Hyundai Kona Electric is a new electric SUV. It should be affordable, as far as electric cars go, and very practical. But will it be fun to drive? Will it be a pain to live with? Hyundai is already trying to clear out the doubts.
Of course, some things about electric cars are scaring people away. They are range and charging times. Hyundai addressed both of these issues and is offering its Kona Electric in two different variants. The top one has a 64 kWh, which delivers up to 470 km of range. This car is not just for people who frequently travel longer distances – it is also more powerful with motors worth of 150 kW (204 PS), pushing the Kona Electric to 100 km/h in just 7.6 seconds. The cheaper version has a 39 kWh battery and 300 km of range with a 99 kW powertrain. 64 kWh battery can be charged to 80 % in just 54 minutes using a quick charge station. Full charge could be achieved using the power from the mains in 9 hours 40 minutes.
While the Kona Electric, obviously, doesn’t have a gearbox, the paddles behind the steering wheel remain. They are used to select the level of regenerative braking. This allows drivers to extend the range, depending on driving conditions, and preserve the brakes.
Kona Electric is based on an ICE-powered car and receives all its safety kit. It will keep you in lane, recognize speed limit signs, follow the traffic ahead and so on. Inside you would find some impressive tech, in a form of 7-inch supervision cluster, displaying all the information about the powertrain, batteries, energy flow and so one. Head-up display will show all the relevant information straight in the driver’s eyesight. Buyers can also go for an optional eight-inch navigation system featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the KRELL Premium Sound system.
Kona Electric, obviously, looks a lot like the normal standard car, but has some unique features. For example, at the front Kona Electric has composite lights, available with full LED technology, and a closed grille to improve aerodynamics. 17” alloy wheels are also aerodynamically optimised. All in all, it is a handsome SUV and, with a competitive price, could be very successful for Hyundai.