Hyundai’s electric Kona can go 406 km on a single charge
Korea’s No. 1 automaker is banking on the combination of SUV and eco-friendly powertrain, both of which are seeing rising demand globally. In Korea, the electric car industry has been continuously growing, selling some 10,000 units last year.
“Based on a survey of our EV customers, 70 percent wanted an SUV,” said Lee Kwang-guk, executive vice president at Hyundai Motor, at the unveiling event in COEX, southern Seoul.
“The Kona EV can easily make a round trip to Daejeon from Seoul, or a one-way trip to Busan,” he added.
The Kona EV is able to drive 406 kilometers (252 miles) on a single charge, the longest range among electric SUVs in Korea. The Bolt EV from GM Korea comes in second with a range of 380 kilometers.
Hyundai Motor improved the functions of the eco-friendly vehicle, acknowledging that users often feel anxious about switching to an electric powertrain.
The Kona EV’s navigation system is able to provide real-time data on nearby charging stations and whether they are available for use. When a destination is inputted, the system automatically calculates the distance and compares it to the remaining battery to advise the drive on whether they will need to stop to recharge during the journey.
The automaker will also provide a lifetime guarantee on the battery installed in the Kona EV. Various electronic parts related to the battery will also be guaranteed of 10 years or 160,000 kilometers for free.
The Kona EV generates a maximum horsepower of 204 and torque of 40.3 based on a 64-kWh battery.
The basic trim starts at 46.5 million won ($43,400). With subsidies from the Seoul government it can be purchased for as little as 29.5 million won.
Hyundai Motor has set the yearly sales target for the Kona EV at 120,000 units.
Some 180,000 orders have been placed since Hyundai started receiving preorders on Jan. 15, forcing the automaker to temporarily suspend reservations.
“We hope the Kona EV can be a game changer in the electric vehicle market as well as a life changer for our customers,” Lee said.
BY JIN EUN-SOO [firstname.lastname@example.org]