Hyundai Will Satisfy U.S. Hunger For Kona Electric


Will accept orders from every state

Early reviews of the Hyundai Kona Electric have been quite positive and we expect there is quite a bit of pent-up demand out there for an all-electric crossover that marries over 250 miles of range with a reasonable price tag. With the initial U.S. sales plan consisting of supplying only California dealers, with the eventual addition of stores in other ZEV states, there has been, however, some amount of disappointment in the car’s suspected unobtainium status. Turns out, that worry about availability may be premature.

According to Wards Auto, the U.S. plan now is to start delivering cars in California before the end of the year, followed by the other ZEV states within two short weeks. For would-be customers in other areas, there is hope as well. The automaker says it will also ship the Kona Electric to dealers in non-ZEV states if they have a “sold order.”

The news comes on the heels of a trip to South Korea by Michael O’Brien, Hyundai Motor America’s vice president for product, corporate and digital planning. Apparently, he took the case for greater U.S. allocation direct to his Asian bosses and appears to have had some success. After being told, “We’re going to make sure you have enough,” the executive was confident enough to declare “So we’re going to be all-in on the Kona EV.”

As has been rumored, there’s been a production bottleneck due to the availability of batteries. Now, though, the Korean company has an additional, unnamed, supplier to supplement the cells it gets from LG Chem. Hyundai is still closed mouth about actual numbers planned for the U.S. market, so it will be interesting to see how well the supply meets demand.

It could all come down to how willing customers outside of the ZEV states are to buy a vehicle with possibly limited support. While the company is training dealers in the ZEV states and asking them to have three fast chargers on their premises, we don’t know what level of service can be expected in other parts of the country. Regardless, country-wide availability is much appreciated.



Hyundai Kona Electric
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Source: Wards Auto

Categories: Hyundai

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68 Comments on "Hyundai Will Satisfy U.S. Hunger For Kona Electric"

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So they want us to believe they will satisfy demand for Kona after the bad show on Ionic? I wanna see that!

They’ve never stocked a single Ioniq Electric in any of the Hyundai dealerships in my area in California.

Right, only the LA area not even the EV friendly bay area!! Hope this is true and that they allocate enough that the dealers have to deal….at least a little. I will only believe it when I see it.

I know. There are a few around here. That $300/mo all inclusive deal was just nutz!
50k miles of free charging (home or away!) and 20k miles per year allowance.

Stocking cars is silly

For some lucky people, buying a car can be an impulse purchase. They want to be ready for whatever a potential customer wants.

Not everyone is willing to order a car and wait a few weeks to take possession of it.

Or place a reservation on a $35,000 car and wait years for it.

They serve the best customers first.
When you are last, look in the mirror.

When it comes to Ionic EV distribution i think we are all last.

As I’ve said before, until it’s available in Pennsylvania, it’s vaporware to me.

Go away, my son. You have become a Tesla troll.

Ionic didn’t have nearly the same amount of interest.

I don’t believe them either.

They may get a second battery supplier but they will probably stay at unicorn production levels just like before.

All of the premium battery suppliers are contracted to their full capacity. Even if they manage to get somebody to promise any extra volume, I doubt it is meaningful. Building/extending large-scale battery plants is not exactly fast (1-2 years minimum) and the capacity coming on line as planned has probably been contracted just like existing capacity.

Also, they didn’t have any reason for not doing this for the Ioniq, which has huge demand as well. Yet, they have never done it, even if that would have been more spectacular (Ioniq has much smaller battery, so more units on the road)

Moreover, not announcing the production capacity is suspicious. It is probably still ridiculously low compared to Tesla.

I still think they are a compliance manufacturer. Let’s see meaningful production and we may reconsider.

US pricing?

They never officially published it. Why now? [/sarcasm]

Yeah, i don’t get it either. They actually advertise this in CA but still no pricing.

Hopefully they plan on ramping production of all their EV’s to at least 2,000 a week each, earmarked for the US. That should satisfy demand….

Given that their actual plan is for under 20k Konas per year *globally*… don’t hold your breath.

Yup… Unless they do manage to greatly increase battery production, best case I see is US gets 30% allocation, so 120 cars/week is the max. Hyundai is basically treating the US as limited to the ZEV states, and they might not be wrong, in terms of market effort. The 10 states contain ~34% of US population, but 67% of overall US 2017 EV sales. Hyundai might be figuring it’s not worth the effort of training lots of dealerships outside ZEVland to sell & service EVs, allocate demo cars to them and cars to sit on lots. As a FYI to US/Canadian readers, the model where a prospective buyer can come to a dealership and after negotiation & payment drive out with a new car from the lot isn’t universal. Over here, there are actually no new car dealerships at all. There are showrooms that belong to the importer attached to the main service centers, where you can see the major models. There are test-drive cars for the more popular ones, but rarely in more than one trim level or color. There’s no car lot attached to the showroom. If you decide to buy a car, you pay MSRP (there’s no… Read more »

I kinda sensed this back in June and decided to just trade in my 2015 Leaf for a 2018 instead of waiting deep into 2019 for an uncertain supply of LGs. Great upgrade and I got it for thousands under MSRP plus 0% for 72mo so it was a helluva deal.

This will tide me over fine to the 3rd Gen BEVs out next decade.

Where did you get this? They’re selling them in the tune of 2k per month in Korea which would translate to 24k/year in Korea alone.

2,000 a quarter would be a huge % increase from current allocation. 2,000 a week is sometime next decade at the earliest.

If I can’t test drive before buying, it’s a non-starter.

Some time test drives aren’t all that their cracked up to be.

One could start with avoiding test drives on rough Russian roads.

Thats like getting married and you’ve never even kissed before.

I have seen photos. She was pretty enough. More excitement like a blind date.

Yes but, if your buddies and hundreds of others have dated her and they all say she’s great then the kiss us just a formality. Wait, maybe this isn’t the best analogy.

Wouldn’t you like to know if the seat is comfortable at least?

Go test the ice version…the ev should be better.

The most credit is due those from whom you can buy an EV, right now. Learn it, or be conditioned to understand it.

This is basically what I was told and reported here last month. The one difference was Hyundai wouldn’t commit to when they were planning to eapand out of California and into the other 9 ZEV States. It sounds like that will happen soon, which is good.

They did make it clear that anyone in the US could order one, and they will deliver it, but they won’t be stocking the Kona Electric outside of the 10 ZEV States.

That’s unfortunate.

That is fortunate! (That anyone in the US can buy one if they like).

The fast chargers will be located at dealerships not strategically located on interstate highways like Tesla superchargers. That’s a great stategy because most people love franchise auto dealerships and hate road trips.

Down voters, that was sarcasm.

He didn’t use the sarcasm font. How were they to know?

Yeah, sarcasm usually doesn’t get conveyed nearly as well in a written format. That is why email and texting leads to misunderstanding so frequently. And that wasn’t a sarcastic statement! 😉

Maybe the downvote was sarcastic too.

Tesla, Tesla, Tesla. Everything is about Tesla.

I’m surprised if there’s huge demand for it in the US. It’s a small car, much better suited to European tastes.

Norway is getting so few mainly thanks to its very supportive EV policies. Isn’t it ironic? Don’t you think? Yeah, I really do think. But if we don’t harmonize with the EUs policies, any cars sold here don’t count towards the manufacturers European fleet emissions, and that means they can’t sell as many big SUVs (which are also popular in Europe, oddly enough). Basically the European policy punishes a manufacturer for selling an EV in Norway instead of in the EU, so Hyundai quite understandably prefers to satisfy demand in Europe before they cater to us…

Both Kia and Hyundai has previously exploited a loophole before though: sell the cars to German dealerships, register the car there, and ship it to Norway the next day. We call them one-day imports, and most of the Soul EVs in Norway are in this category, as well as many Ioniqs.

Looking forward to the day there’s less games and good old-fashioned competition to sell EVs to all who want them!

That doesn’t explain why there’s a 12 month waiting list for the Ioniq here in the EU, if Hyundai is so keen to cater to us? From what I’ve heard it’s because orders from just a single Norwegian company exceeded yearly global production.

Well, at least if I decide to buy the car I am guaranteed to get the next year’s model with the larger battery, so there’s that. Or I might use the long wait as an excuse to splurge on a base model 3, since apparently I just might be able to get that sooner than an Ioniq.

In case of the Ioniq the battery of the next model year is the same, so no gain. Perhaps, for the same reasoning you mentioned. Too many pending orders.

Even though I love my Tesla S85 which is dedicated to only long trips, I’m hoping that there are many more of us who prefer the Kona and Bolt size and packaging over that of a Tesla or any of the monster SUVs and pickup trucks so popular here in the US.

The demand is definitely there and pricing after initial offering should be very competitive. The Kona Electric overcomes most of the shortcomings of the Bolt EV (power seats, Adaptive Cruise Control, etc.) The only thing I can see killing Kona Electric sales is the production bottleneck.

Or an absurd price.

I prefer manual seats and adaptive cc is a welcoming gap for others to cut in.
Price is the only factor for me

Killing it too can be the ICE Kona that sells for $10 to 15k or so less than the EV Kona. Also dealers that are not too enthusiastic selling EVs.

Right, dealers just hate to upsell customers to more expensive versions. /s

Have you driven one? How does the Land Following Assist compare to ProPilot?

guess you are writing to your audience; but what is / which are ZEV states?

California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont.

The California Air Resource Board (CARB) has mandated that a part of vehicle sales must be Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV).
Nine other states have joined these regulations.

I live in Florida, and Hyundai SUVs are very popular here because we need a vehicle that can negotiate a lot of standing water in the summer. No reason the Kona Electric wouldn’t sell well here unless the AC used chewed up too much mileage. The government credit would be a bonus.

The electric Kona appears to have lower clearance than the ICE. Not sure it would be a great wading vehicle.

The lack of exhaust should make it a better wading vehicle though.

So, basically a customer has to go into a dealership and pay for a car that is not even on the lot and may have a long wait time to get it. Of course, we know the salesmen will not push this, as they will be pushing to sell whatever gas cars they have sitting on the lot that need to be sold. Close to zero percent of regular customers to the dealerships will ever see or hear of this car. Meaning, we can expect about a dozen sales in non CARB states per month.

So, they will only sell a car in non-ZEV state if customer has already “bought a car”?

That sounds no different from the Ford Focus EV back in the days. Anyone can buy one from the non-ZEV state if you are willing to buy one blinded without seeing it or test driving it and potentially pay a huge markup on it with cash down first and willing to wait for weeks…

Sounds like a “new compliance” car to me.

As I posted a few times before. First you order, than they ship.
Only for compliance reasons get American customers preferential treatment over customers in the rest of the world.

First Audi, now Hyundai, expect the same from Kia and others.
The current dealer system is too expensive and customer unfriendly.

Hopefully this will help availability of the Santa Fe Plug-In in regards to the battery supplier, Kona is too small for me.

Eh. The dealerships have 2 options. Either they can help sell a Kona, or help sell a Tesla.

In ZEV states sure, but not yet in the rest, they’re still way behind on such progress sadly.

Why did they stop preorders in Norway after about 6200 cars?
Don’t get me wrong, I really hope they make a 100K or more a year. .

The author of this article should reference what ZEV means. Nowhere in the article did I see the word, ‘zero.’

Count me as a skeptic, GM said they could build as many Bolt EVs as needed to satisfy demand. Now we see Bolt is just a compliance car with designed in flaws. I hope Hyundai will be better, but I have yet to see any ICE car maker all in on EVs. Next 5 years should be interesting since Audi, Hyundai, Kia, Jaguar, Volvo, VW and Porsche are all supposed to have high volume EV cars.

Will be amazed if any sell more than 30k EV cars a year in 2019 or 2020.

Pinewood said:
“Now we see Bolt is just a compliance car with designed in flaws.”


“Will accept orders from every state”

Yeah, they said that about the IONIQ BEV too.

We will know car companies are serious about EVs when they invest in a nationwide fast charging network.

Regarding alternate battery supplier: all batteries are not created equal, and I sure hope Hyundai has an extremely rigorous vetting and qualification process.

It’s indeed going to be interesting to see if supply will match demand, once the initial pent-up demand has been supplied. I don’t believe it until I see it. Certainly if demand in the US is strong and Hyundai hasn’t radically increased planned production, it cannot be supplied unless strong demand in most of the world is ignored!