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Hyundai Kona Electric: 5 Things You Didn’t Know


India's first all-electric SUV is generating a lot of excitement, but there are quite a few things that not many people have learnt about it yet

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With the Kona Electric, Hyundai has etched its mark as the first brand in India to offer a long-range all-electric SUV. The Korean giant is pioneering the switch to electrification in India by bringing the Kona Electric, which is claimed to offer 452 km (ARAI) of range from a single charge. The SUV comes with a price tag of Rs 25.30 lakh (introductory, ex-showroom India) and is available only in 11 cities for the time being. Moving aside all the headline information, there are some lesser known facts about India’s first all-electric SUV and here are the five most important ones: 

1.Long Battery Life

According to Hyundai, the battery in the Kona Electric is capable of lasting 2000 cycles of charging. This means that if you charge your Kona Electric every alternate day, it will last up to 11 years! As the Kona Electric is a long-range EV, charging cycles will also be definitely lower, but this is a general case and might actually depend on various usage patterns. 

The Kona Electric comes in two variants in markets abroad: 39kWh and 69kWh. Hyundai in India is offering the 39kWh version that packs an electric motor which puts out 136PS and 395Nm, helping it sprint from 0-100kmph in 9.7 seconds before maxing out at 154kmph. The 39kWh version, according to WLTP standards, is tested to offer 289 km of range. The same setup, interestingly, is claimed to offer an ARAI-certified range of 452km in the Indian market. Time will definitely answer this anomaly as we get to test the real-world range of the Kona Electric in the coming days.

 2.  Revised Suspension Setup

During our brief stint with the Kona Electric in Korea, one aspect which stood out was the ride quality. The Korean version of the SUV had a stiff setup which is far from ideal for our Indian roads. But Hyundai has did their homework and the Kona Electric in India comes with a revised suspension setup for better ride quality. The ground clearance has also been increased to 172mm from 158mm in the international spec car. Electricity and water are not exactly the best companions, so, some of our readers might also be relieved to know that the Kona’s floor-mounted lithium-ion battery pack is sealed and IP67-certified for good measure.

 3. Affordable Service Costs

By offering the Kona Electric, Hyundai has surely grabbed the spotlight for being one of the first, but the job is only half done if the ownership experience isn't pleasant. The brand is aiming to offer a hassle-free and easy-on-the-pocket ownership experience and it has also said that the service charges are going to reasonable. The complete break-up of service intervals have not been shared yet but expect the fifth year service to cost just a shade under Rs 10,000, which by premium car standards is pretty good. The lithium-ion battery pack is water cooled in the Kona Electric and the coolant has to be replaced every 60,000km. 

Speaking of affordability, the car maker also claims that the Kona EV offers 80 per cent lower running costs than a petrol car. To make the package even more enticing, the battery pack also gets an 8-year and 1.6 lakh km warranty.  

4. Mobile charging 

The Kona Electric comes with a comprehensive 3-year/ unlimited km warranty and roadside assistance. And if you run out of juice by any chance, Hyundai will send a mobile charging station to your location.

The SUV also comes with a nifty car to car charging feature which enables you to charge one Kona using another Kona. The brand has also tied up with Indian Oil to set up fast-charging in various outlets. This fast-charging setup can charge the Kona Electric to 80 percent in just under an hour. Other charging options including a 7.2 kW charger that Hyundai will assemble at your home for free. This will take around 6 hours and 10 minutes to fully charge the batteries. The third and most basic option is the portable charger which will take its own sweet 19 hours to charge the Kona Electric. Hyundai will bundle the portable charging cable and the AC home charger with every Kona Electric free of charge

5. Prices Could Go down once GST cut is implemented

The Kona is currently priced at Rs 25.30 lakh (introductory, ex-showroom India) and is only  available in 11 cities for the time being. With the Indian Government’s proposed 12 per cent to 5 per cent GST cut for electric cars coming into effect, the Kona could get affordable by Rs 1.5 lakh! That will be quite a hefty revision, but you will have to wait a wee bit more for the cut to come into implementation. Apart from this, the Indian government has also announced more sops for purchasing EVs in India on loan. 

Hyundai seems to have done its homework with the Kona. But does it deliver, and more importantly, will it go down in the books as the car that revolutionised EVs in India? Tune in to our first drive review of the Kona Electric where we address these questions and more. What we do know is that it will in many ways redefine the way we look at EVs in India.

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