• slider image
  • slider image
  • slider image
1 / 0

Sponsored Feature: Hyundai Kona Electric: An everyday revolution

28th Jun 2019 5:40 pm

This month, Hyundai will launch India’s first fully electric SUV that is expected to be both powerful and practical. Now is as good a time as any to set the record straight on electric cars.


The Hyundai Kona Electric will hit Indian roads this month. The Kona is available internationally with a choice of two powertrains, and the version that is expected to be sold in India will have a 39.2kWh battery pack and a 136PS permanent magnet-synchronous motor powering the front wheels. It’s expected to have an impressive range, and the cabin is pleasantly well-appointed. In short, it’s a big leap as far as electric cars in India go. Let’s take a closer look, then, at the Hyundai Kona Electric.

Apparently, electric cars can only travel short distances.

Their range may not be as large as conventional cars, but most electric cars deliver enough range for your daily drives. The Hyundai Kona Electric is billed as an antidote to range anxiety.


 A perception such as the one above could have been justified 20 years ago, when electric vehicles were still in their infancy, so to speak. Today, many electric cars deliver over 250km on a single charge (in real-life driving conditions). The driving range of an EV depends on the size and chemistry of its Li-ion battery, the vehicle’s weight and the driver’s driving style, among others. The upcoming Hyundai Kona, with its 39.2kWh battery, is expected to really go the distance. The Kona Electric features three modes – Eco, Comfort and Sport – and a shift-by-wire system that makes gear selection a cinch. The Kona features an adjustable regenerative braking, and braking is optimised to get the most of the regenerative system. This helps the Kona Electric maintain a healthy state of charge. The level of regenerative braking can be easily adjusted via paddleshifters. A superior battery management system in the Kona helps the car achieve superior battery efficiency and a higher lifetime.

I’ve heard electric cars are expensive to run.

Electric vehicles trump petrol or diesel cars when it comes to cost of ownership. With a car such as the Hyundai Kona, you’ll pop into the fuel station only to fill air in its tyres and top-up windscreen-washer fluid.


Electric vehicles might cost more than an equivalent petrol-, or diesel-engined vehicle at the moment, but their running costs are low compared to the latter. Now, let’s say you and a friend have picked up two cars of similar size, of which one is powered by conventional fuel and the other is the Hyundai Kona Electric (yours, of course). Unlike your friend’s ICE car, for which fuel costs have to be taken into account (they are hovering around Rs 70 per litre at present), the only thing you’ll need to factor in for the Kona Electric is the cost of charging. Thanks to the relatively low price of electricity per unit, the Kona Electric will end up winning this battle hands down. To put things into perspective, the operating cost of a petrol car is around Rs 5-6 per km, while with electric cars, it is as low as Rs 1-2 per km. It gets even better when one considers that, unlike a car that is powered by a conventional fuel and requires regular maintenance, electric cars such as the Kona are virtually maintenance-free. Remember, electric cars have no valves, drive belts, hoses or spark plugs. Moreover, the battery in your Kona has a very long life so by the time it is replaced, you would have recovered the cost of your investment many times over.

EVs in India will face challenges when it comes to charging infrastructure and standards.

Most charging is done at home or at the workplace. Plus, the government is working on a plan to enhance the charging infrastructure across the country.


Many EV manufacturers, including Hyundai, have started providing portable chargers with their cars. These give owners the freedom to power-up their EVs at home without any hassle. For their customers’ convenience, Hyundai will offer a portable charger along with the car. Select dealerships across the country will also allow you to charge your Kona via standard AC chargers. A standard charger will top-up the Kona’s 39.2kWh battery pack in about six hours, and you could also plug the car into the 220V socket at your home with the portable charger. Many e-mobility companies have also entered this space and are setting up charging stations across metropolitan cities in commercial buildings and other public places such as malls and shopping centres. Additionally, through its FAME II scheme, the government aims to establish 2,700 charging stations across metros, other million-plus cities, smart cities, and towns in hilly states, so that there is an availability of at least one charging station in a grid of 3x3km.

EVs are not really green.

EVs put a high amount of electrical energy to good use.


It’s true that EVs release zero emissions. What’s also true is that they depend on electricity, which is generated by thermal or coal power plants. Sadly, these plants are responsible for about 80 per cent of all the electrical energy generated in the country. But here’s the thing: Electric vehicles do put a high amount – 90 percent – of that energy to good use, compared to petrol or diesel engines that manage just about 40 percent. Hyundai uses a lithium-ion polymer battery pack instead of regular nickel-metal hybrid batteries, and this helps improve optimum charge, discharge efficiency and maximum output.

EVs are slow and boring to drive.

The Hyundai Kona Electric iteration that will be available in India develops around 136PS and has a top speed of 155kph. It can go from 0-100kph in 9.7sec.


The naysayers might want a lot more action, noise, and drama, but try driving a decently powerful electric car, and you’ll realise that they are quick! Some of them could smoke proper sporty sedans and coupés in a 0-100kph race. EVs are generally quicker than gas vehicles because they produce their peak torque almost instantaneously. Since electric vehicles don’t require a traditional transmission, the power goes straight to the wheels for incredibly instantaneous acceleration through a single-speed gear reduction. The Kona’s powertrain develops a mammoth 395Nm of immediate torque, and the car can touch the ton in 9.7sec.


The Kona’s interiors are pretty funky, too. Besides acres of space – 1,114 litres with the seats folded flat – a 4.2-inch LCD screen throws up relevant information on range, temperature and status of active safety features, among others. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are on board, and there is even an optional head-up display. Other goodies could include remote keyless entry, rear-view camera, six-speaker stereo, and USB ports. All in all, the Kona Electric’s cabin is a great place to spend time in.

Just before we go, remember, cool people such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz use EVs. Still find them boring?

Someone told me electric cars are not safe.

Electric cars are as safe as petrol- or diesel-engined cars.


Some people do have the weirdest notions regarding electric vehicles. A recent survey in England discovered that there are folks who believe that electric cars can’t be driven in the rain and that driving them means putting yourself at risk of electrocution. The fact, though, is that electric cars are as safe as ICE cars. Take Hyundai’s Kona Electric, for instance. While the Kona Electric has not undergone Euro NCAP crash tests yet, the combustion-engined models of the Kona have received the maximum 5-star safety rating. Advanced high-strength steel that has been used in the Kona Electric’s unibody structure delivers exemplary levels of safety. According to Hyundai, the Kona’s architecture also features a multi-load path structure – an advanced energy dispersion technology that dispenses crash energy across multiple structures to help protect passengers in the event of an accident. As importantly, electric-car makers go to great lengths to ensure the battery pack is kept as well-insulated from damage as possible in the event of a collision. EVs also have a series of safeguards that come into play when sensors detect an imminent collision, and care is taken to ensure that the batteries remain cool as well (some electric carmakers use an air-cooling system, while yet others employ radiator-chilled coolant). It goes without saying that most electric cars are packed with safety equipment besides the mandatory ABS and airbags.

A few more things you should know about the Hyundai Kona Electric

  • The Hyundai Kona Electric gets its name from a beautiful region on the west coast of Hawaii.
  • The Kona Electric’s new platform was created with an electric powertrain in mind, which is why the integration of the battery packs does not impact passenger or cargo room.
  • The Kona Electric features a button-type shift-by-wire system, which means one can navigate between different driving modes seamlessly.
  • The Kona EV’s charging port is located in a pop-open panel on the front grille.
  • The Kona Electric has won a number of awards internationally, including for Best EV of 2019.

Click here for Hyundai Kona EV est. prices, India launch, details, reviews, images, videos and more

Click here for Hyundai India models, prices, reviews, images, videos and more

Copyright (c) Autocar India. All rights reserved.

Tell us what you think.