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 120,000 units have been sold globally, including more than 53,000 in Europe. In August, three production models set a new range record of 1,026 kilometres on a single battery charge at the Lausitzring in Germany. Meanwhile, in January, the Kona Electric 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 April 2020 TopGear magazine named Kona Electric their “Best Small Family Car” in the inaugural TopGear Electric Awards, after it completed a 1,600-kilometre road trip across 9 European countries.
In March, Hyundai started production of the Kona Electric at its Czech production plant, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Czech (HMMC). This enables the company to significantly reduce customer waiting times for new electric cars.
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.
"When we launched the Kona Electric in 2018 as the world’s first fully-electric subcompact SUV, it represented a major step forward for affordable e-mobility. With the new Kona Electric, we’re showing that Hyundai is fully committed to zero-emissions driving, by providing our customers with enhanced driving assistance and safety features, making it an even more desirable package."
Andreas-Christoph Hofmann Vice President Marketing and Product at Hyundai Motor Europe
Pure and stylish design signifying clean electric mobility
The new Kona Electric has undergone a series of bold exterior design updates. By combining a clean and sleek appearance with the protective and bold B-SUV body type of the Kona, it expresses its exceptional electric technology while being even more recognisable on the road.
The front with the new-look closed grille features a pure and clean design. This modern look is further enhanced by the new LED Daytime Running Lights, which emphasise the car’s wide stance. The front is complemented by an asymmetric charging port, a feature unique to the Kona Electric which makes a strong statement about driving electric.
New, sharper headlamps stretch around the side of the car. The high-tech headlamp inner bezel now incorporates multifaceted reflector (MFR) technology. The headlamps are connected to the painted wheel arch claddings, giving the new Kona Electric a distinctive and sophisticated look. Vertical air inlets in front of the wheel arch claddings enhance its aerodynamics, substantially reducing turbulence in the front wheelhouse area. Meanwhile, a functional air intake in the lower bumper is visually enhanced by horizontal satin accent bars, which give it a pronounced stance.
The rear bumper retains the accent bars to add value to the overall look of the car, while new horizontally-stretched rear lamps complement the pure appearance of the front.
The new Kona Electric is 25 millimetres longer than the previous version. This ensures it has a dynamic appearance combined with a strong visual stance.
An updated interior with progressive technology
For the first time, the new Kona Electric is equipped with a 10.25-inch digital cluster, while an optional 10.25-inch AVN screen is carried over from the last update. The AVN unit incorporates multimedia and convenience features including Bluelink®, Hyundai LIVE Services and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, further democratising advanced connectivity for Hyundai drivers. Customers who select the eight-inch Display Audio system can wirelessly connect their smartphones to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
New Kona Electric customers can enjoy the new Bluelink® upgrade, which allows them to control their car with their smartphone or voice to make their drive more convenient and enjoyable. The app displays the vehicle’s range and battery state, as well as charging times, when plugged into different public or private charging points. Users can access an advanced battery management system in order to select charging times that best fit their schedule or their budget by making the most of off-peak electricity rates.
Thanks to Remote Charging, new Kona Electric drivers can start and stop charging at the push of a button on their smartphone via the Bluelink® app. During colder months, Remote Climate Control allows users to schedule a time that they would like to pre-heat their car electrically when connected to an external power source. As well as providing additional comfort to occupants, this also saves battery power that would otherwise be needed to heat the vehicle on the road.
The latest Bluelink® upgrade includes a range of new and advanced connectivity features for increased convenience. User Profile offers increased personalisation, and can be transferred to other Hyundai vehicles providing the same feature. Last Mile Navigation helps customers continue the journey to their final destination via the Bluelink® app even after their car has been parked, using either Augmented Reality or Google Maps. Connected Routing harnesses real-life and historical speed information through GPS, which is stored in the server and updated every month, to predict upcoming traffic every five minutes. This ensures more accurate traffic forecasting, more precise times of arrival, and more reliable route recalculations. Live Parking Information gives users real-time information on the location and price of nearby available parking spaces. In addition, the latest Bluelink® upgrade features Free Text Search for users to enter addresses or points of interest.
Meanwhile, new ambient light technology illuminates the passenger and driver side footwell, emphasising the lifestyle character of the vehicle.
Customers can select from two interior colour packages for further customisation. The one-tone Black package is available with cloth, cloth-leather or leather materials. Alternatively, the two-tone Grey interior package is available with cloth-leather mélange or leather materials.
Segment-leading driving range
Like its predecessor, the new Kona Electric offers two different zero-emissions battery electric powertrains, with no compromises on performance.
The long-range version with a 64 kWh battery features an electric motor which delivers maximum power of 204 PS (150 kW), accelerating the Kona Electric to 100 km/h in 7.9 seconds. The basic version has a battery capacity of 39.2 kWh, with the motor delivering 136 PS (100 kW), accelerating to 100 km/h in 9.9 seconds. The long-range battery version provides a maximum speed of 167 km/h, with the standard-range battery version offering 155 km/h.
Both powertrain versions deliver 395 Nm of immediate torque, ensuring the new Kona Electric is fun-to-drive with full power available from the first second.
Since its launch in 2018, the Kona Electric has been equipped with one of the best all-electric driving ranges in its segment. After tyre improvements on the 2020 model year update, the 64 kWh battery version offers a class-leading range of 484 kilometres (WLTP) on a single charge. Meanwhile, the 39.2 kWh model offers a range of up to 305 kilometres (WLTP).
The shift-by-wire system enables operation of the car simply by pressing buttons to switch driving modes. It also eliminates the routing space required for housing the mechanical linkages between a normal shifter and the transmission, providing additional storage space in the front of the car.
The Smart Adjustable Regenerative Braking system allows the new Kona Electric to automatically set the regenerative braking level, while paddle shifts behind the steering wheel allow the driver to adjust the intensity of the regenerative braking. The system recuperates additional energy when possible. Regenerative braking is maximised when keeping the left pedal held, allowing the driver to even bring the vehicle to a full stop – without use of the brakes.
Charging the lithium-ion polymer battery from 10 to 80 per cent only takes about 47 minutes using a 100 kW direct current (DC) fast charger. The Kona Electric features an optional 10.5-kW three-phase on-board charger, allowing for significantly shorter charging times using public three-phase AC charging stations or with a private compatible wall box at home. Drivers also have the option of charging their car at a compatible regular household power socket using the ICCB-cable (in-cable control box).
Even more best-in-class safety features
The new Kona Electric features a state-of-the-art Hyundai safety package for peace of mind. Hyundai SmartSense provides comprehensive, best-in-class active safety and driving assistance systems, and the new Kona Electric is now equipped with even more functions than its predecessor.
Upgraded Hyundai SmartSense features that feature on the new Kona Electric include Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA) and Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA), which offer not just warnings to drivers, but also implement the brakes where necessary. RCCA works to avoid a collision when reversing, as the car’s sensors detect approaching vehicles from both sides, with the brakes applied if necessary. Meanwhile, BCA engages the car’s differential brakes to prevent an accident if another vehicle is detected near the rear corner and the driver attempts to change lanes.
Another feature new to this model is Leading Vehicle Departure Alert (LVDA), which alerts the driver if they do not react fast enough when the vehicle ahead of them starts moving. Further new safety features include Safe Exit Warning (SEW) and Rear Seat Alert (RSA). SEW warns passengers intending to exit the vehicle if it is not yet safe to do so. RSA is a door-checker feature that recognises if the rear doors have been opened prior to departing. When the drive is completed, the car alerts the driver if someone or something is in the back seat when they open the doors. In addition, the new Kona Electric is also available with eCall, a feature which automatically alerts emergency services if the airbags are deployed or the eCall button is pushed.