2019 Hyundai Kona Electric Offers Most Range Of Any Non-Tesla EV


Hyundai’s stylish, new, all-electric crossover is an affordable range champ.

As time goes on, the number of more affordable EVs grows. However, when it comes to long range, there are still very few options. This is especially true outside of vehicles made by Tesla, which are more expensive and not necessarily geared toward the mass auto-buying public. Hyundai and Kia are aiming to change that, with an assortment of electric vehicle offerings. One such offering – the 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric – will be available in the U.S. soon and offers an impressive EPA-rated 258 miles of range.

The Kona Electric features a 64-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. This is a mere 4-kWh larger than the battery pack in the Chevrolet Bolt EV, which was the non-Tesla range champ before the Kona Electric was officially rated by the EPA. The extra energy gives the Hyundai 20 more miles of range than the Bolt. The Kona Electric also beats the Bolt in MPGe, albeit marginally.

  • Hyundai Kona Electric – 120 MPGe (132 city/108 highway)
  • Chevrolet Bolt EV – 119 MPGe (128 city/110 highway)

According to the EPA, both vehicles will cost about $550 per year to charge (assuming 15,000 miles) and save you $5,000 in fuel costs over five years compared to the average new vehicle. Lastly, both cars expend 28 kWh per 100 miles.

The Kona Electric makes 201 horsepower and is only available with front-wheel drive. According to Hyundai, it takes 54 minutes to charge using a 100-kW DC fast-charger. At 50-kW, it will pull it off in 75 minutes. If you choose to use its onboard 7.2-kW charger, you’re looking at about nine hours and 35 minutes.

Soon, two more vehicles will arrive that share the same platform and battery as the Kona Electric. The Kia Niro EV is already on sale in Korea and will hit our shores in early 2019. Additionally, the all-new 2019 Kia Soul EV is coming soon. It’s also built on the same platform, though all-wheel drive may be available.

Look for the Hyundai Kona Electric to arrive in the U.S. before the end of this year. Pricing has yet to be announced, but speculation puts it around the same price as the $37,495 Chevrolet Bolt EV.



Hyundai Kona Electric
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Hyundai Kona Electric
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Source: Car and Driver

Categories: Hyundai

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68 Comments on "2019 Hyundai Kona Electric Offers Most Range Of Any Non-Tesla EV"

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This should put more pressure on the sales of the Chevrolet Bolt and the entry level Tesla Model 3. As the tax credit phases out, the Model 3 will become less attractive than the Kona since it will be more expensive, shorter range and possible smaller.

“This should put more pressure on the sales of the Chevrolet Bolt and the entry level Tesla Model 3.” Only if Hyundai actually made this broadly available across the US. As a limited-availability compliance car, it’s unlikely to put any pressure on those outside of ZEV states. And yes, while ZEV states see the majority of EV sales, if EV’s are to expand, they have to be available and marketed everywhere.

I agree with you. If Hyundai treats this car as the Ioniq EV, so it should be a flop.

Maybe not even ZEV states given what they have (not) done with the Ioniq (230 this year through July, all in SoCal). If they bring over 100 a month that will be a big improvement. I hope they bring as many as the market will accept but I totally doubt it.

Even if they don’t stock it, at least they can make it available for order, though I’d point out that at least the Soul EV is actually stocked in some non-ZEV states.

Majority of people who buy Tesla want it because it is Tesla…

Tesla indeed has a good reputation, but rationally they built this reputation by building electric cars that are usable by most people like the long range and the Supercharger network and as a bonus they are fast and look cool.

Or it’s the other way around: they look cool, are fast, and just happen to be really cool under the hood because they’re electric.

Nevermind the Supercharger network, which is the only charging network in the world that makes any sense at all. Everything else caters to people getting around their metro area and not beyond it.

Yes. I had two people in the car recently (at two different times). After spending time driving and explaining all the features for 30 minutes, they still can’t believe it is electric.

> Nevermind the Supercharger network, which is the only charging network in the world that makes any sense at all. Everything else caters to people getting around their metro area and not beyond it.

Bollocks. You clearly do not have quite the overview for the entire world that you imagine.

In Norway, Teslas network is pretty good, but not nearly as good (in terms of density/coverage/catering to people getting around) as the ordinary public charging network (whether CHAdeMO or CCS, or even Type 2 AC charging at 22 kW – the three are nearly identical since stations in Norway typically sport all of them).

The Supercharger network in Scotland is rubbish, four stations for the whole country! so it’s no surprise that theirs often one sat at the local free to use rapids whenever I need a charge, after all, why would they bother investing in a country that already provides hundreds of free to use rapid chargers.

The difference is that Tesla’s Superchargers offer 120-160 kW of power so nobody has to waste an hour or more sitting at a so called “fast” charger. Sorry, but 22kW or even 50kW does not count as Fast charging.

During the night, charge at your house. If you don’t have a place to charge while you sleep, an EV is probably not the best choice for you. A PHEV would be the better choice. Tesla’s have long enough ranges to make daily driving a breeze, and Superchargers allow long trips to be made with minimal time wasted. Only die-hard electric-only drivers will stand for 1+ hr charging times. For EVs to break into the mainstream, they’ve got to be like Tesla – good cars with long ranges and extremely Fast charging.

Nonsense. Tesla’s have 200+ mile range. Stopping for half an hour every 100 miles is probably less than people would do anyway, just for comfort. To don’t get fatigue or cramps.

You speak truth.

Unfortunately unless Hyundai changes how they do ev business this car will not be a threat to no other ev. The ionic could have been a threat to many if they actually tried to sell it…talking about the US situation.

In New Zealand the Ionic is the best selling BEV YTD in 2018.
The Kona EV is already on sale with sales starting in July.
Outlander PHEV is the best selling PHEV.

The Ioniq is selling as fast as they can make them, with months-long waiting lists. It’s just that the US isn’t the primary market for them.

Duh! How can it be a prime market if you don’t make it available? We can go in circle pretending it’s not something Hyundai is doing…

“as fast as they can make them”
Now that i just don’t believe! Sure you don’t think they can’t do any better than this, do you?

They can’t make more BEV than their battery supplier can make batteries for them.

And they prefer to sell in more rewarding markets, they are a commercial company.
Upgrade the sales channel, and you will see more great cars being offered in the USA.

The US market is backward in many ways. Hyundai need to focus on markets like Norway, where EVs have actually taken off.

You really believe Hyundai is incapable of increasing production?

There’s been a production shortfall for the Ioniq since the beginning. And Hyundai is clearly planning the same to be the case for KONA. Soul too (sister KIA) and Niro seems to be the same story…

Of course, Tesla is production-constrained too. But noone doubts that in Tesla’s case they actually ARE incapable :p and funnily enough this incompetence scores many brownie points with certain people.

Well – I do believe Tesla is incapable compared to legacy manufacturers. The fact that they aren’t legacy manufacturers is what really wins them brownie points.
Of course, who makes more EV’s? Hyundai/Kia or Telsa. Hyundai is the 3rd largest auto manufacturer in the world. If I read it right July and August Tesla sales combined are more than Hyundai’s worldwide cumulative EV sales.

I don’t think the car competes with a Tesla. However, the Chevy Bolt and the Nissan Leaf will see some competition for sales if Hyundai/Kia makes enough of them.

I wonder if the Kia Soul will move to using CSS.

Because the list BEVs is still pretty limited, this car will most definitely compete with Tesla.

While I agree with that concept, the lack of availability in the US will likely not make it a meaningful competition.

In the UK the Model 3 is months if not a year or more away. The Kona EV is being delivered by the end of the year.
The bolt/Ampera-e is not coming.

I imagine the pressure on the Model 3 will be about 0. Everything else will feel the squeeze from this, but it isn’t near as desirable as a Model 3.

Obvious. It has the largest battery than any non-Tesla EV.

I’m sure Hyundai saw the Bolt and asked LG for 4 more kwh in their pack. GM has two options – increase their pack size or decrease the price to undercut the Hyundai Kona. They’ll probably just decrease the cost of the vehicle. Easy solution and people see it on the sticker when comparing. The difference in pack size doesn’t really mean much on a day to day basis. The faster charging time is probably a bigger deal.

It’s the same capacity. 65 kWh total, 61 kWh usable.

But the Kona is available with heat pump (is just missing in the cheapest Kona) while the Bolt doesn’t have one in every configuration?


Which doesn’t affect their cycle ranges but most definitely the real world range during colder days. I’d take the Kona over the Bolt/Ampera-E every day of the week for a number of reasons.

Can you elaborate? What are your “number of reasons”? I am interested in both cars.

A week ago I managed to park the Bolt right next to an ICE Kona, to compare them side-by-side. To my eye, the Kona is the same length as the Bolt, but an inch or two lower. Also, Kona’s interior looked less spacious.

A sad result of SUV fetish. With a better bodystile it might be as spacious and more efficient than the Bolt.

Unfortunately, they did not take your suggestions in account for 2019.
The car price increased very slightly (about 230 USD / 300 CAD) and the battery is the same.

This looks like an amazing value package… Nice job Hyundai…

“Level 3” is not a charging standard. AC Level 1, AC Level 2, DC Level 1, and DC Level 2 are current standards, but DC Level 3 doesn’t exist yet. To avoid confusion once the DC Level 3 standard is established, DC charging is probably best described as DC Fast Charging (DCFC). For a Website devoted to EV’s to refer to a non-existent charging standard is disappointing.

We were quoting information given by Car and Driver that came directly from Hyundai. When an automaker states something, it is best to state it the same as that automaker. However, I understand your concern and will reword for clarity. Thank you for pointing it out.

“According to Hyundai, it takes 54 minutes to charge using a Level 3 100-kW quick-charger.”

When compared to a Bolt, this is actually a much bigger deal to me than the extra 20 miles of range. The Bolt’s quick charge profile is incredibly conservative. I don’t understand why they start at less than 1C and then taper it so quickly.

Yes, hopefully this (and the news that the new new Leaf will have at least 100kW DCFC capability) will put some serious pressure on the folks in Dearborn to improve the Bolt.

I’m pretty sure that GM has the slowest DCFC of all big battery EVs on the Bolt because they want to slow-walk the inevitable transition to compelling EVs to protect their LICE profits for as long as possible.

That’s the cynical evaluation. I’m under the impression that they are just being overly conservative. They want their car’s battery to last for 10+ years of solid service. That said, I hope they do get more aggressive in future model years.

The range is a nice start. Fast charging problem hasn’t been solved, though.

Probably the headline should be (jokingly of course), “2019 Hyundai Kona Electric Offers Most Range Of Any Non-Tesla EV … Just barely … sort of …”

Where is the much touted iconic Ioniq EV? And when can we expect this one … and how many Kona ??? It’s all still up in the air! I love this idea and I hope Hyundai pulls this off in a big big way. The timing is perfect if Hyundai can deliver. With other OEM tax credits running low or out, “It’s TIME” (as Michael Buffer would say).

What is the 0-60 time? handling?? Tech? We don’t want EVs just because they are econo-boxes, we want better performance than comparable ICEs.

And this will be better than the comparable ICE.

The reason to buy EVs is not for performance, but for the fact they will save the world.

Ok – I have 2 EV’s. They will not save the world. A good first step and an easy change but not likely to save the world.

Reminds me of the disclaimer that Dodge puts on the Demon that excludes Tesla’s when they talk about the Demon being the fastest.

The author is obviously missing two important EVs (FCEVs) : Honda Clarity FCEV with 366 EPA range and Toyota Mirai with 312 miles EPA range. Not to mention their< 5 mins recharge times that blows the skull out of the mind.
But if you change the title to 'BEV', then it should be truthful.

But I admit. This is the better than Model Y at lower prices that arrived 4 years ahead of itself.

Since when are fuel cell vehicles considered EVs?

By some definitions they are. Though by the same definitions, serial gasoline hybrids would be as well…

They always were and will be. Essentially only the power storage part is different. If you want to be accurate you can use FCEV and BEV for the two types.

I think the mind gets blown out of the skull, not the skull out of the mind. Happens to my mind every time I gas up my PHEV for a road trip. 5000+ mph charging.

“better than Model Y” “4 years ahead”.
Interesting thought process there.

It is pretty obvious the hydrogen fueling station thing is taking off. I see a new one under construction every day near me. Just like I see a Mirai also. I have seen as many Model Y’s as I have seen Kona EVs.

Well, hydrogen FCEVs are basically dead on arrival and are not even really on the market. They only serve as marketing tools (“look what we can do!”) for Honda/Toyota until they release their BEVs.

They don’t have the energy efficiency and the price of the cells themselves is unlikely to decrease substantially. Batteries however will improve energy density wise and proportionally their cost will decrease (and even more so due to economies of scale)

I don’t why, but the front and rear looks like two different cars smashed together. Not crazy about the golf ball dimples. Otherwise, not bad for stuffing 65kWh into something so small.

At least less of a mash up than a Prius.

I actually kinda like the front; and the side is decent as well — IMHO it’s the best-looking CUV aside from the Model X… Only the rear is as ugly as pretty much any other SUV/CUV.

I wonder if the dimples help with reducing wind-resistance.

If a Korean company like Hyundai can achieve this (even if they are only producing them in limited numbers), imagine what a Japanese industry leader like Toyota will be able to achieve in this sector. It will just sadly take them a number of years though, to come online with solid-state batteries.

“Korean company”. You realize Hyundai/Kia is number 4 behind Toyota, VW, and Nissan group. It creeps into number 3 at times. Your comment makes a “Korean company” somehow in a different league than a “Japanese industry leader” when the sales are really in the same ballpark.

Toyota/Lexus 4.6 million vs Hyundai/Kia 3.6 million 2018 sales 1st half. Tesla 60k? – now that is a different league.

I think Tesla was actually closer to 80,000 H1 2018?

I drove the ICE version last week and was unimpressed with the car (ignoring the engine). Just very cheaply made, hard plastics everywhere and not much space in the trunk at all… For a similar price, the Model 3 is a better deal especially considering the Kona costs 50 k CHF … too expensive for what it is.

Test drove electric version and left unimpressed, the interior looked cheap and old.
And in the handling it felt sluggish compared to e-golf and leaf 2018.

Also warning to some, it’s small on the inside. I’m a lean person just bigger than average 180cm 100kg. My legs get hurt by touching both the door and middle console. Also the upper arm touches the door.

This car is quite small, and efficient, but obviously the stupid SUV styling will limit internal space and practicality.