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Hyundai is all set to launch the Kona EV, the Korean brand’s first all-electric offering for India, tomorrow. However, what sets it apart is its range, unlike the current crop of electric cars in the country. At 452km, the Kona EV has the longest driving range (claimed) on a single charge, the equivalent of driving from Rohini in Delhi to Amritsar in a single charge!
The Hyundai Kona EV will get a lithium-ion battery pack with 64kWh capacity, packing in 198bhp and 400Nm — the latter available almost instantaneously. This allows the Kona EV to hit 100kmph in under eight seconds. However, the performance can be toned down a bit using the Comfort and Eco modes (the full-fat Sports mode achieving the aforementioned brisk performance).
About the batteries, the Kona can be charged via the charge port located in the bonnet and can be topped in nine hours and 35 minutes using the 7.2kW onboard charger and a wall box (that Hyundai will provide Kona customers in India). Additionally, if you find a 100kW fast charger (a few of which are available in Delhi), it will juice up to 80 per cent charge in 54 minutes (75 minutes on a 50kW charger). However, if you try charging it on a 240V AC three-pin socket at home, it will take you a whopping 31 hours! The Kona also features regenerative braking which comes in three levels, adjusted by paddles behind the steering wheel. The most aggressive of these kicks in soon as the driver gets off the pedal. The regen cuts out below 10kmph so you have to use the brakes to come to a complete halt.
The EV game in India is still in its infancy, with offerings few and far between. Save for the Mahindra e2O and e-Verito, and the Tata Tigor EV, very few brands have electric cars. Maruti Suzuki is testing an electric Wagon R for imminent launch and investing with Toshiba for a battery plant, and MG is readying its eZS. On the other end of the spectrum, niche offerings such as the Audi e-Tron and Jaguar i-Pace are also very close to arriving on our shores. That said, considering that the Kona EV will be a CBU, it’ll be priced in the vicinity of Rs 20-25 lakh. The Kona EV, hence, is expected to cater to a niche segment but considering its range of 450km plus, we think it’d make for a great option for the likes of Jeep Compass, Volkswagen Tiguan or even its ICE-powered sibling, the Tucson.