Hyundai’s 200+ Mile Kona EV Spied

Hyundai Kona


The Kona EV’s range is reportedly around 210-240 miles on a charge EPA (~500km/310 miles NEDC), which would be competitive with the Chevy Bolt.

New spy shots provide the first look at Hyundai’s upcoming electric variant of the compact Kona crossover. For the EV, the designers tweak the model’s styling by closing the front grille, and the exhaust is gone since it’s no longer necessary.

The heavy camouflage hides any other design tweaks, but we don’t expect Hyundai to overhaul the Kona’s shape for the EV variant. That’s not a bad thing, though. The Kona is quite a stylish entry in the compact crossover segment. It keeps up with the more adventurous lines like the Toyota C-HR.

Hyundai Kona EV

Hyundai has already confirmed a few details about the Kona EV’s capabilities. For example, a company executive told us that the model would have a range “over 390 kilometers,” which is 242 miles.  With that said, it’s not entirely clear whether that spec is under the more lenient NEDC test, the harsher EPA evaluation…or something in between. For comparison, the Chevrolet Bolt has an EPA range rating of 238 miles (383 km)via a 60 kWh battery.

An apparent leak also suggested that the Kona EV would arrive at dealers in fall 2018 and pointed to a real-world range of 217 miles (349 km) from  battery with just over 50 kilowatt-hours. Hyundai will also add hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants to the Kona’s powertrain range later.  Whatever the number ends up being, it will be over 200 miles of real-world driving.

Hyundai Kona EV

Hyundai expects the Kona’s funky styling to be a big success. For example, we are already seeing test mules like the next-gen Santa Fe sharing major cues from the vehicle’s front end, like the split headlights.

Hyundai Kona EV

Source: Automedia

Categories: Concepts, Hyundai

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57 Comments on "Hyundai’s 200+ Mile Kona EV Spied"

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Is that the battery pack hanging below the rear suspension (silver box?) That can’t be good….


Those look like rails, perhaps to hold a battery pack. Yeah not good, hanging down like that.


Yeah, that low hanging belly is a bit worrisome. Perhaps this is still a very early version with a prototype that hangs down a bit.

has opposed to a gas tank?


So where do you think the battery is in most EV’s? And how much metal do you think is between those batteries and the road? Tesla had to add extra because their battery case was being punctured, plus raise the height of the suspension at high speed.
While it might look unfinished or ugly, it is the trailing edge, so should be ok. And it is probably a test mule, so final version probably totally different.


yeah i got an email from hyunday uk saying it will be released here on October 2018


This is the car that I wish GM had built instead of the Bolt. Take a body much like the Buick Encore with all its utility and reasonable appearance and you would have a huge hit, even if its hwy range is only 220 miles due to a larger CdA.
The Bolt looks like a clown car, or like a Honda Fit, neither of which is going to sell if it is wearing a Chevy bow tie.
Which is too bad, because the Bolt is a solid car, despite its looks and the shady reputation Chevy small cars have earned in the past.

Someone out there

This is a hatchback just like the Bolt EV, what are you talking about?


Someone, if you don’t think the Kona or the Encore look better and would appeal to more people than the Bolt, then we simply do not share any ideas at all on what looks good or what would appeal to car buyers.

The Bolt is a solid car but its cartoonish look is really a huge problem for GM. That and Chevy small cars well deserved reputation for poor build quality are killing the Bolt. A lack of a supercharger network doesn’t help, but that is small potatoes when compared to the Bolt’s poor first impression when potential car buyers see one drive by for the first time.

Someone out there

How can you tell what it looks like when it’s covered in camouflage?


The article said “We don’t expect Hyundai to overhaul the shape of the Mona for the EV variant”
So I took them at their word. Hyundai tends to build mildly attractive vehicles, and occasionally, very attractive ones.


That’s good news! The Mona looks good as it is. Leave the Mona alone!


I think we can file the “Mona” under the very attractive header…

the 2018 bolt looks different already , 1st Gen model don’t forget always same dilemma


You’re right they could’ve easily done much better. Also with little investment they couldf’;ve built their supercharger network, network. Little investment for such a big company, just the equivalent of few bonuses – maybe take away the bonuses of the executives in charge of the smashing hit that the ELR was?? How are those guys worth millions of dollars when their “vision” is that dumb?

Instead of a CUV they opted for a small (too small for anybody with more than 2 kids) city car – because they know that small city cars sell very well! Or not?!

No, I don’t think that they are that dumb either.

All evidence points to the fact that they (and not only them) do not want EVs to succeed.

Bill Howland

“They don’t want EV’s to succeed”.

That only applies to Caddy’s DeNyschen- an ev-hater from way back. The ELR only failed due to being prematurely discontinued.

The rest of GM wants them to succeed, and as far as not having a fast-charging infrastructure, GM is concentrating on their day to day businesses which mainly includes their most profitable high-volume models.

They do not have Tesla’s unique business model. While satisfied with her paycheck, I’m sure Mary Barra would prefer to make 30 times more as Musk does.

I’m not certain there is room for another company with a Tesla style business plan.

Of course, you are welcome to try yourself.


“The ELR only failed due to being prematurely discontinued.”

You love your ELR and that’s great. But the fact is that Cadillac brand just doesn’t have much cache with the type interested in plug-ins. I think the ELR land-yacht was bound to fail. Grandpa ain’t interested in those new-fangled electric thingies. That and everyone saw that it was just a gussied up Volt. The sales figures spoke for themselves.

Bill Howland

Speculawyer as usual you are clueless.

Two points:

Far from being a “Land-Yacht”, Car and Driver magazine stated the ELR was THE best handling Plug-in hybrid made to date.

The car continually turns as many heads as my Forrest Green and Beige roadster did.

Also, the Roadster and ELR sold in similar numbers – the ELR doing it with a 1 year manufacture run in 2014 and a 3 month run in 2016 before prematurely being discontinued by EV-Hater DeNyschen.

SO since the ELR sold at a much faster rate than the Tesla Roadster, I guess Tesla didn’t want to sell cars either.


They don’t want EVs to succeed you say?


GM and LG see the Bolt EV as a success…

That it is likely to outsell every BEV in the US this year except Teslas… (possibly will outsell X and/or the Model 3 this year. Not sure yet. )

That GM is preparing a Buick version… and that LG is moving component production to the US…

I would say all evidence points to GM supporting their EV and expanding the plug-in market.

The new only manufacturer in one state where it’s crucial for carbon tax credit and they don’t provide any kind of infrastructure anything there’s solely motivated on being able to mail out more gasoline engines and keep their bottom line


“I would say all evidence points to GM supporting their EV and expanding the plug-in market.”

That’s a really big stretch. No efforts in fast-charging infrastructure, very low volume internationally and outside CARB states, and you have all the markings of a PR/compliance car. I’ve been looking to buy a Bolt in Toronto, and can’t even find a place to test drive one, let alone get any real information on waiting time.

Let’s see what GM’s response to the Model 3 will be. I’m not holding my breath…


Unlike Tesla, GM can’t just draw billions of $$ from investors. It has to turn a profit and it has to make its shareholders satisfied. It has put its foot in the water of the EV river with well engineered products in the form of the Volt and now the Bolt, and is well positioned to accelerate that when battery supplies and consumer demand catches up.

It is better positioned than all other mainstream manufacturers (Yes, Nissan sells well but has a technically inferior product). Whether that’s good enough, I don’t know. But I’m sure they’ve done their market surveys.


It’s going to be fine. The people who think Tesla is going to take over the whole car market are smoking some of the good stuff.



The Bolt and Buick Encore are cousins. They’re both based on the Gamma 2 platform. The Bolt has far more extensive changes due to the battery pack placement. You perceive a bigger difference because of the break in the lines between the hood and the bottom of the side glass in the Bolt, while in the Encore, that’s more of a straight line. It’s an optical illusion…


Tech, I hear what you are saying, but the difference between a beautiful woman and an ugly one is sometimes merely a matter of a few curves in different places.
The Bolt and the Encore are obviously related but one is cute and the other isn’t. The Bolt has that slightly bug eyed look that the Leaf has and it didn’t do either one any favors.

MTN Ranger

Whatever, I like the looks of the Bolt EV much more than the Encore. If anything, I feel the Encore looks more cartoony.


A clown car? Seriously?

It is also noticeably larger than a fit. I park next to a coworkers Honda fit on occasion and my Bolt is clearly a bigger vehicle. 3-4 inches larger in length, width, and height.

The only major difference between the encore and the bolt is a shorter, more rounded front. And the option of AWD – which some people really want. They’re the same width and similar height although the Trax does ride higher off the ground. The ~2″ of height difference with the encore is due to ground clearance not more interior space.

The Encore is a small vehicle just like the Bolt, but with both cars, the inside is larger than you expect it to be.

But you may prefer the boxy shape of the Encore or Trax.

In that case, Buick’s upcoming EV crossover is the car for you. 🙂 I don’t think you’ll have to wait too long for it.

Quebec 100% EV

A Buick Encore EV, especially if it comes in AWD, will sell VERY well in Canada, Northern US and Scandinavia. There is no AWD option for any EV currently, other than Tesla’s Model S and X, which are cost-prohibitive for most.
Once Model 3 comes out in AWD, I suspect the market for the Buick Encore EV will still exist as it will most likely be slightly cheaper and it’s a “crossover” (read hatchback).

john doe

Do they sell Buick in Scandinavia at all?

I have never seen a Buick newer then from the 70s..

EV sales in Denmark is now non existing, due to the cut in incentives.


The issue I have with AWD in these cars is it’s utility is hamstrung by such low ground clearance. I suppose it’s still fine for driving in snow and ice, but driving off-road would be pretty questionable.

Wade, I am kind of irritated with GM’s upper management and their choices with regards to the Gen II Volt and the body type/appearance of the Bolt, and sometimes I let it get the best of me. I like the Bolt, I think it is a very nice car. Much like the Gen II Volt. But both of them fall just a bit short of what I wanted and it makes me roast both of them from time to time. I like a roomy, sporty, slightly quick, moderately sexy car/sedan/CUV that can carry 4 adults in moderate comfort. I have a Gen I Volt that can carry 4 adults only if two of them are petite women. It is too small, not quite sporty enough, too slow and kind of boring. The Gen II has better AER and is more boring. The Bolt looks like it could be a close relative of the not so great Sonic. I have never liked Chevy small cars until the Volt. It looks like it may be the only Chevy small car I will ever like. My Mom owned a 1978 Chevette when I was growing up, so Chevy small cars may be something… Read more »

“My Mom owned a 1978 Chevette when I was growing up, so Chevy small cars may be something I just can’t look at rationally any more, though.”

Lol that might do it… my first car was a used Mazda Protege. I had nothing but trouble with that car.

Defroster never worked, the cheap plastic hubcaps fell off more than once, A/C went out twice in one year. Stupid automatic seat belts would get stuck on their track. It was ugly, squeaked and was no fun to drive.

Irrational as it is, I would be hard pressed to even consider owning a mazda again. Although now I finally have a good reason to point to for my anti-mazda stance! Mazda is probably the most anti-EV automaker out there.


“I like a roomy, sporty, slightly quick, moderately sexy car/sedan/CUV that can carry 4 adults in moderate comfort.”

Then you can’t expect that out of Hyundai/Kia then with “sporty/slightly quick” requirement.

At least Gen 2 Volt is one of the quickest on the market today.


They will sell a ton of these!
Cancel my fictitious Tesla Model Y order!

Hey, Mitsubishi Outlander, at least you kind of half heartedly tried, in your own NON-North America launch kind of way.


Hopefully, it comes in a cool color, like something similar to Burnt Gold!


You can buy this car right now, today! It’s at your Chevy dealer. No fictitious order, or waiting required.


What EV Chevy are you referring to, the Bolt?
That Bolt is the Range and Price Value leader, but everything else is not Hyundai or Mitsubishi which was what my response above was referring to.

Still Don’t want a GM anything EV. Still hanging on to a few moldy “old school” GM EV crushing and ignition switch and Anti-Tesla state lobbying resentments. Some Lingering, Little pet peEVs of mine.


Hopefully they get rid of that big grill on the front of the Kona.


The ICE Kona is 1.8″ lower than the Bolt, 1.4″ wider, same length, same wheelbase, and 1.1 cu ft more cargo space.

I am going to make a wild guess that LG will be doing the battery and drivetrain.

But I think everybody should wait for the Tesla Model Y, because it will be better, faster, cooler, and it will drive itself, and pull a horse trailer, and be cheaper. Yes sir, just you wait. 🙂


+1 – I know you had tongue in cheek but aside from the horse trailer comment – it is true. It boggles my mind that know one has come up with a viable competitor for the the S, X, 3, and I predict the Y when it is released. They keep trying but nothing is remotely in the same league. Every time I drive my S I feel like I am on holiday – awesome car and nothing else has come close. I keep waiting and waiting…


News flash. If you can afford a Model S your life IS a holiday.


true ha ha! I come down to earth when I drive my car a Ford Focus Electric (the s is my wife’s)- the FFE is fun and stress free but no Tesla to be sure.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Fingers crossed there will be an AWD option/Trim.


Looks kinda dull but any new EV is a welcome addition to the fleet.

Andrew S

Calling this a crossover seems generous… it looks to be the same height as the sonata wagon behind it.


Sigh… I am still waiting for someone, anyone to make a BEV or strong PHEV CUV sized (interior space wise) and priced for the white hot RAV4/CRV/Escape/Equinox/Rogue market. The Tesla/Toyota RAV4 EV seemed like it paved the way but no one has followed yet. Given how poor the aerodynamics on that generation of RAV4 were the fact that it still managed 100+ miles out of a 41kWh battery makes be believe 180+ miles would be possible out of a 60kWh version with modern aerodynamics. And I think a Bolt priced vehicle with those specs could sell *really* well in the US at least.


So you are saying that if they made the Bolt bigger and heavier, so it had worse performance and range, but space for “super sized” Americans, it would sell better? You may be right.


So 3″ taller, 3″ wider, 19.5″ longer, 2.3″ more wheelbase, 650 pounds heavier, slower acceleration, less range…will sell “really” well.

Jonathan B

This is exactly what I’m looking for after the Model 3. My family will need to replace our ICE Hyundai Sonata by early 2019. Our Model 3 gets here in early 2018, but by the time Model Y comes out, Tesla will be out of tax credits or have them significantly reduced. A 200+ mi purely EV crossover or SUV from a company that I’ve had good experiences with and that has plenty of tax credits left, is exactly what I’m looking for. Honestly I’d probably go with the plug in hybrid version just because I may need ti for the longer journeys but all of this would depend on the size of the pack, pure EV range, etc… If it is some BS plugin hybrid that only goes 30 miles and doesn’t allow me to maximize the $7500 tax credit, I’ll pass on it. 50+ mi range pure EV on a plug in would be enough that we could do our commute on mostly EV only power.


I just checked. There were 1,484 1997-2003 RAV4 EVs produced, and 2,472 of the 2012-2014. The earlier generation were $42K, the second generation was $49.8K, for half the new range standard of 200 miles. I get that these were limited production, and things have come down in price.

I get that a 200 mile range, RAV4 type EV for $35K is the holy grail. I just do not believe such a car, at that price, will be available in two years…not from Hyundai, GM, nor Tesla. FFE1 can chime in now, and tell us how Tesla will do it. Except they haven’t delivered their $35K sport sedan yet. If thousands of base Model 3s are on the road, and they are showing a profit in two years, I will change my mind.


I guess I am still skeptical a RAV4 sized BEV with reasonable (not as compromised as the Model X) aerodynamics and a 60 kWh battery couldn’t go 200 miles. The Model X certainly manages to do it and it is a lot bigger and heavier than a Bolt with enough added sheet metal to make it RAV4 sized on the inside at least would be. And whether people like it or not this is the size of CUV that is the sweet spot of the market right now. As for the cost, assuming the same battery pack as the Bolt I don’t see why it would need to cost more than $2K than a Bolt.
I am a sedan guy myself but my wife wants to replace her RAV4 with an BEV/PHEV


In what way are the aerodynamics of the Model X compromised? It is very aero, for an SUV.

David Lane

Will this BEV Kona have all-wheel drive?


Well, you can plainly see that the one in the photos doesn’t.

Don Zenga

Kia Soul-EV for MY-2018 has 111 mile range. Has interior space of 116 cu. ft. But it’s still not in company’s website.

Having another vehicle with 100+ mile range is nice, whether the prices increase or decrease is not known. And 111 is not very great in the face of vehicles with 200+ mile range.


Open the flood gates, rain down all these 200mi+ EV’s. The more the merrier!


Does anyone know if the 200+ mile Ioniq will be released in 2018 as well?