The Hyundai Kona Electric 2024 has a range of 420 kilometers.
Pricing starts at $46,399.
Both versions offered are eligible for government credits totaling $12,000.
With Kia withdrawing the Soul EV from its catalog and the future of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV looking uncertain, small, relatively affordable electric vehicles with sufficient range will become increasingly rare. Fortunately, Hyundai has confirmed its intention to maintain a strong presence in this market by renewing the electric Kona for 2024.
A few aesthetic distinctions
At first glance, the electric Kona looks very similar to its gasoline-powered counterpart. The front and rear bumpers are different, however, and a pixel pattern has been integrated into them. In addition, the electric version is fitted with exclusive 17-inch black wheels. On board, in addition to a number of specific controls, there’s a flat floor in the second row, offering even more space for passengers.
In fact, the electric Kona is even roomier than before. Cargo volume has been increased by 33% to a total of 723 L with the bench seat folded down. Legroom has been increased by 5 mm at the front and 77 mm at the rear.
Still inside, a 12.3-inch touchscreen controls the infotainment system. To the left of this, in front of the driver’s eyes, we find the 12.3-inch digital instrumentation. Everything is clear and easy to read.
Roughly the same mechanical components
Mechanically, there’s no great revolution. Essentially, the new electric Kona uses the same components as the previous generation. It should be noted, however, that it is based on a new platform (the same as that of the gasoline-powered model), which was originally designed for an electric vehicle. The previous model was originally designed as a small gasoline-powered SUV.
The 2024 Kona Electric is powered by an electric motor developing 150 kW or 201 hp, precisely the same figures as the outgoing model. This is quite sufficient power for the size and purpose of this small SUV. On the winding roads of British Columbia, we appreciated the immediacy of acceleration. It’s important to point out, however, that torque has been considerably reduced. The previous iteration of the Kona Electric developed 291 lb-ft, while the model just introduced only generates 188 lb-ft of torque. That’s considerably less, but we didn’t feel it was insufficient during our test drive.
The vehicle’s floor contains a 64.8 kWh battery that can travel up to 420 kilometers on a single charge. That’s an extra 5 kilometers. In our view, such a range is perfectly reasonable. In fact, when we set off, the dashboard showed a charge level of 98%, corresponding to 377 kilometers. After 166 kilometers, we still had 209 kilometers to go before exhausting the battery. In other words, the vehicle consumed no more energy than was necessary. We recorded an average consumption of 16.1 kWh/100 kilometers, which testifies to the vehicle’s energy efficiency.
Hyundai also claims to have improved the recharging time of its small electron-fueled SUV. Using a Level 2 charging station, the time has been reduced from 9 hours and 15 minutes to 6 hours and 14 minutes, and the range has been increased from 10% to 100%.
An entry-level version with a 48.6 kWh battery is available for our southern neighbors. On the other hand, the range is only 321 kilometers, or around one hundred kilometers less.
To reduce the impact of cold temperatures on the vehicle’s range, engineers have fitted the little SUV with a heat pump. Also with the aim of optimizing the user experience in winter, the Kona Electric 2024 features a heated charging port. Activated at the same time as the defroster, this system prevents snow and ice from accumulating on the hatch, which is located on the vehicle’s grille.
$ 12,000 in government credits
In 2023, the Kona Electric started at $44,599. For 2024, the price is increased to $46,399 for a Preferred version. Consumers can also choose an Ultimate version priced at $51,199. This includes a sunroof and a number of technological accessories that seem superfluous to us. A Preferred version is a much better buy. In both cases, add $1925 for shipping and preparation.
You won’t be disappointed to learn that both versions are eligible for federal and provincial credits totalling $12,000. Including all costs, subsidies and taxes, the Kona Electric Preferred costs $44,384.89.
A common-sense electric vehicle
The automotive industry tends to present us with electric vehicles that are bigger and bigger, with ever-increasing battery capacity and ever-increasing range. Let’s face it, nobody’s going to save the planet with a GMC Hummer EV or a Tesla Cybertruck. We firmly believe in the relevance of small electric vehicles at reasonable prices and with sufficient range. The Hyundai Kona Electric is perfectly suited to the needs of a small family.
Of course, some consumers want four-wheel drive. But four-wheel drive isn’t always essential. We feel that a front-wheel-drive vehicle with good winter tires can do the job without worry. In fact, Steve Flamand, Executive Director (Product, Corporate, IT and Digital Strategy), stated that the automaker is “still studying the possibility of eventually offering four-wheel drive”. He hinted that “perhaps this feature will be offered on the next generation of the model, which will be developed on a new platform”.
While automakers are coming up with new technologies that are complex and unproven, the Hyundai Kona Electric has the advantage of having already shown what it’s made of. It’s functional, practical, has a decent range and isn’t overpriced.