Have you heard of Genesis? Genesis is to Hyundai what Lexus is to Toyota. It’s the brand’s luxury car subsidiary. It’s actually been around for 15 years, but only in the last few years made a foray into the European and UK markets. And it aims to make some big moves in order to grab your attention and make its mark, particularly with its electric car offerings.
In order to showcase its raft of new technology either already available in the latest generation of EVs, or soon to be, the company invited media on a day-trip to Berlin. At our disposal was the full range of Genesis EVs including the GV60, GV70 and G80 – the first two crossover/SUV style vehicles, and the G80 a saloon.
The GV60 shares its electric underpinnings with the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and sister company Kia’s EV6, both hugely acclaimed and successful entrants to the fast-growing and fiercely contested electric car segment. The 2023 GV60 however, boasts a couple of extraordinary bits of tech including face and fingerprint recognition and a virtual gearshift!
Smart Charging and Routing Tech
Before we get into those, let’s touch on some of the other new tech that Genesis has in the pipeline including a wireless charging pad to slide under the car (currently being trialled in South Korea) and the Genesis Smart Home which combines with V2L, which refers to Vehicle to Load.
The idea behind this and being able to use your EV as a power storage and portable generator device. This means you can power devices and even your home from the car. This would be handy say if electricity is at peak rate but your car is fully charged, or if you have a power outage.
Potentially you could save significantly on bills if you have solar panels: charge your car during the day and draw power from it at night!
Genesis also now offers fast charging through 800V architecture to enable you to charge your car up to 80% in as little as 18 minutes. Battery pre-conditioning also works to bring the battery up to optimal charging temperature (around 20-25 degrees centigrade) to help with charging speed and battery longevity.
Smart Routing works with the satellite navigation to reduce range anxiety and concerns about where and when you can charge. You key in your destination and it’ll work out the best route, taking in your preferred network charging points should you need them.
There’s also a ‘State of Charge’ feature through which you can dictate how much charge you want to retain when you arrive. For example, you could set 40% remaining charge, and the smart routing will work out if you need to stop and charge again, or whether you’ll have that much or more, on arrival. That way you don’t have to worry about not having enough charge to get away.
And a partnership with Shell will soon make it possible to just stop and plug in without faffing about as the system will automatically recognise the car and bill your account directly.
Face and Fingerprint Recognition
Back to the GV60 – and before we could drive, we had to unlock and start it. Now there’s a new way to do that which means you can actually leave your key fob at home! You just walk up to the car and a small camera on the B-pillar – between the doors – recognises you and goes flashes green, once you touch the door handle. The flush door handle extends out for you to gain entry. Once inside, you have to touch a fingerprint recognition pad on the centre console. After it recognises your finger, you can then press the starter button and are ready to go.
Of course, you have to set it up first by staring at the camera until it recognises you and repeatedly touching the fingerprint sensor until it’s recorded your unique print. This takes a few moments. It’s also not entirely fool-proof so make sure it acknowledges you when you’re wearing a hat or sunglasses etc. Instead of the fingerprint, you can also just use a key-code number – just input that into the infotainment screen and that will also allow you to start the car.
EVs usually don’t have a traditional gearbox as such, instead, they only employ a one-speed transmission because of the consistent nature of their torque delivery. If you’ve ever accelerated hard in an electric car, you’ll notice this from the complete lack of hesitation and interruption. Instead, there is just seamless unpunctuated acceleration.
However, what if you miss being able to select and change gears, as well as the sensation of shifting ratios as you accelerate or decelerate? Many EVs often do appear to have paddle shifts behind the steering wheel, similar to modern automatic cars used by the driver to select gear.
However in the case of EVs, they are used to select the level of regenerative braking, the system by which electric cars manage to recoup energy and recharge batteries through braking and slowing.
On the 2023 GV60, you’re able to select ‘Virtual Gearshift’ which transforms these paddles back into the equivalent of gear shifters. Having tried it, the sensation of using these to change gears is extraordinarily real, aided further by simulated engine noise, which even works when you select neutral and ‘rev’ the motor!
Astonishingly it will hold on to lower gears, not changing up till you pull the paddle. Down-changing through the artificial gears actually utilises the regen technology to help boost the battery range. It’s believable and fun to use. Although it’s probably one of those novelty features that won’t be employed too often unless you find yourself out of town on a nice road. Still, it’s good to have the option.