After the IONIQ, the Hyundai Kona Electric is the second BEV offered by Hyundai Australia. Hyundai claims the Kona Electric is Australia’s first-ever electric SUV (albeit front-wheel-drive) and features a 64kWh battery. In other markets, a shorter-range 39kWh variant exists but, for Australia, Hyundai has opted to supply only the long-range Kona.
The Kona is also available in a petrol ICE variant. That may lead you to believe the Kona Electric is merely a simple EV retrofit. This isn’t the case — the Kona Electric has had extensive development to make it a distinct model. For instance, to offset the added weight incurred by the battery packs, the EV version uses aluminium extensively. The Australian Kona Electric is also tuned for Aussie roads, with Hyundai’s engineers testing various suspension designs and configurations before settling on what appears on local-market cars.
The Kona Electric may be smaller and pricier than Hyundai’s other BEV offering, the IONIQ Electric, but the $65,900 driveaway price gets you a bigger battery (64kWh vs 38.3kWh) and a more powerful motor (150kW vs 100kW). It also does the 0-100km/h sprint faster than the IONIQ Electric, in 7.6 seconds compared to the sedan’s 9.7 seconds.
With a larger battery pack comes increased range. Hyundai claim 449 km is achievable in the Kona Electric, which translates to 390 km of real range. This is greater than the more expensive European SUV offerings like the Audi e-Tron 55 & the Mercedes-Benz EQC400. At such, the Kona Electric’s range figures are more on par with the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus, which claims 460 km.
The Kona Electric comes to Australia in two trim variants (excluding the launch edition). The top-spec Highlander model adds electric heated and cooled front seats, wireless charging, a sunroof, head-up display, LED lights, and a heated steering wheel.
The Kona Electric is a sure sign that Hyundai is taking the EV market very seriously. A competent small crossover-SUV that delivers on battery-range is exactly the kind of BEV that will convert more people from ICEVs to Zero-Emission Vehicles. And, with a five-year warranty and an 8 year/160,000 km warranty on the battery, you’re provided with peace of mind as well.