Increased drive range will offer buyers an even better ownership experience
The 2020 Hyundai Kona EV for the European market will be offering a considerable increase in its overall drive range. From existing 449 km, the drive range of Kona EV on full charge has now been increased to 484 km. This is as per the WLTP (Worldwide harmonised Light vehicle Test Program) driving cycle. However, only the top-end variant variant equipped with 64 kWh battery pack and 204 hp electric motor will benefit from the range boost.
The Kona EV that is on sale in India employs a 39.2 kWh battery pack which supports a 136 hp electric motor. This powertrain configuration is not likely to receive any significant changes in the new model year. In its current form, the Kona EV for India has an ARAI rated range of 452 km on a full charge.
The lithium-ion polymer battery can be charged fully using a AC charger in about 6 hours and 10 minutes while a DC faster charger can charge it up to 80% in just 57 minutes. The compact electric crossover is claimed to reach 100 kmph from rest in 9.7 seconds.
Coming back to the Europe-specc 2020 Hyundai Kona EV, the automaker has not revealed how exactly the range extension has been achieved. It is believed that Hyundai has undertaken several efficiency enhancing measures including a tyres with lower rolling resistance than before to achieve the range boost. The powertrain hardware appears to be carried forward without any changes.
Hyundai’s Czech Republic factory will manufacture the Kona EV for the European market with an annual production capacity of 30,000 units. The South Korean brand is aiming to increase its market share (sales target of 80,000) in the old continent’s burgeoning electric vehicle market. Apart from the Kona, other Hyundai EVs on sale in Europe are Ioniq and Nexo (fuel-cell).
Back in India, the Hyundai Kona EV is positioned as a lifestyle product targeting affluent customers who wish to make a statement. The crossover is priced from 23.71 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi). The vehicle is being imported into India in the form of CKD kits from South Korea. With the government set to raise the custom duties of EVs coming via CKD route by 5% to 15% from April 1, 2020, the price is expected to increase proportionally.
Hyundai India has already started localising non-critical components like interior trim and some plastic parts for the Kona EV in a bid to off-set the raise in custom duty to some extent. Hyundai sold around 300 units of its premium EV in India last year and is aiming to sell 500 units in 2020.
The company is also actively working on establishing a local EV vendor environment to support its future sub-10 lakh electric vehicle.