Hyundai Kona EV debuts with optional near-300 mile range

The model’s optional 292 mile range underlines the progress made by EVs in the past seven years

Earlier this week Hyundai took the wraps off the new Kona EV to pretty universal applause. But while there is plenty to like about the EV version’s sleek futuristic take on the non-EV Kona’s funky looks, or about the improved interior, it’s the new model’s range that is its main draw. Modeling itself on Tesla’s and Nissan’s strategy, the EV Kona will be offered in multiple versions, with the basic one getting a 133hp electric motor, a 39.2kWh battery pack, and a range of up to 186 miles (300km). The pièce de résistance, however, is the second version, which gets a 201hp motor, a 64kWh battery pack, and a range of up to 292 miles (470km).

Almost 300 miles in a small Hyundai crossover? Not bad at all!

Certainly not, and you can see this betters pretty much all competition but the top-of-the-line Tesla Model 3:

Prices are yet to be announced, but it’s reasonable to expect the Kona EV will be a good deal cheaper than the Model 3 as well.

You know, I might even consider an EV now!

It’s pretty striking to think that when the first-generation Nissan Leaf came to market in 2011, it offered a range of barely 73 miles out of its 24kWh battery. From there on, progress has been relentless – although by the end of its production the Mk I Leaf had an optional 30kWh battery that gave it a more usable 107 mile range, in 2016 it was well-and-truly beaten by the 60kWh / 240 miles Chevrolet Bolt. Soon after that the Tesla Model 3 was announced with an optional 300+ mile range, and now, in 2018, it seems that 60kWh batteries is quite possibly exactly what EV cars needed to go mainstream.

So, will every EV have a 300 mile range from now on?

Yeah, not so quick… although right now there seems to be a market developing for cars with range in the 250-300 mile, ahem, range, most EVs on the market actually still aim to offer something more like 100-150 miles. This is probably fair, as while some may need the 300 miles for their EV to act as their only car, others only need a shorter-range one for daily in-city commuting. That said, days of EVs with range below 100 miles are probably numbered: spare a thought for the unfortunate 89-mile range in the new Honda Clarity BEV, or the current Hyundai Ioniq EV’s paltry 110 mile range.

  1. Completely agree! If we follow this trend, we might end up with models up to 400 miles of range with 30-minutes fast-charging worth 300 miles which might definitely be good enough for longer trips… I think within the next 5 years, with the push of premium companies such as Tesla, MB and Porsche, we are going to start seeing very high range EVs… That are going to go down the “fancy” path and go mainstream after a few years…

    All of that granted we manage to scale mass battery production.

    1. let’s remember that the bigger the battery pack, the longer it takes to recharge. I have a soul ev, with around 100 miles range in the best weather, much less when its cold. the car still serves me well, as daily use seldom puts a strain on the car’s range. of course, if my daily commute was around 100 or more miles, my car would either need to be charged at work, or it simply wouldn’t work. since the battery pack is the most expensive part of current ev’s, a smaller pack will allow those who don’t need more than 100-150 miles to save money, and if they need more than 200 miles, than they pay for the bigger pack. pretty simple

  2. I’d have one of these over a Tesla any day.

    Hi Kris, just curious ( and i’m only asking because i’ve seen it happen on multiple websites before ); Why does no one ( or barely anyone ) ever reference the Renault Zoe on these type of articles? Did Renault do something to piss people off or something? 😛

  3. The issue not addressed is how these EVs with larger range deal with sub-freezing temperatures or high heat requiring intense air conditioning. It is only conquering those issues (like with solid state batteries) that will enable EVs to go mainstream.

  4. Great article, as I’ve come to expect from the site! Certainly a range of 300 miles means this EV actually makes sense. I live in rural Ireland and EVs just don’t make sense at the moment, but Hyundai (if real world figures are similar) may have hit a winner here.

  5. EV new world of energy stabliished!
    A range of 500 km will move the buyers to electric vehicles!

  6. Having a 64 kWh battery is excellent.

    But why on earth has Hyundai designed horrendous front ends for the Kona and Santa Fe?

  7. Good, i hope Renault/Nissan would give more funds for R&D and marketing for models like Renault Zoe, with a competitive price(compared to petrol cars) they have a winner.
    The future is electric.

  8. The second largest automaker of the country, Hyundai, has announced that the SUV will be
    launched in India with an electric powertrain option. The SUV will be priced between Rs. 12 lakh
    and Rs. 18 lakhs. Whereas, the EV will come up with a starting price tag of over Rs. 25 lakhs. To know details for other SUV visit @ https://autoportal.com/newcars/suv-cars-in-india-cf/

  9. The range numbers reported are inaccurate.
    Official EPA numbers are: (EPA miles # * 1.609 = KM)

    Chevrolet Bolt: 60kWh: 238 miles (383km)
    Nissan Leaf: 40kWh: 150 miles (241km)
    Nissan Leaf: *est: 60kWh (upcoming): 235 miles (378km)
    Tesla Model 3: *unofficial 50kWh: 220 miles (354km)
    Tesla Model 3: 75kWh: 310 miles (499km)

  10. Last week we tested the Hyundai Kona EV 150 KW for 2 days and drove 300 miles up with to 170 km/h maximum speed on a German Autobahn without additional charging. The mini SUV is very comfortable, modern, digital
    integrated and completely equiped. I am a German Tesla 3 fan. But the new Kona EV 150 with its high rear door offers more practical usability for a lower price. I need exactly this for my job and my family.

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