Range-topping model to return up to 470 km

Unveiled in June 2017 as the company first subcompact crossover, the Hyundai Kona will get an all-electric drivetrain later this month. The news comes straight from the Korean automaker, which revealed that that the mini SUV based on the i30 platform will be unveiled on February 2018, ahead of a public debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March. The Kona Electric joins the already available Ioniq Electric and the hydrogen-powered Nexo in the company’s all-electric lineup. The big news is that it will have a range of almost 300 miles on a single charge.

The Company’s First Electric SUV

2019 Kia Niro EV Spyshots Exterior
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Fog lights moved to the flanks
The Kona is smaller than the Kia Niro, so they won't compete against each other

Combining two of the fastest growing trends in the automotive industry, SUV body styles, and electrification, the Kona doesn’t share underpinnings with a similar vehicle from Kia. This is a rare feat, as the two brands offer a large number of sister models. The Kia Niro, for instance, is closely related to the Ioniq, despite the fact that the two compete in different segments. The Kona is also smaller than the Kia Niro, so they won’t compete against each other.

Already available with an internal combustion engine, the Kona is a sporty, modern-looking crossover aimed at younger crowds. Although the Kona Electric has yet to be unveiled, the teaser suggests that it will be almost identical. I can spot a different mesh for the front grille, but other than that and the badges, it should boast the same exterior design.

Hyundai says that the all-electric SUV will come with a "wide range of convenience and connectivity features as well as active safety and driving assistance technologies," but it’s safe to say that it will get the same features as the standard model.

Better than the Chevy Bolt?

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV High Resolution Exterior
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An EPA range is difficult to estimate at this point, but it should be rated at more than 240 miles

Hyundai didn’t have much to say about the Kona Electric’s drivetrain, but it did mention that the crossover will get two powertrain options. The range-topping model will have "one of the most powerful electric motors on the market" and a "class leading range of almost 470 km." This converts to 292 miles on the new European World Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP). If this figure turns out to be accurate, the Kona will surpass the Opel Ampera-e by a full 90 km (60 miles). Impressive!

An EPA range is difficult to estimate at this point, but it should be rated at more than 240 miles. This means that Hyundai’s EV will return a tad more miles than the U.S.-spec Chevrolet Bolt, which is rated by the EPA at 238 miles. It will also sit atop the base version of the Tesla Model 3, rated at 220 miles.

When Can You Buy It?

Hyundai says that the Kona Electric will become available in the summer of 2018. There’s no word on pricing yet, but we should find out more at the official unveiling. So stay tuned for updates.


Hyundai Kona

2018 Hyundai Kona
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Read our full review on the 2018 Hyundai Kona.

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