Hyundai Kona Electric Charging Rates Compared: 39-kWh vs 64-kWh


Bigger is better!

The Hyundai Kona Electric is available in some markets with either a 39-kWh or a 64-kWh battery. The biggest difference is the range each will travel on a charge, but there are other aspects buyers should be aware of. One of those is charging speed while connected to a DC fast charger. In the video above, we gain some insight into this and a couple other interesting disparities.

The 16-minute clip on The EV Puzzle YouTube channel starts off with our host setting out in his personal 64-kWh Kona Electric. It’s early in the morning and chilly at 6 degrees Celcius (42.8 F) to replicate a trip he had previously taken in a 39-kWh Kona.

You’ll notice that he frequently refers to something called the GOM (pronounced gome). This is an EV-speak acronym for Guess-O-Meter, and refers to the remaining range estimate shown on the instrument panel. It first arose around discussion of the estimates produced by the  early Nissan LEAF.

As you can see by his chart, the 64-kWh version can charge at a higher rate for longer than the 39-kWh Kona. The difference is significant with the bigger battery able to add at a rate equal to 175 miles an hour, while the smaller pack only manages 110 miles. He also notes that the sounds of the cooling systems are quite different while plugged in, with the 39-kWh making more much noise.

Check out the video to learn more of the other differences. For this person’s use case, the 39-kWh hour Kona Electric wasn’t ideal, and after his original charging tests with that vehicle, he made another video discussing his findings and explaining why he wouldn’t purchase that variant. We’ve embedded it below. Enjoy!

Video description:

Following my tests of the 39kWh Kona, I wanted to replicate the test conditions to determine if the slow charging from cold was a 39kwh specific issue and how the 64kWh would perform in those conditions.

The results confirm my initial gut feelings. The 39kWh limits charge rates to a greater degree and has some form of battery management active for longer periods. Just the physical noises being made by fans and pumps are vastly different between the two models.

The 39kwh took over an hour to charge from 6 to 80% adding 116 miles of range. The 64kwh achieved the same in 35 minutes!

Overall, I was surprised at the difference in feeling between the two cars. With 60% more capacity the 64Kwh version transforms the experience of EV ownership, requiring significantly less charging and less thoughts on range.

In summary, the 39kWh needs to charge faster otherwise it seems no better than an Ioniq or Leaf 40. You could argue these are better than the 39kwh Kona given they charge quicker.

Source: YouTube

Categories: Charging, Hyundai, Videos


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22 Comments on "Hyundai Kona Electric Charging Rates Compared: 39-kWh vs 64-kWh"

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Whoa! We may have found EV as crappy as Leaf. While 39kWh Kona may charge slower, Leaf doesn’t have TMS. Race to the bottom, which will win?

UGh… 280 kms per hour of charge. That’s way too slow for a long trip.

For me it seems to be charger constrained. Does anyone watched the whole video and can say what kind of charger he used?
50 kW, 100 kW, 150 kW?

It looks (5:29) a lot like what is branded in the US at the CharePoint CPE200 which is a 50 kW charger. I sure hope the Kona would charge faster on a 150 kw charger.

Pretty sure it’s a 50kW charger.

This is good to know, as it will scratch the 39kwh e-Niro off my list as well.

Why do such a test on a charging station limiting the outcome? The Kona comes close to 80kW on stations capable of delivering that.

There are no 150kW or 350kW CCS chargers live in the UK yet.
I would not take this test as a definitive result of the 39kWh capabilities. It could have been a glitch in the charger or a combination of weather conditions and starting from a very low battery level

This really needs to be retested at more chargers and cars. As such 50 kW fast charger should give 40+ kW fro near empty to at least 70%. Otherwise a disappointment.

That isn’t better than the Bolt EV at all?

I wouldn’t expect the 64 kWH Kona it to be better than Bolt. It’s the same battery pack, largely..

Charger is slow (50 KW), so test is meaningless.

Not quite. The 64 kWh variant looks like it’s constrained by charger — but the 39 kWh doesn’t…

What! no heated steering wheel! This is a NO GO for any place where winter drops below 10 deg C! I hope there is heated seats at least. Air heating sucks in my 2015 LEAF (as in this Kona) but at least steering and seating are nice and hot. What is important is removing the mist and humidity, I must say that that my 2015 LEAF is doing it very adequately (even faster than my gasoline car). My gasoline car heats the cabin air very fast but it is hot, wet, blowy, noisy: not comfortable at all, just like getting an air dryer in the face for a long period of time. It also makes me sleepy during long drives (additionnal motor vibration). With my Leaf, my hands are warm (heated steering), my body is warm (heated seats) and the air is chill and dry to keep clean glass so no falling asleep effect. You just need good boots to prevent cold to your feet (we would need an heated pedal: ahahah). By the way i live in Canada.

Heated steering wheel is an option.

“My gasoline car heats the cabin air very fast but it is hot, wet, blowy, noisy: not comfortable at all,”

You can easily turn on A/C with that heat to reduce humidity.

ICE cars have heated seat and steering options too.

One might think of the 39kwh vs 64kwh batteries [and charge speeds] as a 2nd car vs a primary car choice. Criticism of the smaller battery system seems overblown.

Exactly! This is why i’m disappointed that they will not be releasing the 39kwh variant of Kona EV in North America in 2019. I was looking to get it as our 2nd household EV (we have a long range Model 3).
Oh well. Hopefully the 40kwh Ioniq EV actually materializes for 2020. That will be my next choice.

That smaller battery definitely has a very unfavorable charging curve compared to its bigger brother which seems odd as with the same chemistry one would expect the same pattern and a lower energy density chemistry might actually be capable of handling higher C-rates thus making up a bit for lower long range practicality. It’s odd that it should perform worse all around instead.

We don’t know if it’s worse all around. Chemistry affects more than just energy/power density, it also affects longevity and cost.

Cold battery charges slow, even Björn showed that on his Tesla X.
Even than top charging speed of 1C seems rather slow.

As happens with most EV tests we lack battery pack details. It would be useful to know for instance: active or passive battery pack temperature management and battery source/characteristics.