Hyundai Kona Electric Road Trip From Los Angeles To Las Vegas: Video


Can the Hyundai Kona Electric make the journey on a single charge?

Michael Fisher (AKA Mr. Mobile) says the Kona Electric could make it, if there weren’t so many mountains. The trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas is a popular one and especially useful for EV range tests.

If you take the longer route past Joshua Tree National Park and through the middle of the Mojave National Preserve, you’re looking at some 326 miles and well over five hours. Fisher chose the more common, shorter route, which takes you 270 miles in about four hours.

According to the EPA, the 2019 Kona Electric has an estimated range of 258 miles. So, clearly 270 miles is pushing it, especially when factoring in the hills. However, there are many other factors that impact range. Fisher says he plans to perform additional tests to get a better idea of the Kona Electric’s range.

Check out the video and let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Video Description via Mr. Mobile (Michael Fisher) on YouTube:

Kona Electric Road Trip: LA To Vegas In Hyundai’s Long-Range EV

The last time I got behind the wheel of a Hyundai it was the NEXO – a fuel-cell SUV that took me 900 miles on the power of hydrogen. The Hyundai Kona Electric is similar, from the number of seats to the preponderance of buttons in the cockpit – but where the Nexo confines you to a handful of hydrogen stations across California, the Hyundai Kona Electric has a battery big enough to go from Los Angeles to Las Vegas on one charge (or it would, if there weren’t so many mountains in between). In my latest road trip I take the 64 kWh Ultimate Trim of the Kona Electric from LA to LV to see just how close it comes to the promise of a true Tesla Model 3 competitor.

MrMobile’s Hyundai Kona Electric Road Trip was produced following five days in a Hyundai Kona Electric test vehicle on loan from Hyundai. The review model was the Ultimate trim with 64 kWh battery. Electric charging during the trip was provided by Hyundai in the form of a prepaid electric charging card. Hyundai was not given copy approval rights and MrMobile received no compensation in exchange for producing this video.

Further testing in 2019 may result in either a YouTube or Instagram followup to fully flesh out the question of range.

Categories: Hyundai

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26 Comments on "Hyundai Kona Electric Road Trip From Los Angeles To Las Vegas: Video"

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I drives me crazy when reviewers say EV’s don’t have radiators. They do and sometimes multiple stacked. They just don’t need as much airflow as an ICE vehicle because they are not cooling something down that is hundreds of degree.

Well, I wouldn’t want to drive 4 full hours non-stop. So, ok, maybe EVs are still not quite as convenient as their petrol cousins, but they are getting there pretty quick.

I drove nonstop from the east of PA all the way the to west end at 80-90 mph

I believe 25 mph over the limit is the point where they can legally arrest you at a traffic stop for reckless driving, a felony. 65mph. 90mph. Your call.

As one comment noted, the reviewer/driver appeared to be putting his foot to the metal, as they say. At one point, in the video, the guy was traveling at above 80 mph.

Now, I’m not one to complain about speed, but any EV owner will tell you that 80 mph is going to eat your range rather quickly. Perhaps this is why his “guess-o-meter” wasn’t too accurate?

Well, I routinely drive between Texas and Colorado, 900+ miles, and I usually don’t make overnight stops. The last time I drove my 2018 Leaf taking advantage of the new Electrify America chargers. Having made the same trip in a first generation Ford Focus Electric, I can definitely say that it is getting much easier to travel by EV.

Good news: Hyundai is finally getting some units into the US.
Bad news: To press fleet companies, not actual customers.

Local Hyundai dealers are still clueless as to the Kona EV availability, Hyundai’s web signup for Kona EV info just resulted in general advertising of their other products, and there’s no waiting list available. Hyundai, stop with the teasing and deliver the KonaEV in quantity!

Local Hyundai dealers are not clueless to wanting $5000 above MSRP, an amount quote to me by two dealers in NorCal and two in SoCal. I was really hoping this would be my next car but not at this price.

Yelp. Dealers are price gouging. Hyundai credit gets tax credit while dealers get markup on a lease

Yup, as I predicted, scarcity increase price (supply and demand), and that’s probably what Hyundai wanted: nothing less than MSRP.

Don’t pay a dime over sticker…just wait a few months or lease it if that works for ya.

This may end up a lot like the Ioniq (very low numbers). The vehicle is definitely NOT worth $5k over list. List price with tax credit and Calif rebate makes it reasonable, though hardly a bargain compared to a plug in hybrid that has no range limits and all the heat you want in cold weather. I’ve recently seen the Ioniq blue (plain hybrid) advertised for $20k.

Ikr? The thing is it doesn’t sound like Hyundai is really going to release that many more after the initial offering, and if you order one it may be a year before you get it – and dealers might not even order it for you unless you pay their price.

Screw it, if this is how Hyundai wants to play I’ll just get a used car to commute for now… plenty of other EVs in the next few years. Where’s my MX-5 EV??? I’ll even take a BRZ EV!!!

Another fluffy ‘review’ with no substantive data to it. Any competent EV hypermiler will tell you that range is whatever you need it to be (especially nowadays with so many tools available), and adjust their driving accordingly, so stop already with the meaningless ‘range anxiety’. Until manufacturers start incorporating a good predictive algorithm into their onboard nav system (like Tesla’s green graph), I wish they’d just display % State of Charge and let me do the math.

No one hypermiles

Here is my real world data for cold mountain passes: expect ~ 2x normal burn rate on the uphill and 1/3x normal burn rate on the downhill. If elevations on both sides of the pass are similar, you can almost plan as if it was flat. If there is an overall elevation change from one side to the other, plan accordingly. Using those thumb rules have kept me safe.

“2x normal uphill and 1/3x downhill” equates to a 17% increase, which makes sense to me.

As I noted elsewhere, the review driver was going above 80 mph at one point in his video:
This is the opposite of hypermiling. In fact, some would say that either this reviewer doesn’t understand what speed does to range, or he intentionally sought to undermine the range for his “test.”

There’s no such thing as range anxiety, it should really be called charger anxiety. Drive your ICE across country, into very remote locations, and as the gas tank gets towards empty you’ll experience anxiety as well. Not because the ICE doesn’t have good range, but because you can’t find anywhere to fill up. Exactly the same for EV’s. If there were chargers every 50mi you wouldn’t have any anxiety because you know you can conveniently recharge when you need to.
It will only get better over time, and spare a thought for those misguided FCEV drivers, now that must be a recipe for refill anxiety!

No Depends diaper for me thx.
I usually stop in Baker on the way to,Vegas from so cal. It’s a great stop for Teslas with over 40 solar panel covered supercharger stalls and right across the street are 6 evgo quick chargers for the rest of us. A couple of those quick charges are supposed to be the super fast type at 150kw or more.

Why is he trying to make this trip in one shot? Seriously – forget the hypermiling, and just plan a pit stop halfway there. Easy Peasy.

Just another example how this administration’s policies not only hurt the environment and cost consumers money.

I don’t speed but I don’t like to travel slower than the speed limit if I don’t have to. When I leased the 2018 I thought I would have plenty capacity with a 150 mile rated range to travel between Electrify America station (average 100 miles) but usually there is very little battery left when I get to the next station. I wouldn’t say that range anxiety is an issue but charging to a high SOC increases charging time and I usually have very little reserve to find an alternative charging station if the chargers don’t work at my primary station.

The Bolt EV would do a better job but I’m really hooked on Adaptive Cruise Control. The Leaf Plus would have the range but I would probably still have to deal with the battery getting hot from fast charging. The Hyundai Kona Electric and the Kia Niro EV both seem like they have most of the boxes checked but I’m skeptical about availability.

Hopefully by the time my lease is up in two years there will be some choices that make sense for me.

Hey Michael, how tall were your tall friends who joined you in the Kona Electric? I’m 6′ 8″, and I fit just fine into the 1st generation LEAF, and gladly leased one for 5 years, but I was then dissapointed in the leg room of the 2018 2nd Generation LEAF. I fit pretty good into a Bolt that I test drove, but a Tesla Model 3 wasn’t even close once I finally sat in one.

Wondering if there are any other super tall EV aficionados out there, and what you’ve ended up driving? Thanks!

Kind of useless other than the specific drive to Vegas. Even that didn’t seem well planned as a test as he should have scouted out chargers at the 150 and 200 mile range. If he, as he says, he wanted to get a sense of range, driving from LA to San Diego and back would have been a better test.

Kona and Kia Niro look to be the EV cars everyone has been waiting for with hatchback design, 250 mile range with fast charging on the road, FWD and good ground clearance for skiers and winter drivers and lots of luxes Teslas don’t have (heated wheel, ventilated seats, heads up display, Apple/Google integration.