Hyundai Outs Sporty Kona Electric, Up To 470km Range

by under News on 28 Feb 2018 03:00:15 PM28 Feb 2018
2019 Hyundai Kona Electric

Ahead of its planned reveal at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show next week, Hyundai has shed a lot of light on their new all-electric version of the Kona crossover. Called simply the Kona Electric, the unassuming EV shows itself to potentially be quite the game changer should it be presented to buyers in a way that’s aligns with their notions of convenience and cost.

As expected, there’s really quite little to set this apart from the combustion-powered Kona. Little details such as the filled-in grille and unique wheels are the only real indicators. Customers will also be able to mix and match a variety of exterior colours, including the roof, and have their pick of interior shades.

2019 Hyundai Kona Electric

If anything, the EV changes amount to an overall look that’s subjectively sportier than the base car - an interesting flip on the norms. To those who always have measuring tape handy, the Electric actually is 20mm taller and 15mm longer than the common or garden variety Kona.

One other major difference here is that Hyundai approached the Kona EV as a range and not, for lack of a better term, an edition. Instead of introducing a single variant of the all-electric Kona, as other automakers have been known to do, examples being the Volkswagen e-Golf and Ford Focus Electric, Hyundai will be offering the zero emissions crossover as a pair.

The first can be thought of more simply as the lower to mid-tier Kona Electric. As far as we’re aware, there are no differences to the suspension or level of kit, but only that it derives electrical charge from a 39.2kWh battery and is driven by a motor rated at 99kW, resulting in an estimated range of around 300km.

2019 Hyundai Kona Electric

The ‘step-up’ Kona Electric, however, is simultaneously more focused on range and power over the  lesser variant, but again should otherwise be identical. Power is instead taken from a larger 64kWh battery array and translated into motive force at the front wheels via a more powerful 150kW motor.

Despite the gutsier motor, the additional power reserves mean that maximum range is increased to an estimated (and impressive) 470km. From a standing start, Hyundai claims that 7.6 seconds is needed to reach 100km/h.

Regardless of capacity and motor, each Kona EV generates 395Nm of torque available from zero RPM and has a maximum speed of 167km/h. Charging times, naturally, differ between the smaller and larger batteries. The in-built 7.2kW AC charger and supplied ICCB cable needs 6 hours and 10 minutes to charge the 39.2kWh battery while the 64kWh unit needs 9 hours and 40 minutes.

2019 Hyundai Kona Electric

However, when plugged into a 100kW direct current (DC) fast charger, both versions of the lithium polymer batteries need roughly 1 hour to be filled to 80 percent capacity. The decision to use this over the less expensive and more widespread nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) was ultimately swayed by the advantage of batteries based on lithium polymer technology having lowered memory sensitivity, higher energy density, reduced charge loss over time, and an increase in maximum output.

We do know that Hyundai Australia will be introducing Kona Electric to the Australian market in the latter stages of 2018 or early 2019. When that rolls around, the car will arrive with the marque’s suite of semi-autonomous drive assist features as well as active safety systems. Expect either variant to include Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control, forward collision assist, lane keep assist, and blind spot monitoring as standard.

For more on Hyundai cars, check out our Showroom.

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