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Hyundai Kona EV

  • P11D Value: £36,290
  • BIK band 2018/19: 16% falling to 2% on year two
  • 5 door compact SUV
  • 204bhp/395Nm, permanent magnet AC synchronous type 64 kWh Electric Motor
  • Performance: 7.6secs/104mph
  • Range/CO2: 273 miles/0g/km

What is it?

It’s a fully electric car and one with a range of almost 300 miles which rather puts paid to range anxiety – just like its e-Niro stablemate from sister brand Kia, this is a game changer.

It’s also a very comfortable and practical SUV, plenty of room for five adults – as long as they aren’t travelling with too much luggage.

The Kona Electric gets its range thanks to a large 64kWh battery, the likes of which only seen previously on more expensive EVs from Jaguar or Tesla.

Other headline numbers are price and company car tax. OTR is £38,645 although the deduction of the plug-in car grant bring this down by £3,500. In terms of benefit in kind, the Kona is as low as you can go: 16% in 2019/20 before dropping to just 2% the following year.

There is also a 39Kw version available at around £8,000 cheaper but at the expense of range which comes down to somewhere between 130 and 150 miles.

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Why would you want to drive a Hyundai Kona?

  • It’s electric and with a claimed range of more than 280 miles which will certainly see you through the daily commute, but it will also allow you to visit business clients without the necessity to stop for a few hours en route to charge up.
  • The Kona is available with two battery options depending on the range you need, both available in two trims, Premium and Premium SE
  • There is a one off price and “feature rich” specification at £32,995 and that is after the government grant has been removed. What we will have is the high capacity 64kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack paired with a 201hp (150kw).
  • With an electric motor comes instant torque and the Kona will happily outdrag pretty much anything from the traffic lights if you are so inclined and won’t make a sound doing it. The 0-60mph time is just 7.5 seconds.
  • Company car tax appeal: from £12 a month in 2020/21
  • No congestion or Ultra Low Emission Zone charges
  • While prices are high generally for electric cars, the Kona stacks up well against the Nissan Leaf (£32,890 OTR) or the Renault Zoe (£31,520 OTR) and has a greater range than either of those.

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What might put you off a Hyundai Kona

  • Although the Kona largely does away with range anxiety, this gives way to charge anxiety. Even with a 20KW charger you are looking at 5-hours while a household plug can take almost a day on trickle charge. A 50KW outlet will give you 80% of battery life in under an hour.
  • Price. EVs are still expensive and the compact SUV segment is brimming with other attractive models at lower prices if you feel you’re not yet ready for a move into electrification.
  • Where to charge it? The infrastructure is still not great and not always reliable. At home or the office it comes down to what space you have available. Grants are available for home and business chargers

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Verdict on the Hyundai Kona

In the early days of EVs, manufacturers were keen to justify their miniscule ranges by telling us that the average daily commute was less than 30 miles. A quick charge up at home or at work and bob’s yer uncle.

However, a range well short of 100 miles led to the term range anxiety and now those manufacturers are coming to the party with products that can not only take care of the daily commute or shopping trip, but take you on long distance business trips as well.

The Kona offers a lot of space against established rivals such as the Leaf or Zoe thanks to its SUV styling.

So, with a 125 mile journey ahead I was encouraged by the range indicator telling me that there were 273 miles ‘in the tank’. But it was still with some trepidation that we set off for the late night run – lights on and it was raining.

The trip was a mixture of 80-odd miles motorway and 45 miles on country roads. Add in some running around the next morning and the indicator showed we had used 150 miles of range while the actual distance covered for 143 miles – so pretty accurate.

What that did mean was that I now had 123 miles of range left while needed 125 to get home. So to the EV charging point in Sainsburys where the Kona was plugged in, and after downloading an app, the top up started.

However, a 3kw charger is not going to give  much during a 40 minute shop – around 2 miles actually. So, with the planned two overnight stop ,the Kona was plugged into the 240w household point.

Charging time 21 hours indicated! As it happened, over the two nights we got back our 273 miles range, although I’ve not seen the electricity bill.

Leaving aside the powertrain, the Kona is a very comfortable ride with very useful overtaking grunt on the motorway and the country roads.

EVs still have a way to go in terms of acceptance but the Kona is moving in the right direction.


What else should you know about the Hyundai Kona?


1 Buyers can also choose from a 3-cylinder 1.0 litre petrol or 1.6-litre four pot petrol engines as well as a 1.6-litre diesel.

2 Combustion engine models come with six-speed manual gearbox while the range-topping turbo petrol and diesels use a six-speed. There is also a dual clutch 7-speed automatic available.

3 Despite its impressive torque, surprisingly car companies tend not to certificate EVs for towing.

4 The Kona comes armed with a few tricks to help improve range and battery efficiency such as regenerative braking and an Eco Driving Assistant system which will alert the driver as to the best time to lift off the accelerator and coast towards a junction.

5 With entry-level SE trim and you get a 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system with a DAB radio and Apple Carplay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring. A larger 8.0in touchscreen and add built-in sat-nav with live traffic updates and wireless phone charging comes in on premium versions..