Hyundai Kona Electric Spied Recharging


Hyundai Kona Electric

Expected to cover up to 210 miles with the biggest battery pack.

For the time being, you can get the funky Hyundai Kona exclusively with gasoline and diesel engines, but things will change sometime next year when the small crossover will go fully electric. Seen here getting a “refill” at a charging station, the zero-emissions CUV was carrying a heavy amount of camouflage, though we are not expecting any major styling changes.

We can already anticipate some of the design tweaks on the outside as the front grille will be modified to accommodate the charging port. Since there won’t be a combustion engine underneath the hood that would require cooling, it means Hyundai will be able to install a closed-off grille like it has already done with the Ioniq Electric. Some changes to the bumpers might be on the agenda, but nothing to write home about. Needless to say, the engineers will get rid of the exhaust system.

Hyundai Kona Electric

Latest intel suggests Hyundai has plans to sell the Kona Electric (or whatever it will be called) with two different battery packs: 40 kWh and a bigger 64 kWh. The latter should have enough juice for somewhere in the region of 210 miles as per EPA’s test cycle, which would put it in the same ballpark as the base Tesla Model 3 and the Chevy Bolt.

The 64-kWh Kona is scheduled to land in the United States for the 2019 model year and retail for just under $40,000. According to the same report, LG Chem will be in charge of providing most of the powertrain’s components and it is believed the electric motor will be the same one inside the aforementioned Bolt.

Hyundai Kona Electric

Besides giving the Kona the EV treatment, Hyundai is also analyzing the prospects of doing a high-performance N version. However, it’s not a big priority right at the moment, so don’t expect to see it in the near future.

Photos: CarPix

Categories: Hyundai

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62 Comments on "Hyundai Kona Electric Spied Recharging"

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CCS + large battery pack = more clogged DCFC. I hope they don’t give out free charging, but I suspect they will due to competition.

Charge at home nightly, use DCFC for “rare” trips.

The problem is the current DCFC network in the US doesn’t support long distant trips very well at all.

1. They are nearly all in metro areas, when what is needed for trips is along busy highways.

2. Each location typically has one CCS plug. ONE!!!! Imagine a gas station with a single pump. That would be ridiculous and gas pumps are only needed for a few minutes vs CCS at usually 30+ minutes!

3. If the ONE plug is busy that takes your expected stop time from 30-45 minutes to potentially 60-90 minutes. No one is going to be happy about that on a trip.

4. God forbid if the one DCFS is in-operational. There is no “plan B” for this (unfortunately more common than you’d think) scenario in the middle of a trip!

Plan A should be a Tesla.

That’s my solution. Happy with my Bolt, I can 300 mile trips pretty easily in SoCal, anything more than that means renting a gasser while I wait for my Model 3.

DCFC was fine with the Spark, 15-20 minutes was usually all you needed and while there might be another compliance car there it would be done quickly.

Now, with the Bolt, people are sitting at fast chargers for 1hr+ and that is not only a PITA for them (particularly when the stations only charge for 30 minutes max) but a PITA for anyone who pulls up and sees it is already occupied.

That’s only going to get worse, for non-Telsa owners.

If DCFC is free, people will more likely charge at DCFC than at home. But if DCFC is so heavily clogged as to be unusable, they will charge at home like what seems to be happening around here with Leafs and i3, because they’re always waiting for free charging Bolt.

If Hyundai gives out free charging with big battery Kona, situation may get worse, even free charging Bolts may begin to charge at home.

If DCFC is so heavily clogged with highly tapered free charging EV (eg. 1.4 kW using 50 kW charger) that it’s not even worth “free”, that defeats having DCFC as public charger.

I should also add that Kona at ~$40K doesn’t seem all that great when you can get much longer range and “prestige” of Tesla 3 with bigger battery option for just few thousand more. There will also be new bigger battery Leaf and maybe even other EV from GM (or updated Bolt with AWD?).

With such competition, and Nissan and BMW probably continue offering free charging, it will be hard to offer Hyundai without free charging.

KONA is a proper hatch, higher utility value. Enough for many to give it a preference.

I agree. Especially since the Kona is a pretty small vehicle with almost no cargo space. The upcoming Kia Niro EV should be much more practical.

The upcoming Nissan CUV EV should also be a lot more practical than the Kona.

Free charging is more important if you don’t have a coherent charging network.

On the other hand, large packs mean less need for DCQC when you’re traveling locally.

That’s a problem with the current CCS network, not with Hyundai’s charging standard choice. CCS is still too incomplete for wide ranging travel in the U.S. Couple that with many stations being single head and at times out of service and even “local” charging can be frustrating, regardless of the cost of the charge.

If you’re buying a CCS equipped BEV and plan on relying on the CCS charging network, you’re asking for disappointment.

It is 2019 model, not 2017 or 2018.
Around half of battery only cars in the US are sold in California. By 2019, California will have 150-350 kW multiple charger places on interstates both from VW settlement and 50 kW single ones from California funded projects. In European market they already have relatively dense charging networks.

Yes, it is no match for refuelable cars. But you can charge at home. It is compromise limited by technology choice. People who’s lifestyle doesn’t match it should not be wasting resources on this silly “look my BEV and not at my backup gas guzzler” game at all, just get a car that meets your needs for real.

I am very encouraged by the CCS network plan, but as an early BEV adopter I know their often is a difference between announced upcoming installations and dates and reality.

Or for “people who’s lifestyle doesn’t match” could just get a PHEV like the Volt and have it both ways and it is very possible that a PHEV version of the Kona will be offered at some point which would be great because it might get GM of their rear to put out a VOLTEC SUV.

Don’t put words in his mouth. For people that want to be trendy they need to buy Hammers or anything below 15mpg…

That’s definitely the case, currently. However we’re about to take a huge step forward with Electrify America, VW’s EV infrastructure spinoff. High-speed (150+ kW) DC Fast charge stations will begin to be installed within months. There will be hundreds of them in the ground by the time this vehicle launches. Check out the details on the Electrify America website.

I hope that is the case!

It doesn’t matter if DCFC is capable of 150 kW or even 2.4 jigawatts. With free chargers, they plugin even if the car is severely tapered. I waited for one charging at 1.4 kW at 98% state of charge out of 50 kW charger. Even if the charger was capable of power output of the entire planet, you’d still be waiting for a car charging at 1.4 kW.

I believe DCFC is specced to reach 1.21 Jigawatts…

Yes, that is unfortunately true with some people. But in 2018 there’s going to be a couple EVs that can accept 150 kW, so they will be able to take advantage of the higher power delivery, and hopefully spend less time at the station. We can only hope that people will eventually learn that it’s not really right to stay on a DC Fast station until 100%. Or maybe the operators will program the units to only allow the vehicles to charge to 90%…

To the optimist in me, the Electrify America campaign sounds great. We hope Volkswagen fully honors it’s $2billion commitment.

As cars like the Kona EV appear and hopefully a good batch of +/-60kwh EVs in the next 2 years – we should see a large increase in need for DCFCs and LVL 2s. A crunch will occur and it will be painful to watch and experience.

Through it all, the Volt seems such a fantastic option. While the charging infrastructure plays out and works itself out – there’s still that convenience that not even the i3 REx can provide especially uncoded ones.

We’ll get there — New models will put pressures on charging networks unforseen – especially if Model 3 drivers insist on using non-Superchargers.

Corporations and small businesses have to get on board. Why wouldn’t Home Depot want DCFCs at their location across town from Lowe’s?

I believe this will play out rather fast if Kona EVs, Bolt EVs, LEAF 2s, Ioniq EVs and Primes visit store chains and shopping malls that provide charging.

Gone will be the days when we felt government needed to jumpstart the situation. Private enterprise will kick in and get the ball rolling.

Hey Tom,

I charge my i3 to 85% then go!

Waiting 1-1.5 hours for the last 15% isn’t worth it and harder on the battery anyhow.

Lovin’ my i3

They could give the first 15 kWh free or else, and charge on a time basis for anything over that.
And/or, they could stop charging when the power get down to 10 kW with a visual and sound warning that this car can be disconnected by anyone waiting for a refill.
Provide there is long enough cable to plug the next one.

Problem fix!

So far it’s free along A2, been driving there this summer, from UK to Lithuania. 4000 mile Eurotrip.

They don’t with the Ioniq, do they?

Can’t wait for the days when I have to recharge 2 times a week only.

I don’t know why people are excited about the looks. It seems kind of frumpy to me.

I agree, not great looking. But, I’m excited to see a somewhat affordable long range electric CUV, hopefully with an AWD option.

The Kona is about the same size as the Bolt. I look forward to seeing how Hyundai Kona’s interior compares to the Bolt.

Hyundai Kona 164″ L x 71″ W x 61″ H
Chevy Bolt 164″ L x 70″ W x 63″ H
Kia Niro 172″ L x 71″ W x 60″ H
Buick Encore 168″ L x 70″ W x 65″ H

If you’re not Tesla, you should have at least 2 fast charging spots at your nationwide dealerships. This will solve 99% of travel, especially since most are located near highways and shopping.

I agree that’s a good start, but Nissan did that and it’s been hit and miss. Some dealerships constantly ICE the spots and don’t care to move the cars for you. Others have only allowed charging if you bought the car from them and then there are some that lock them up (or have them in secured areas) when they are closed.

I’ve experienced all of those scenarios and also the situation where the local dealership is great about it, but they sold enough EV’s that I’ve had about a 50/50 chance a charger is available when I drop by.

So, yes, a great start, but not exactly a solution. It is, however, likely the easiest way to get a decent network in place that you can sell to potential buyers.

Saw this model at the Frankfurt Motor Show (ICE version) and it looks way better in-person that at the pics.

I like it’s exterior looks, but what I don’t like is the interior and its cheap plastic.

The EV model may use other materials, but I doubt that because Hyundai will try to keep prices down, so there won’t be many changes.

just my two cents…

I see most of negative comments are from USA. Been doing cross Europe trip in my e-nv200 (, check middle of July up to 10th of August). Didn’t have to queue (just once if I remember well, and it was Tesla using 50kw Chademo) a lot, near all dealerships had empty bays for charging and even in the shops (Aldi, Lidl) I didn’t have any problems to charge. 4000 miles cost 11€. All paid charging been in Belgium (oddly at Nissan Oostende dealership) and Netherlands, and insanely expensive

Yes, from USA and mostly from people that don’t drive ev but like to pick up on them. They come up with requirements they don’t even need and when a car that meets them comes to market they make up another must have list.

Article sez: “…it is believed the electric motor will be the same one inside the aforementioned Bolt.” As I mentioned in the comments for the previous Hyundai Kona article a few days ago, there actually is no credible source or official statement by Hyundai or LG in support of this belief. The only reason for thinking this is true is because both the Kona and Bolt electric motors are rated at 150 kW of output power. I think there are cars from independent makers that have ~24 kWh battery packs and independently designed and manufactured 80 kW motors. So, it shouldn’t be inherently obvious that 2 cars with ~64 kWh battery packs and 150 kW motors are therefore using exactly the same motor and motor supplier. Maybe they actually are using the same motor but the sourcing or basis for this “belief” should be described better. The previous article here quoted Gas2/CleanTechnica as reporting that the Kona motor will be the same motor used in the Chevy Bolt and that’s literally true because those sites did carry an article that said that. However, Gas2/CleanTechnica actually mischaracterized their own underlying source article from a website in Norway. That Norwegian site did… Read more »

And if it isn’t who really cares? Personally I think economies of scale on the packs and motors would be a good thing so here’s to hoping they are the same!

Agreed. I’m happy if LG lowers their costs by scaling production and making more Bolt/Kona motors if that really is the case.

I just dislike seeing one website’s self-described assumptions being scrambled and turned into a pseudo-fact which then spreads into other media coverage.

I seriously doubt the Bolt and Hyundai motors would be the “same”. LG manufacturers the Bolt motors to GM specs and using GM’s design. I’m sure that selling the Bolt motor to Hyundai would be a contract violation.

Per Green Car Reports, Feb 3, 2016:

“The transcript of an October media roundtable on the strategic partnership–formally titled the “GM-LG Chevrolet Bolt EV Relationship Announcement”–gives more detail on the balance of conceptual, design, specification, testing, validation, and production responsibilities between GM and LG.

GM designed the electric traction motor and the battery-control system, was responsible for all integration of the powertrain into the vehicle itself, and validated all systems.”

At just under $40k for the Kona what is the long range Niro going to run? $45k??

Not gonna lie, $40k for a Kona seems like a lot. Especially when you realize it’s ICE version is going to be around $20k.

Sure the $7,500 federal rebate helps but with CA no longer ponying up $2,500 this is an expensive car for what you get.

So is CA done “ponying up” $2,500. for the CVRP? If they are done, I hope they bring something for first time EV buyers in the low to mid price range. That would keep the ball rolling with the affordable and budget class EVs.

It is not, it is just out of annual funds again (for the ~4th time), CVRP have this time (thankfully) reserved some of those funds for the ‘lower income’ threshold before it tapped out July 1st.

The expectation is that it will be re-funded and/or augmented in the future/2018 FY

?? I thought it was something like they were going to take 3 years to figure out what to do and how to best spend $$? In the meantime if you aren’t low income you were SOL?

No the new program proposal and the old can get confusion, the CVRP often gets refilled inside of ~4-6 months.

And your not out of luck, you can still submit for the credit (low income or not) on any EV purchases made today. One still receives that money when the CVRP gets refunding (as with the previous occasions when it was over-subscribed), you just have to wait it out.

2 years

Or if there is info to the contrary saying rebates will begin getting paid out in Jan of 2018 where is the news? I just haven’t seen anything saying it is coming back.

No, these are different things. The CVRP program has often run out (as noted), so California looked to make an ‘end-run’ to solve this issue and re-vamp the program (bill AB 1184) by attempting to get ~3 billion approved all in one shot to lock down the next decade and make other changes (as opposed to smaller 100-200 million dollar annual chunks we have seen since 2011). The new 2 year window you are talking about is the decision to do a study instead that runs though 09/2019. Now don’t quote me on all the specifics of the bills and dates, as I am just working off of the top of my head here… But as I recall, this new larger program (officially AB 1184) kinda slowed/derailed the existing CVRP program temporarily – or at least it seemed too (if it came into play the current CVRP program obvious would not be extended as such). At the same time this larger program got shelved/out on hiatus, AB 615 (passed through in September) set out that the CVRP program will be extended through January 2019. I think the new attached proposal suggestion was for just under $150 million for non-low income… Read more »

Awesome,good to know. Hopefully it happens 🙂

California’s rebate remains in place.

Only for low income.

Why are you repeating this crap over and over? You know damn well that they run out of money every year so all you have to do is put yourself on the list and wait. I did just that and after 3 months i got my $2500 check. Others had to wait longer but they got their checks. Oh, i know…you never done it so how could you know….but yet you keep talking about it.
“As of June 30, 2017, only qualified lower-income applicants, as described here, will receive rebates. CVRP reserved $8 million for qualified lower-income applicants, thereby prioritizing payments to low- and moderate-income applicants in accordance with program requirements. All other applicants will be placed on a rebate waitlist. Qualified applicants on the rebate waitlist will receive payment if the project receives more funding from the State of California.”

“For the purposes of CVRP, a household includes all family members or other unrelated persons, including the rebate applicant, who reside together and share common living expenses. Income verification is completed for all members of the household ages 17 years and older. Note: Roommates who do not have a lease separate from the applicant are considered part of the applicant’s household.
Household Size 4: 300% FPL $73,800”

So if you have another 3 people living with you you may qualify for $4000? Crazy!!! They don’t even have to be family! Do people know about this?!

Uhm I got my CVRP well before you Johnny Come Latelies. Maybe you need to stop thinking that you know anything about other people and you won’t come across as such an idiot.

So why keep repeating this lie then? What’s your agend, trollmuch?

What’s the point of camouflage when the ice version is already out?

You don’t have to wash it as often…

3 months ago you reported the >50kWh Kona with an 220 mile estimated range (link)
Now the 64 kWh 2019 model will have some 210 miles???

Indeed we did – from the article you linked:

“It will reportedly begin arriving in the Fall of 2018, powered by a greater than 50 kWh battery pack, which will be capable of about 217 miles of real world range.”

64 kWh is in fact “greater than” 50 kWh – the only metric known at the time. And a 217 mile estimate 3 months ago is just ~7 miles more than the estimate of today. The late 2018 arrival (2019 MY) has also remained the same.

So the issue is…what again? That we didn’t have the Mulroney window sticker on hand to give out the exact numbers?

Fairly explained, kindly accepted 🙂

M3 - reserved -- Niro/Leaf 2.0/Outlander - TBD

I get your saying Spark, but man — you’re a dog on a bone.

With 200+mi local travel charging is a nonfactor for non-Uber users. Travel/Interstate chargers won’t be any more clogged by in the middle of transit corridors; and destination chargers will fill up overnight at said place.

I’m glad more competition is coming finally since really the Bolt owns it completely until Leaf 2.0 comes and Model 3 eventually ramps up.

2018 is going to be a banner year for BEV

What’s annoying to me about this car is that I’d love to have another EV besides the Model 3 that will hold more items for longer trips. The Model 3 has the network for longer travel, but not the interior space for a stroller, luggage, etc… This has more space but not the reliable long distance network. I’d wait around for a Model Y but the tax credit will be gone by then. I’m curious to see what the plug in hybrid version has to offer. I hope they push the battery limits to 17+ kWh so that we’ll have 50+ miles of EV range plus reliable long distance travel.

Have you taken your stroller down to the Chevy deler and tested the Volt’s cargo area? We did this back in 2007 with our stroller and baby bags in a Prius. My wife was like, “no way! We need a miniban or SUV!”. To her surprise, the wonders of a hatchback shined through. Got everything in back without folding down the rear seats! True, Volt is small-ish in the back seat, but we don’t haul six foot adults back there – ever. My kids are older now and when we go pick up grandma, my wife and 2 kids fit in the back just fine. I can’t think of a time when I’d take 5 people on a 150+ mile journey. The Volt works for us just fine. 80% of SUVs are sold on “what ifs”. “What if I want to take an adult friend for a journey?” “What if I want to go offroad?”… And then, data shows that almost nobody does those things. Same with 4X4 pickups. It’s ability that sells it and the owner never uses the feature. I own a 22 year old 4X4 pickup truck and sometimes I justify keeping it around by noting we’ll… Read more »


Another compliance vehicle.
Nothing to see here.