2019 Hyundai Kona EV Boasts 250-mile Range
Hyundai’s new 2019 Kona Electric small SUV will boast an estimated 250 miles of all-electric driving range when it is launched in California at the end of the year. The sporty and futuristic-looking compact utility aimed at eco-friendly young buyers was revealed at the New York International Auto Show. Kona EV will compete with the Chevrolet Bolt EV, Nissan Leaf, Volkswagen eGolf, Ford Focus Electric and Tesla Model 3.
“Our new Kona Electric crossover is a stylish and efficient compact CUV, tailored to the needs of customers who pursue eco-focused active lifestyles requiring generous range,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president of product, corporate and digital planning at Hyundai Motor America. “We’re confident it will set new standards for the electric-propelled compact CUV segment, with outstanding range flexibility, appealing design, cutting-edge connectivity and class-leading available safety features.”
While the 250-mile electric range is impressive, it appears to fall short of the headlined up to 292-mile figure estimated for the recently revealed European model, which will offer a variant with a smaller battery promising about a 200-mile range. The U.S. will have just the one battery pack. Hyundai added that the U.S. figures don’t match only because of Europe’s testing cycle is different.
Powerful 64-kWh battery pack
Kona EV is powered by a 64-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery and an electric motor generates 201 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque. Specs such as 0-60 mph acceleration time weren’t available for the U.S. model and trim information will be available closer to launch, a spokesman said.
With bold styling carried over from the gasoline-powered 2018 Kona, the Kona EV has few visual changes except for a closed front grille. That’s where you’ll find the charging port, next to the Hyundai logo and below the headlight on the driver’s side. With a standard Level II onboard charger, Kona EV will be able to recharge in 9 hours and 35 minutes. With an available Level III charger, the battery can be charged up to 80 percent in 54 minutes.
Kona EV is available in vibrant color choices such as Pulse Red and Ceramic Blue. In models without a sunroof, the electric crossover is available with a contrasting white roof it pairs with black, gray exterior body colors.
Available only as a front-wheel drive model, Kona EV uses a push button shift-by-wire system to change gears. The setup allows for storage underneath the center console. The interior is simple, yet roomy for its size, with rear folding seats, providing more cargo capacity. A cloth upholstery is available in black, while light gray and blue dual-tone is a leather option.
A 7-inch infotainment screen is standard in the electric SUV, while an 8-inch touchscreen with navigation system is optional. A premium infotainment system is available with smartphone pairing included. Other available features include power driver’s seat, heated leather seats, heads-up display, rain-sensing wipers and wireless smartphone charging.
Hyundai is giving three years of free Blue Link services to Kona EV buyers who also will be able to use additional features such as charge scheduling and remote charge management. Owners also will be able to manage and monitor Kona EV from the Blue Link smartphone app.
Pricing for the 2019 Kona EV was not disclosed, but it is expected to qualify for incentives including a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500. A base gasoline-powered Kona starts at just under $21,000 including delivery. After its California launch, Hyundai said it then would make Kona EV available only in states with zero emission vehicle programs including Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont.