Hyundai Australia has announced pricing and specifications for its second all-electric model, the Kona Electric, with the battery-powered SUV landing in local showrooms from $59,990.
It represents a hefty $20,990 markup over the most expensive combustion-engined Kona, the $39,000 Hyundai Kona Highlander 1.6 turbo, but for buyers looking for a zero-emissions car which boasts Tesla-equalling range without a Tesla pricetag, it’s the only choice. With a single-charge range of just under 450km, the Kona Electric is without equal at its price point – at least until the arrival of Kia’s 485km Niro EV later this year.
Other mainstream options like the Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe and Hyundai’s own Ioniq Electric may cost over $10,000 less, but none have the battery capacity to equal the Kona Electric. Besides its SUV form factor and slightly greater interior space, its outright range will be the EV Kona’s real point of difference. With a single-charge range of 449km under real-world driving conditions, the Kona Electric enables the average Australian motorist to drive for an entire week without having to worry about charging their car - while also giving them the legs to take the occasional trip away from big city centres with confidence.
Powered by a single 150kW electric motor and toting a 64kWh lithium-ion battery pack under its floor, the Kona Electric is able to deploy a stout 395Nm of torque to its wheels to enable a respectable 7.6-second 0-100km/h sprint time.
Regenerative braking force can also be changed on the fly via the steering column-mounted paddles – similar to the Ioniq Electric, while the active cruise control also helps maximise regen when driving through traffic – and thus extend range.
As for charging, Hyundai claims an average charge time on the optional home wall box charger of 9 hours and 35 minutes, though thanks to an on-board 7.2kW charger the car can also take power from any ordinary household power outlet – albeit at a significantly increased charge time, which Hyundai does not specify. If you can find a 100kW fast-charger, the Kona EV can restore a depleted battery to an 80 percent charge in just 54 minutes.
The suspension tune has also been tweaked for the Australian market through local testing, with Hyundai’s locally-based engineers imparting a more refined, comfort-oriented ride on the Kona’s electric flagship – to the extent that the rear suspension design is entirely specific to the EV, and the ride differs completely to that of the petrol-engined Kona range.
The Kona Electric is available in two model grades – the base Elite and the top-shelf Highlander. Both variants receive an 8-inch infotainment screen with sat-nav, premium audio, smartphone mirroring and digital radio, while active cruise control, climate control, rain-sensing wipers, dusk-sensing headlamps and heated wing mirrors are also standard. Safety equipment comprises a suite of six airbags along with blind spot monitoring, frontal collision sensing, lane keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert, a rear view camera, rear parking sensors and active cruise control.
Hyundai Auto Link also enables a range of smartphone-accessible functions to allow owners to keep tabs on their car remotely, and is standard on all Kona Electrics.
Stepping up to the Kona Electric Highlander brings LED headlamps, frontal parking sensors, heated/ventilated/powered front seats, a wireless phone charger, a heated steering wheel, head up display and a glass sunroof. A reasonable amount of extra kit for the $4500 premium.
Hyundai Kona Electric Elite - $59,990
Hyundai Kona Electric Highlander - $64,490
Premium paint - $595