Hyundai Kona Electric: Two Battery Options, Up To 210-Mile Range

4 months ago by Steven Loveday 48

Hyundai Kona

2018 Hyundai Kona

More details emerge about the Hyundai Kona EV.

Korean automakers, Kia and Hyundai, have significantly upped their game over the past few years. Both also seem to have a solid idea of what consumers want. SUVs, Crossovers, spacious compact cars, healthy standard and available feature lists, tons of tech including active safety suites, industry-leading warranties, and all at a reasonable price point.

Hyundai already makes the Santa Fe, Sante Fe Sport, and the Tucson, but hasn’t yet released a subcompact crossover.

The Hyundai Kona will follow in the footsteps of the Kia Niro, which is trailblazing the segment to electrification for the company. The Niro is offered both as a traditional hybrid, but also now a plug-in hybrid (making its US debut this month after being released in Europe).  Additionally, a pure-electric Kia Niro is set to hit markets in 2018.

The Hyundai Kona EV (patterned after the Niro) will then also be Hyundai’s first fully electric utility model.

Initial reports revealed that the Kona would have a 40 kWh or 50 kWh battery. Now, information also points to a second battery option.

The long-range Kona will come with a 64 kWh battery and a range exceeding that of the base 2018 Nissan LEAF at 150 miles (but similar to the longer range 2019 LEAF with a 60 kWh battery and ~225 miles of range arriving later next year).  In other words, much more like that of the entry level Tesla Model 3, and not too far behind the Chevrolet Bolt EV, with the Kona EV estimated at about 210 miles per charge. The Kona with the larger battery, should still price out at, or just under $40,000 when it hits the U.S. market next year (as a 2019 model year vehicle).

Interestingly, Hyundai is using LG Chem as one of its powertrain suppliers. According to Gas2, the Kona is speculated to feature the same motor used in the Bolt (~204 hp).  Also of note, the Bolt uses a 60 kWh LG Chem battery pack, but it appears that the Kona’s pack will be a touch bigger (or perhaps GM is just promoting the usable capacity over the net capacity). We shall ultimately see when the pure-electric subcompact SUV’s specs are released closer to its launch.

Information from Gas2 points to the Kona having a full suite of active safety technology and upgraded charging, which could work with 150 kW chargers.

Source: Gas2

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48 responses to "Hyundai Kona Electric: Two Battery Options, Up To 210-Mile Range"

  1. William says:

    A worthy contender to the GM Bolt, when it becomes available here in The U.S.

    1. Rich says:

      Let’s hope Hyundai rolls the Kona out more aggressively than Chevy did with the Bolt. It would be nice to see a nationwide roll out achieved by March 2019.

      1. ziv says:

        If it has 210 miles of real world AER and if it is priced right, even that overwrought look won’t stop it from being a good seller. It could eat the Bolt’s lunch if the price is below $37k and Hyundai contracted for enough drive trains/battery packs.

        1. Rich says:

          I’ll be shocked if the Kona doesn’t achieve the same or higher EPA range than the Chevy Bolt. Both with the same motor / battery pack. The Kona (Kia Niro) has a drag coefficient of 0.29 compared to the Bolt’s 0.32 drag coefficient.

          1. Warren says:

            3.08 actually. Cd is only half of the equation. It is multiplied times the frontal area. If the Kona has more frontal area, the Bolt may actually have less total drag, CdA.


            Electric CUV/SUV/pickups are the fat-free cake of green transportation. No, you can’t have your cake, and eat it too.

            1. Rich says:

              Thanks for the article. The Bolt’s drag is .308. Cool.

          2. ziv says:

            Cd is important, but that pesky A rules the roost. Seriously, though, I think the CdA on the Kona will be higher than the Bolt by a noticeable amount, which means that the critical hwy AER is going to be impacted.
            How much? I haven’t a clue.
            But anywhere near 210 is reasonable, especially if it has a relatively high charge rate. The last line seems to indicate that it might be able to charge at close to 150 kW, which would be phenomenal if true.

            1. Rich says:

              You’re right, I shouldn’t get lost in the weeds. 210 miles EPA range with 150 kW charge rate will be a great offering.

            2. M3 - reserved -- Niro/Leaf 2.0/Outlander - TBD says:

              Which means nothing when the vast majority of infrastructure is stuck at 50 🙁

              What really beats Bolt – safety and convenince features (ACC/parking) galore that GM hasn’t deployed on the Bolt for whatever reason

          3. Will says:

            No one cares if CD of its a SUV

            1. Rich says:

              Agreed, to some extent. I care about utility and EPA rated range. Since CD tends to impact highway range, I sorta care. But not at a moderate expense of utility. For a mid sized SUV (explorer, durango, pilot), it would be nice to keep fuel consumption around 0.4 kWh / mile or less.

    2. says:

      If the price is under $40k then Bolt is toast. This actually looks much better and reliability wise the brands are similar but Hyundai will have a better warranty. This looks more of a SUV than that awkward Bolt shape.

      1. Rich says:

        Interestingly, GM is up to something where the Bolt is concerned. I’m hearing they’re going to run 2017 prod for as long as possible and they’re planning for a short 2018 model year. Normally, this indicates a major change in 2019.
        Given GM’s commitment to 20 BEVs by 2023 and no new BEV models in MY 2018, this means GM will have 5 model years to deliver 20 BEVs starting with MY 2019. This equates to 4 new BEV models per year. Of course this could be flawed as they could wait till MY 2023 to deliver all 20. Should be interesting over the next 5 years.

        Add in a disruptive market change like China is at peak oil in 2020 and EV technology is going to accelerate like a falcon 9.

      2. eltosho says:

        That’s what GM deserve for making the Bolt look like an ugly minivan!
        All manufacturers that still try to sell EV’s as small and ugly econoboxes will suffer the same fate….

  2. Robb Stark says:

    How can the Kona come with the same motor as the Bolt?

    GM fanboi insist Bolt motor is a GM proprietary design. LG just manufactures it.

    Kona should be a direct competitor to the Buick Bolt based EV. Looking like a real CUV not a tiny bit raised hatchback.

    1. theflew says:

      Reading the sentence I think they meant to say the same battery pack. The question with Hyundai is how many of those packs did they contract to get.

      1. Cesar says:

        From original article:

        “What is interesting about the Kona is that much of its powertrain comes from LG Chem, the same folks who provide the motor and battery for the Chevy Bolt. In fact, the motor for the Kona is the same 204 horsepower unit found in the Bolt.”

        1. SJC says:

          LG is the same company but they can not violate GM patents.

    2. Viking79 says:

      GM Fanboi’s don’t insist that, it is a simple fact, the motor is GM design according to documents we have seen.

      However, Nikon used to insist that they designed the sensor used in their SLR cameras, yet the same Sony sensor is used in many SLR cameras from different brands.

      It might be similar with GM, they might have designed particular motors specs they wanted and LG might still own the rights to it. GM does make their own electric motors too, so it isn’t like they aren’t capable of making one.

      It might be speculation at this point that the motor is the same? I would wait until we know more details. Either way, this looks much nicer than the Bolt EV. What I would rather have, I am curious as to what the next EV from GM will be, as I imagine it might be similar.

      1. Jeff N says:

        Yes, it’s just speculation being sloppily reported by gas2/CleanTechnica (and now InsideEVs) as if it were fact.

        If you click back through the chain of underlying articles it leads you back to a story from Norway’s website. That story, when translated to English by Google, says the story author “assumes” Hyundai is using the same motor as the Ampera-e or Bolt EV but the only actual evidence is the fact that the motor has the same output power rating.

        Here’s the translated snippet from the Norwegian article:
        “Hyundai does not say anything about all-wheel drive, but we assume that the manufacturer will use the same LG engine that Ampera-e uses. This means that the car will not operate at all four.”

        1. Ryan says:

          Wow, that is some serious telephone-game speculation gone rampant.

          Not to mention technically ridiculous since even if they were using the same motor there’s no reason the same motor couldn’t drive an AWD drive train. That’s a gearbox/drivetrain issue, not motor issue.

          But the obsession with the motor is a bit silly anyways. Many people know how to make a quality, efficient, 3 phase AC induction motor that would work well in a car. That’s not where the innovation in these vehicles is. It’s in battery pack, the thermal management of it, body design, and the controller and related electronics.

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “GM fanboi insist Bolt motor is a GM proprietary design. LG just manufactures it.”

      Yeah, well, their bias is blinding them to the reality, which is that GM and LG Electronics collaborated on the design of the Bolt’s powertrain. It shouldn’t be surprising that LG has the rights to make and sell some of the components to other customers than GM. That is, it shouldn’t be surprising for those who are not blinded by bias.

      From Green Car Reports: “Bolt EV Powertrain: How Did GM And LG Collaborate On Design, Production?”

  3. Pete says:

    They cant deliver the Ioniq in Europe, I think tgey will also fail with Kona just bit Greenwashing so its enough to there fleet CO2 emissions.

  4. Djoni says:

    Hyundai and Kia have disclose the usefull battery capacity so far in their EV offering, like GM with the Bolt.
    Nissan and other do not follow this common sense specification.

    If the same pattern is applied, it look good.

  5. Clive says:

    That’ could have been a good looking car.

    They over-styled it beyond reason.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      That body style is certainly going to go over much better in the USA than the Bolt EV. Given GM’s half-hearted, weak effort at producing and selling what should have been a compelling, best-selling BEV, I’m very glad to see other auto makers giving it competition.

      Go Hyundai!

  6. Benz says:

    More EV models coming to the market is good for the acceptance of EV’s in general.

    1. Lou Grinzo says:

      Strongly agree.

      As I’ve been saying for years, the biggest hurdle to much wider (but not universal) acceptance of EVs in the US is market psychology. There are millions of households that could use a roughly 100-mile EV as their non-primary car, charge it in their garage, etc. But far too many US drivers still think they need an EV to go 500 miles on a charge, recharge in 3 minutes, etc.

      And the easiest way to overcome that psychological barrier is more models from more companies. That gives customers more choice, of course, but it also reduces the “weird factor” that cars with plugs still have in most of the US. I routinely have the “Your car is electric? Really???” discussion with people about my Leaf.

      1. STEVE HELLER says:

        Keep in mind, that not all households have the same transportation needs. My wife and I are retired, and we recently bought our first BEV, the kia soul EV. as our only car, it does have one limitation, which we knew going in, and that’s range. from Oct, at 108mi, to a little over 80, that could scare some folks. the tech is still young, and we can clearly see the battery tech improving. I’m certain in 3 years, we’ll have many better options when our lease is up. I would think the 2 car family should seriously be considering an EV, as they can use it for all their local drives, and save the ICE car for the longer trips. Myself, and others in my age group are scaling down from multiple cars, to just one. Since we traded in our 2011 Soul for the new EV, we are more than satisfied. Its the people downsizing that could use these cars if they’re educated on the merits of them.

  7. ronaldo says:

    uk release confirmed October 2018

  8. Gazz says:

    Sharing components with competitors, excellent. The production of EVs is finally maturing into something as refined as ICE car production.

  9. facile says:

    Just one thing. The article says the Kona is related to the Kia Niro and I think the equivalent is the Kia Stonic. I had a look on Wikipedia just to check the wheelbase: Kona 102.4″, Niro 106.3″, Stonic 101.6″.

    1. JyChevyVolt says:

      “The Hyundai Kona EV (patterned after the Niro) will then also be Hyundai’s first fully electric utility model.”

      Hyundai Kona and Kia Stonic share the same platform (Hyundai-Kia GB).

      The Kia Niro shares platform with the Hyundai Ioniq (3 in 1).

      The Niro cannot take 64 kwh of battery.

  10. Viking79 says:

    People have computed the Bolt EV battery pack to be 60 kwh usable, 64 kwh total. GM appears to only advertise the usable kwh on that vehicle. My guess is it is a similar pack.

  11. M3 - reserved -- Niro/Leaf 2.0/Outlander - TBD says:

    More choice is all the better — If Kona can get this pack; don’t see why bigger Niro can’t either — Need the cargo space that Kona/Bolt doesn’t provide.

  12. Looking for this pack in a Niro. Need something bigger. Would also like AWD, but have seen no mention of it anywhere yet.

  13. Bruce Miller says:

    Imagine the damage to your lungs in slow traffic, traffic jambs, from ICE (Internal Combustion Engines) running at low speeds, even idling? Electrics don’t do this to you! Very Pro American!

  14. Don Zenga says:

    Good the read more about upcoming Kona, hope Hyundai also sells more of the Ioniq trio.

    Niro has sold very well in Korea, US and EU.
    Hope Kona does not eat into the sales of Ioniq Electric.

    1. Murrysville EV says:

      The Ioniq Electric is a sales dud.

      The Kona EV couldn’t really hurt it.

      1. STEVE HELLER says:

        the ioniq EV is only sold in California,so I’m guessing that is why sales are low

  15. VazzedUp says:

    Will it come as an AWD, if so, should help sell more.

  16. Steven says:

    Just another compliance car.
    Move along folks, nothing to see here.

  17. Tim Miser says:

    There must be a frunk in that thing. Why such a big front hood?

    1. David S. says:

      For the ICE version

  18. Ryan says:

    Please please please have a towing option, and make the battery have active thermal management.

  19. EVX says:

    Curious what the source is for this:

    “The Niro is offered both as a traditional hybrid, but also now a plug-in hybrid (making its US debut this month after being released in Europe).”

    So the plug-in Kia Niro will be on sale in the US in October, i.e., within the next two weeks? I haven’t seen that reported elsewhere or anything from Kia, their website still says “coming late 2017” without further details

    But it is available in Europe right now, so hopefully a US release won’t be too much longer. If the author has any more details, it would be great to hear.

    1. M3 - reserved -- Niro/Leaf 2.0/Outlander - TBD says:

      They had a display PHEV Niro at the most recent EV drive event last month along with the Leaf 2.0.

      Nice and spacious and certainly has our attention for our CRV replacement. If the EV is over 150mi, we’re in.

  20. Treedom says:

    If this has similar specs to the Bolt — including having a truly long range and being unequivocally quick and fun to drive — then it will succeed, especially if it can improve upon the Bolt’s Fisher-Price interior plastics and torture-plank seats. But if it’s another Kia Niro type thing with lifeless steering, lackluster acceleration,and underwhelming electric range, then not so much..

    The Kina’s styling is similar to the Citroen Cactus: frisky and fun. I think it find fans, especially in fun colors (make mine frog green).

    The biggest problem I foresee for the Kona is if Hyundai lags in rolling out the long-range EV version while Volvo meets its ambitious timetable and pricing goals for its own promised subcompact electric CUV — in which case you could get the butch little Volvo, with solid build quality and ergonomic Swedish thrones, for Hyundai money. That would be a no-brained indeed.

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