The Kona Electric sure looks interesting. But does it have the real-world performance and range to be considered as an alternative to conventional combustion engine cars?
The track record of electric cars sold in India hasn’t been great. The ones on sale earlier had a very limited range, were not powerful and, with no charging infrastructure to support them, they were also impractical. Now with all the talk of electrics, the timing couldn’t have been better for the launch of the Kona Electric – Hyundai’s first mainstream EV with a large range and a modern, practical cabin. Little surprise then that in a span of just 10 days, Hyundai received over 120 confirmed bookings. The Kona is available in a single ‘Premium’ variant, at an ex-showroom price tag of Rs 23.72 lakh at 15 select dealerships across 11 cities in India.
The Kona EV is already an international success. Since its launch in April 2018, it has sold over 15,000 units worldwide. It is offered with two battery choices – 64kWh and 39.2kWh – in global markets. For India, Hyundai has chosen the smaller and more affordable 39.2kWh option, which the company says has an ARAI-tested 452km range. At an asking price of Rs 25 lakh (on road), the Kona EV won’t disrupt SUV sales, but is it worth looking at if you can install a charger at your home? Will it be practical to use? What is the real-world range? What are some of the creature comforts and luxuries you will have to give up when your money is used to buy exorbitantly priced batteries? These and other questions are answered in our first all-electric road test in a long time.