Hyundai Kona EV is currently on sale in facelift guise of its 1st gen and the test mules are for 2nd gen model
Kia and Hyundai are upping their game when it comes to electric vehicles. They are on the verge of taking on current highest-selling EV companies BYD and Tesla in the coming years. We have seen both companies slowly advancing towards success with upcoming launches like Hyundai Ioniq 6 and Kia EV9.
But what about Hyundai’s electric vehicles that don’t fall under the Ioniq brand? Hyundai is taking care of those too with the upcoming Kona EV. This electric SUV/Crossover is currently in its 1st generation’s facelift guise and 2nd generation ICE-powered Kona is under testing. 2nd gen Kona EV that was recently spotted in Germany, will be an electrified version of 2nd gen Kona.
2023 Hyundai Kona EV Spied
As Hyundai aims for carbon neutrality within 2045, more EVs from this South Korean brand are likely to pop up. Hyundai Kona EV is mainly developed for European markets, but is also sold in the States. Recently, Cali resident Mike shared with us spy shots of Hyundai Kona EV test mules plugged into chargers at the Desert Hills Premium Outlet yesterday in California.
An electric vehicle test mule getting charged is no big deal. But that’s not all. He also shared with us that Hyundai Kona EV test mules were getting charged with 150 kW of charging power. Desert Hills Premium Outlet also has 350 kW charging options which a Rivian electric pickup truck was taking advantage of.
Plugged into a 150 kW charger doesn’t mean that Kona EV test mule is getting charged at that speed. 150 kW is the charger’s capacity while the plugged EV will accept what is permitted by its manufacturer keeping in mind battery temp and battery health optimizations. So, it is very likely that Kona EV is charging with very less power than the rated 150 kW of the charger.
2nd gen Hyundai Kona EV is expected to share its powertrain with Kia Niro EV whose maximum charging power tops out at 85 kW. Kia Niro EV is based on 2nd gen Niro which was launched in 2021. Niro EV gets a 64 kWh battery pack making 201 bhp of power and 255 Nm of instantaneous torque and has a claimed range of around 460 km on a single charge. Kona EV 2nd gen is likely to get this same powertrain.
Design & Launch
While the first set of test mules were spotted outside Hyundai-Kia’s Technical Centre in Germany. Now, we have them papped in California, USA. 2nd gen Kona EV will be based on a modified platform of its previous gen and has the same layout for EV components including a charging port at front bumper. We reckon it would take a little over 40 minutes to go from 20% to 80% as we can interpret from the charger’s display.
It will get a full-width LED lightbar at the front as seen on other Hyundai products like Staria and Stargazer. A trapezoidal-shaped LED headlight in its bumpers is also prominent. It also gets a closed-off grille in typical EV fashion. In terms of features, it gets level 2 ADAS functionalities as seen from the radar sensor housing near its small air dam.
Interiors will be largely similar to Kia Niro EV’s. It might get infotainment components from Ioniq 5 EV that is due to launch in India. 2nd gen Kona EV is slated for 2024 while ICE-powered Kona gen 2 is slated for 2023. India launch is not yet confirmed, but we think that it should make it to our shores. It would replace the 1st gen pre-facelift Kona EV currently on sale in India. It might be a fitting rival to Mahindra’s upcoming BE.05 electric SUV that was revealed yesterday.