Since launching in 2018, demand for the Hyundai KONA Electric has exceeded all expectations in Europe, thanks to its powerful electric drivetrain, long driving range and stylish SUV looks. In just two years, over 150,000 units have been sold globally, including more than 70,000 in Europe.
Three production models have set a new range record of 1,026 kilometres on a single battery charge at the Lausitzring in Germany. The KONA Electric also made it into the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ under the category “Highest Altitude Achieved in an Electric Car”, after being driven to an altitude of 5,731 metres to Sawula Pass in Tibet.
In addition to these impressive feats, the sub-compact SUV also won many awards, making the list for the WardsAuto 10 Best Engine List for 2019 and earning the title ‘Affordable Electric Car of the Year’ at the Auto Express New Car Awards in 2018.
Thanks to KONA Electric, Hyundai Motor won in the new award category ‘Best EV’ at the 2019 Honest John Awards. KONA Electric owners and users of HonestJohn.co.uk praised the EV for its then-range of up to 449 kilometres and driveability. That same year, KONA Electric also won the ‘North American Utility Vehicle of the Year’ award in the CUV category. U.S. News & World Report named KONA Electric the ‘Best Electric Vehicle’ in 2020, and consumer magazine Which? named it ‘Product of the Year’ in December 2019, beating 3,500 other consumer products.
In April 2020, Top Gear magazine named KONA Electric their ‘Best Small Family Car’ in the inaugural Top Gear Electric Awards, after it completed a 1,600-kilometre road trip across nine European countries. The car was praised for its efficiency and long-distance capability, as well as its smooth and effortless performance.
The Hyundai KONA Electric has also been recognised for small carbon footprint. KONA Electric was declared the ‘2018 Car of the Year’ at the UK’s Next Green Car Awards and named ‘The Greenest Car in Switzerland’ at the 2019 Swiss Car of the Year Awards. In 2020, the EV was awarded the five-star Green NCAP rating, the highest possible rating, based on clean air, energy efficiency, and greenhouse gas metrics. Green NCAP is an independent organisation that rates cars based on energy efficiency and emissions. Next, Green Car Awards gave the KONA Electric the ‘Car of the Year’ and ‘Family Car of the Year’ awards for its value for money and family-friendly practicality.
In 2020, Hyundai started production of the KONA Electric at its Czech production plant, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Czech (HMMC). The latest product enhancement for KONA Electric was part of a wide sweeping effort by Hyundai to electrify nearly its entire SUV fleet. In 2020, hybrid and plug-in hybrid variations of KONA, SANTA FE and TUCSON were introduced, joining KONA Electric and NEXO among the ranks of Hyundai SUVs with eco-friendly powertrains. The following year, BAYON, which features 48-volt mild hybrid technology, also joined the company’s electrified SUV line-up.
The new KONA Electric has undergone bold design upgrades for a pure new look, as well as featuring safety enhancements and an advanced technology package.
Driving performance and range
As with its predecessor, the new KONA Electric offers two different zero-emissions battery electric powertrains: a long range version with a 64 kWh battery with a maximum range of 484km, and a 39.2 kWh battery with a driving range of 305km (WLTP). The range has been increased thanks to the addition of new premium tyres with the latest product update. The new tyres also offer benefits in terms of performance and range.
The new KONA Electric is also equipped with shift by wire, regenerative braking, and an optional three-phase on-board charger for more convenience.
The new KONA Electric has been upgraded with a new 10.25-inch digital cluster, and an optional 10.25-inch AVN screen or an 8-inch Display Audio continue to be available. The AVN features the latest Hyundai Bluelink telematics, while the Display Audio comes with wireless Android Auto and Apple Car Play. The new KONA Electric is also available with a head-up display and an optional wireless charging pad.
Customers can select from two interior colour packages for further customisation. The Basic Black one-tone package is available with cloth, cloth-leather or leather materials. Alternatively, the Grey two-tone interior package is available with cloth-leather mélange or leather materials.
Meanwhile, new ambient light technology illuminates the passenger and driver side footwell, emphasising the lifestyle character of the vehicle.
- Basic Black one-tone (cloth, leather, or cloth-leather)
- Grey two-tone (cloth-leather mélange or leather)
KONA Electric is equipped with a combiner type head-up display (HUD). This technology projects the relevant driving information directly to the driver’s line of sight. This allows faster processing of information while keeping attention on the road ahead. With a projected image size of eight inches at two metres distance and a luminance of more than 10,000 candela per square metre, the head-up display guarantees optimal visibility in different light conditions.
The angle and height of the head-up display can be adjusted to ensure ideal visibility for individual needs. Once activated via the button beside the steering wheel, the combiner deploys vertically and disappears into the dashboard when not in use. While driving, the head-up display supports save driving by displaying information, such as speed, navigation commands and the fuel level as well as safety-related warnings from assistance systems. Information about the audio mode and radio are also projected.
The new KONA Electric also comes with a high level of passive safety. KONA Electric benefits from superior rigidity through the application of high strength steel, high impact energy absorption and minimised distortion, in order to protect passengers in the event of a collision.
Thanks to an enlarged area for the appliance of hot stamping and a ring-shaped cabin shell structure with ultra-high-strength steel, the safety zone has been enlarged for top crashworthiness. The multiload-pass structure of the cabin disperses energy in various directions in the event of a collision and reduces the impact.
Around the interior of the KONA Electric a total of six airbags are installed (two front airbags, two side airbags and two curtain airbags from first to second row, protecting both driver and passengers).