nowhere near’ to EVs are ‘almost there’. For many people and in particular company car owners, an EV is a series cost saver. If you can charge at home or at a place of work and you do not travel more than 200 miles a day, it is a viable alternative to your fossil fuel car. When you add the insane acceleration of the Genesis from 0-60mph and the five-year warranty, it really does stack up. For an inner-city Chauffeur it could be viable. For the inter-city chauffeur who drives long distances, unfortunately it still isn’t a solution.

Rear quarter view of the Genesis G80 (2023)

In a nutshell, I loved the Genesis G80 and as a personal car, I would have one – I really would. As a working vehicle in the chauffeur industry however, I just don’t have the confidence in the charging network or infrastructure. Hopefully EVs will become viable for more people as battery and charging technology evolves. If you are thinking about buying a Genesis though, I loved the attention it attracted from people who saw one for the first time. I also loved how refreshing it was to challenge everything I thought I knew about cars! For now though, I’m holding out for Sodium Ion batteries and their greater range.