Hyundai’s 2019 Kona joins a growing list of long-range EVs aiming to entice new car buyers to go electric. The Kona Electric subcompact crossover looks like its conventionally-powered counterpart save for its closed front grille, silver side sills, unique 17-inch alloy wheels, and appropriate badging. It is available in three trim levels – SEL, Limited, and Ultimate. Like the gasoline Kona, the Kona Electric is available with a two-tone roof if the sunroof is not ordered.
Power is provided by a 201-horsepower electric motor driving the front wheels, energized by a 64-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery that enables an estimated 250-mile range. It can be recharged from a depleted state in about 54 minutes via a fast 100 kW Combined Charging System (CCS), or in 75 minutes with the more common 50 kW CCS. Charging with a 240-volt Level 2 charger takes about 10 hours. An EPA estimated 117 MPGe is expected. The Kona Electric accelerates from 0-60 mph in 7.6 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 104 mph.
A 7-inch TFT screen instrument cluster shows the speedometer, battery charge level, energy flow, and driving mode. There’s also a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen system that offers HD and satellite radio as well as BlueLink data connectivity. The system is also compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Navigation with an 8-inch screen is optional. BlueLink app-based remote charge management and charge scheduling is fitted. Other available features include a flip-up head-up display and wireless inductive charging for personal electronics.
Push button shift-by-wire controls are located on the center console. Adjustable regenerative braking is controlled by steering wheel paddles. Electrically-assisted power steering has been tweaked to accommodate the enhanced low-speed performance of an electric vehicle.
A host of driver assist features are provided depending on the trim level. All trim levels get Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Blind-Spot Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Rear Cross-traffic Collision Avoidance Assist, Rear View Monitor, and Smart Cruise Control. The Ultimate trim level adds Parking Distance Warning for reverse, Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go, and a head-up display.
The Kona Electric will initially be sold only in California. It will eventually be available in states that have adopted the California ZEV mandate.