Canadian Hyundai Kona Electric Buyers Observe Delays, Poor Communication

Hyundai Kona EV Grey


The Hyundai Kona EV quietly pushed back in Canada.

It has been roughly six months since Hyundai opened Canadian pre-orders for the Kona Electric in July of 2018. The South Korean automaker was initially expected to begin deliveries in late fall of 2018. According to a Canadian dealer blog post from earlier this year “The 2019 Kona Electric models will be available at Canadian Hyundai dealers in the fourth quarter of 2018.”

Most hopeful owners were provided estimated delivery dates of October and November when they placed their $1,000 pre-order deposit. But based on complaints from around the web, the roll out has not gone as planned.

Early in July, one InsideEVs reader placed a $1,000 deposit on the compact crossover and was told to expect an October delivery. Despite being given an expected October delivery date, the buyer was not contacted by Hyundai until mid-September. At that time, a form e-mail was received stating that Canadian Kona Electric production would occur between October and December of this year.

Two months later, Hyundai sent a follow up with the assurance that the vehicle would be built in November. The e-mail stated that a VIN number would be provided as soon as it was available and the car would be delivered in January.

Another month passed before a third e-mail was received. But instead of a VIN number and delivery info, it contained a $100 holiday gift card as a token of gratitude for buyer’s “patience”. Unfortunately no further details on vehicle production were provided.

Hyundai Kona Electric

Dealerships seem to be similarly out of the loop.

So far this seems to be the experience of every Canadian buyer. November and December have passed with buyers and dealers completely in the dark. The InsideEVs comment section and forum have seen multiple buyers share nearly identical experiences. Auto dealership employees that have spoken up are similarly wanting firm details. Some dealerships are now telling buyers to not expect deliveries until Q2 of 2019. Others are still quoting delivery dates for early January but are unable to provide any further information.

One buyer on reddit reports their dealership is not providing refunds on canceled orders once the car has been built. In a reddit post, the buyer was told that “Hyundai will be charging dealers $1000 for every reservation refund after the car is built, and $2000 for every reservation refund that occurs after the car arrives at the dealership.” If correct, this means the dealer in question is passing this penalty onto the consumer.

Thankfully other buyers were able to successfully refund their deposits following the repeated push back. Hopefully Hyundai will clearly communicate any further delays to buyers and dealers.

The Kona Electric is also expected to launch in California in Q1 2019. Hyundai claims that they will be able to satisfy consumer demand in the states. This will be quite difficult since they have not announced plans to deliver the Kona Electric outside of ZEV states. Up until now, Hyundai has also been notorious for not keeping sufficient stock of electric vehicles at U.S. dealerships.

Test drives of the vehicle have been extremely positive but it appears that supply will be an issue yet again. Are you anxiously awaiting delivery of the Kona EV in North America? Let us know about your experience in the comment section below.

Sources: InsideEVs Forum, Mississauga Hyundai


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56 Comments on "Canadian Hyundai Kona Electric Buyers Observe Delays, Poor Communication"

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While I am not in this Waiting Game, the thing about “One buyer on reddit reports their dealership is not providing refunds on canceled orders once the car has been built” is not too different than then ending of the $1,000 Refund from Tesla, for commited Orders!

However, For Tesla Buyers, they put “Another” $3,200 into their Model 3, “Before” the Car is “Commited” to be Built for them, and the “Refund” of the $1,000 “Reservation Deposit”, is no longer an option! No such payment is required for the Kona, it seems, so buyers have little to no way to know when that point occurs!

That is the Nebulous Point of Shadowy Communications, at this point!

If Hyundai said: “We have reserved this VIN for you. Please pay $500.00 to confirm you would like this vehicle to be built for you, within the next 2 weeks.”, at least then, buyers whould know they have reached that point in the process! An additional option to wait, to commit to their build, up to 6 months, or have their deposit refunded, would be even better!


You clearly don’t understand Tesla’s Model 3 return policy.

Even after taking delivery, Model 3 buyers have up to 3 days AFTER taking delivery to return the car for a FULL refund, including all deposits.

Compliance BEV…

Or production/delivery hell.

At least Tesla communicated the difficulties they were having. Hyundai is just leaving everyone, dealers included, in the dark.

I guess the difference is Tesla is a smallish public company where the Model 3 is the difference between life and death, so investors demand info on it.

Kona isn’t so important for Hyundai, so investors aren’t demanding info on what’s going on with it.

I would like to clarify that the “Smallish” company you are talking about is larger than Ford and GM. It is also larger than BMW as of today. I would like to point this out, people are treating Tesla as some new snack shop, reality is the markets have valued them higher than most of their rivals and expects them to deliver 100% growth within the next 2 years. This might not mean a lot for anyone, except for the companies themselves who are in need of capital from the markets. Stop treating Tesla differently and hold them accountable for their mistakes just like you would for any other company. Although an old saying of investors is that Love the brand not the stock. Many have confused and mixed errors on that part. I personally really like Magna International (One of Teslas main rivals but also supplier) but can Magna make mistakes and have they? Certainly, the roll out of i-Pace has not been acceptable on any level. Its clearly evident if you compare the roll out of their built Mercedes Benz G-Class which is already available everywhere and compare it with the i-Pace where you still cant find a… Read more »

North America is just not the most important market for them right now. Most are shipped to Europe or sold in Korea.

It’s not the right size for North America anyway. People only buy them because it’s the only efficient long range EV at a reasonable price point

The Kona is an attractive looking crossover for less then $30,000 net in many US states. I am not sure what it means to “meet demand” if you are already tremendously backlogged due to lack of batteries. Legacy auto having trouble with production/delivery? How can that be with their dealership “advantage” as well as ability to produce high quality products in massive volume.

You got it. Legacy automakers have a big edge in producing and delivering cars. Unfortunately, the crux of an electric vehicle is the battery and software, not the car. Legacy auto has no advantage in this realm. It’s as if they woke up overnight and had to compete with Apple and Microsoft. The Kona EV is a complete distraction. Hyundai never seriously intended to manufacture enough of them to make any difference. Every single legacy automaker behaves this way.

This is mostly true except for the software part. If you were talking about companies in th 60s manufacturing electric components only. Self driven cars are a wholly different realm that the Kona or its competitors(except Tesla and hence the premium)!aspire to. A lot of the traditional car companies have already been doing tremendous amount of embedded system software. Making the electric car with similar software but with different fuel source might have new challenges but I don’t see that coming from software itself. Says a software engineer.

That’s pretty much it. They say things like hey we are 100 year old car company and we know how to make cars, but, as you say, these are electric cars. In addition this was one constant point short-sellers harped on, just wait till the OEMs, (legacy) companies such as VW, BMW, Mercedes, etc… come out with their evs.
Well here it is almost next year, and what’s really changed.

Tesla seems to be increasing the distance they lead the race, and are even threatening to lap the field.
It’s hardly a surprise that Hyundai are having a hard time building and delivering them, and from Oct to sometime in Q2 2019. That’s a significant adjustment.

Legacy automakers typically don’t play silly shell games of reservations and waiting for some car that is not in production yet, not in the US. Cars made to order are common elsewhere in the world, but it is mostly for cars in production, not vaporware dreams.

Tesla showed everybody how to play this marketing game, so others jointed the game too, assuming BEV fans like such silly game and enjoy it. So you have what you wanted, life in dream and vapor land.

To translate this passage from Hyundaish into plain English: “We don’t have a Kona EV for you, and we don’t know when we may have one. Give us your money and we’ll call you”.

Like heck am I going to play these reservation-deposit-commitment “shell games”. When the physical car shows up in our local dealership, with immediate availability, in the correct spec and a choice of colors, I’ll look at it. It has until around April 2020 to do so, because that’s when my Bolt lease is set to expire.

So, maybe ~ 2026?

Used car inventory… *burr*…

“When the physical car shows up in our local dealership, with immediate availability” – that alone will be the first Problem they have! “in the correct spec and a choice of colors” – will be the second problem! (Choices from Pre-Made Vehicles!)

Since Tesla mostly builds to Customer Orders, those customers get the car they ordered, in more or less the time committed to delivery, once the order is confirmed. Sure – from that point – they may also have delays, but even they have had some staffing issues, as to communication. It just seems that they try harder, but – for Hyundai – to even leave their Dealers in the Dark (Their Actual Customers) is Rude, to say the least!

“Since Tesla mostly builds to Customer Orders,”

There is Tesla, and there is a Hyundai.

It is rude but this seems to be their way of doing business. The Ionic EV suffered the same fate. A decent demand but no inventory. Dealerships we’re very sympathetic but they just couldn’t get any cars. Now the same scenario seems to playing out. I can’t understand why Hyndai/KIA could make such a reasonably product and market them so poorly. I’m not sure how the European roll out is faring but I hope it’s running more smoothly than the North American effort. (how could it not)!

The dealers in Finland have Ioniq electric in inventory now. It took a full 2 years, but they did get there. Kona is now being built 5x the volume ioniq. I take Kona EV will be inventory item late next year, when competition arrives in volume.

This is not unique to Canada.

We experienced similar issues in the UK.

Not least of all being given a dealer to collect from that was not close to our home.

NO returned calls from click to buy.

An email out of the blue advising of and earlier arrival date despite setting a date that fitted in with the end of our existing cars finance agreement.

No contact in relation to plug in points for home.

NO reply when the government cut their subsidies as to whether this would affect us.

This proves the point that a dealership experience is better.

Whilst we are excited about the car we are less excited about the company who market it in the UK.

Dealership is better? I haven’t yet bought a Tesla but I have visited their Service stations a few times and much prefer them to car dealers.

Everyone has different opinions and experiences.

Lee we are talking about Hyundai not Tesla.

Trust me the experience is nowhere as polished.

At least with a dealer you have a point of contact.

The click to buy team have been awful.

We have only not gone with Tesla as my wife does not accomplish the mileage I do and I have a company car that is a hybrid. (The next I chose will be Electric but probably BMW or Mercedes.)

We do believe with the demonisation of Diesel, Petrol and eventually Hybrid that the vale of the Hyundai will hold and when we come to trade in will have held value better than my wifes current Diesel SUV.

Is it really so hard to grasp the built to order model?

It’s a higher order of complexity, so yes. It’s harder.

Really, when not even the dealers know what is going on?

This is probably Hyundai’s first experience in producing a car in high demand. Add six months to everything you hear from them and chill. Mazda Miata, Ford Mustang, Tesla, 80’s Honda sport models, Toyota Prius, etc. all had the same issues.

Wow. Did you live in a hole underground until now? World’s largest car manufacturing plant is in Ulsan, South Korea. It belongs to Hyundai, world’s third vehicle manufacturer.

Which models have they made where demand out stripped supply for more than a year? Ionic maybe? Others?

Well, Tucson, i40, i30, i20 and Santa Fe for starters.

Reality is Hyundai has many great models and no the Ioniq was never their top selling vehicle.

In fact Kona is selling far more than the Ionic ever was, Ioniq. Ionic surpassed 100k deliveries in February 2018, the Kona which deliveries begun. The Kona has sold more than 60k units in Europe alone from September 2017 to October 2018 (latest figures)

Not that it contradicts your points, but here in Israel the hybrid Ioniq was the best selling car model, of all manufacturers, of 2017 (and 2018 will be the same), not just Hyundai’s. Hyundai is the #1 selling carmaker here, and has been for several years. Kia is #2. Between them, they have 26% of the market.
(And we’re supposed to finally get the Ioniq, Kona & Niro BEVs the first half of 2019).

Thats an interesting statistic! Was it the HEV or the PHEV?

None of those cars were back ordered, wait listed, required $1,000 deposits or even sold at MSRP. The Kona has regional incentives of up to $10k that will drive demand and a sense of urgency among buyers. Sure Hyundai has made some very competitive cars and is a large company but that doesn’t prepare them well for the high demand they are going to experience they will experience with the EV Kona.

No room for error if you’re a big car manufacturer? $100 for every couple of months delay? Tesla would be out of business already.

They almost were, and due to some of the same issues others are now experiencing, while perhaps not going through production hell to make evs, they are likely in production purgatory.

Had a fun test-drive during the Auto Zürich Car Show, and the very nice gentleman who was with us for the test-drive, when asked said: earliest October 2019 if you order today, without any firm commitment. We really don’t know when we get the cars.

Hi there, got 1 email only, mentionning it will be built un december and estimated delivery date in february. No gift certificates of any kind. Hyundai Canada are not the best at communication.

Did you ask them when and how they intend to compete with that little American Company out of California: Tesla?

That little American company out of California that people have been waiting over two years, with around half a dozen separate delivery changes, for a vehicle from? The legendary $35k Model 3, which is apparently coming next spring, unless it’s pushed back again.

yes, that one. Wanna take a guess how long….if ever…the Kona will hit TM3 sale numbers? If you think 2 years was long wait until you see how long Hyundai will take to hit big volume.

I placed a deposit last summer on the fist day reservations opened. In the fall, I was contacted by the dealer to provide additional personal information because Hyundai Canada had changed their “order process” and now required “sold orders” only. I was unwilling to commit to buying a vehicle without even knowing the price, so I requested a refund. The dealer did their best to try and convince me that I didn’t have to buy it when it arrived if I didn’t like it, but that didn’t make any sense to me. Fortunately, they gladly refunded my money, which in hindsight appears to have been a very good idea. VERY discouraging that buying an EV in Canada is still so difficult – maybe even more difficult then when I bought my first EV six years ago…..

My local dealer in Guelph, ON has 31 Bolt EV’s either in stock or en-route. No issues with availability.

Ha Ha Ha, they are all coming here to Australia 🙂
Seriously, how many markets can Hyundai enter the Kona and Ioniq into but not actually service? Did I see they sold 5,400 in a month somewhere, but mostly people are waiting and frustrated?
EV buyers are seriously frustrated at the lack of availability. Tesla got it right with Giga factory, and I believe VW has it right with 2yr lead time for their battery supplier in high quantities. About time all the auto manufacturers get serious with their suppliers and committed to what is going to be a booming industry change starting now.

I also placed my deposit in July. I have received 2 emails the standard one and which which stated my car was to be built in November and delivered in Jan. The email also stated I would get monthly updates in regards to vin, price and delivery date. I did not get the $100 gift card other people have gotten and know the price because Hyundai supposedly announced the price according to some articles online but did not actually send an email to anyone who actually placed a reservation. I am willing to wait if I knew some information but my current car is getting to a point where I may have to settle on a Bolt and ride it out a few years before I get some of these 2020+ cars that are rumored to be coming out.

I placed an early deposit last March, well before the release. No communication, no car, no pricing. I keep having to prompt my dealershipfor info and all I get is it has been delayed and I’ll be getting one of the first, maybe January. Not a single email from hyandai as others got. But did get the gift certificate today in the mail. Very frustrated.

I place my $1000 reservation in early July, no emails at all, the sales manager at my local dealership dreads my monthly call asking him why he hasn’t a) lived up to his statement that the delievery would be in October/November when I placed the order and b) Internet rumours that the pricing is $51,999 instead of what the dealer suggested of “mid 40’s
This would be my 4th Hyundai I’ve owed 1 Sonata and 2 Santa Fe’s……I’m think my Santa Fe is going to be my last Hyundai.

I stopped by the Hyundai dealership in Palm Springs today and was told they expected the Kona EV in early February, maybe late January. I was also told that I was the third person to stop by and ask about the car today. The demand is clearly there. The disappointment is the ever-changing availability date.

I pre-ordered in October and paid the $1000 deposit. I was told when pricing was confirmed, I would get a call to confirm whether I wanted the car or not. If not, I’d get my $1000 back. I haven’t gotten any other email other than the initial saying my car will be built in December with delivery in February 2019.

I’ve seen the online articles as well with the Kona EV Ultimate (only model they were pre-ordering) coming in at $52K. I’m on the fence whether I’ll go ahead with the car.

Exactly the same here … I am in Ontario, and basically am decided to get my 1000$ back and back out … unless, Hyundai Canada will come up with a too-good-to-pass-on short 3-year lease …. otherwise, the car will be just too expensive for me, now that there’s zero rebate from feds or prov. government. And I think that is the main reason, why they are delaying launch in Canada, mainly Ontario. They can ship all of them to Norway or UK and sell them all …. why would they bother shipping to Canada on time?

If the dealer gives me hard time, to get my money back, I will take them to small claim court. Easy win and a ton of bad publicity for Hyundai. Not sure why in the world would they risk it … for 1000$??? I am not buying it anyways.

I’ve had a similar experience already in California. Called three dealers and they did not know when or how many Kona ev’s they’d be getting. They expected to get “around 3” and could not order more. One also noted they’ll be marking up the cost significantly…

I take everything posted on this site with a grain of salt. It’s clearly skewed towards “massaging” Telsa and is highly biased in their favor. Telsa and Elon Musk absolutely get credit for being the first one to make a practical electric vehicle. How quickly people forget the 2-3 year wait people had to put up with for a Model 3 and that was just for the continental U.S.

Simple fact is there is clearly more demand for this vehicle worldwide and whining about delays of several months and poor communication is such a first world problem and shows the obvious hunger people have for more affordable EV options.

The wait for the Model 3 was and is outrageous. The wait for the Kona is outrageous. Bad customer service should be called out every time and should not be tolerated.

I put a deposit on 2x Kona EV back in September. i”m requesting the deposit for both of them back for 2 reasons:
1) Price was higher than suggested by dealer(7K+tx higher), and for the preffered model , you leave payign ~56 000$ after tax, I did the math, and it would take about 5 years (200 000KM) to come even with the money saved on gas from buying another vehicle at 35 000$, so might as well buy a 35K car/suv and when the 5 years is up, by then they should have better options for electric. and you’ll have lost no money. Math 101.

2) here in Ontario, they removed all ‘green’ incentive, someone I know bought a Bolt and received 14 000$ back after all the incentives at the time (about a year ago), Quebec still has 8000$ incentive taken off the price AT the dealer. so thank you Doug Ford for removing all those incentive you fat f*ck.

Well the Kona might be a very good car according to the net, but after calling Hundai of. AMERICA speaking with them and having them tell ne they’ll get back to me on Monday, still waiting for them and it’s Friday. They have not had the curtesy of saying we do’t know. If this is a preview of thei r service I will not deal with them. I can get a Chevy Bolt, Nissan
Leaf in Illinois today. Is the Kona ev a better vehicle ?, maybe. Is it worth the wait and agravation? Please let me know.

I placed a reservation for the Model 3 the day of the official release, Mar 31, 2016. For various reasons, after more than 2.5 years I requested a refund, which Tesla confirmed immediately. On Jan 24, 2019, I saw my first Kona EV drive by me. I did an absolute double-take, as I expecting to see the Kia Nero arrive in Canada before the Kona. Long story short, one week and 600 km later, there is a Kona EV in our driveway. Absolutely love it! Great service from both Tesla and Hyundai.

And it continues… Pre-order customers are still waiting for cars while unsold inventory arrives on dealer lots. Pre-order customers were told that cars would be allocated based on pre-order dates but people who placed orders in October and November have cars while July customers are car-less. And still no communication from Hyundai or dealerships. Amateur hour from start to finish.