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Hyundai's 2019 Kona Electric With 258 Mile Range May Shake Up The Affordable EV Market

Hyundai's new Kona melds crossover usability with long EV range. What took so long?

Despite buyers flocking to crossovers, automakers continue to produce affordable electric vehicles in the shape of cars that nobody seems to want. Finally, Hyundai offers the promise of an affordable, long-range electric vehicle in a shape consumers will love. “Our new Kona Electric crossover is a stylish and efficient compact CUV, tailored to the needs of customers who pursue eco-focused active lifestyles requiring generous range,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president of Product, Corporate and Digital Planning, Hyundai Motor America. “We’re confident it will set new standards for the electric-propelled compact CUV segment, with outstanding range flexibility, appealing design, cutting-edge connectivity and class-leading available safety features.”

Kona Electric Pricing & Range
The 2019 Hyundai Kona electric will debut with a range Hyundai estimates at 258 miles. That tops every affordable EV in America. While Hyundai has not yet released pricing, we estimate the Kona BEV will come in under $40K making it possible that the Kona will cost buyers somewhere around $25K after federal tax incentives, state rebates, and dealer discounts are factored in. The Kona Electric will offer 40% more range than a Nissan Leaf (151 Miles). It will also top the Bolt by about 20 miles if Hyundai's estimate is confirmed.

Kona Electric Driving Experience
The Kona is a favorite of Torque News. We had a chance to test the top-trim AWD gasoline-powered Kona recently and it blew us away. It offers a sporty driving experience, which we presume will only be enhanced by the Kona Electric's impressive 291 lb-ft of torque. As far as we can tell, Hyundai is only offering the Kona in front-wheel drive. That's a shame. Hyundai does plan to offer three drive modes, Normal, Eco and Sport.

Kona Electric InteriorKona Electric Interior Features
The Kona will feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You can't get that combination in a Prius, or any Toyota for that matter. The Kona will also have active safety and an available head-up display. We feel that Hyundai offers one of the most intuitive and easy to use infotainment systems in the world and in the Kona Electric it will be more than welcome. Leather will be an option in the Kona Electric's interior. You won't find that in a Tesla Model 3.

Kona Electric Warranty, Mfg. Location, Availability
Look for the new Ulsan, Korea-built Kona Electric to debut in California in early 2019 and to then roll out to EV-focused markets later in the year.


DeanMcManis (not verified)    October 12, 2018 - 1:29AM

The new EV Kona is pretty much a match for price and mileage range with the Bolt, so a lot will come down to design and personal preference. Even though there is a lot of press about upcoming, affordable, long driving range BEVs, the Bolt, the Leaf, and this new EV Kona are about all there is in the market, with a healthy price jump to get a Model 3, and a significant mileage range reduction to get one of the other entry level BEVs out there. This is why the plug in hybrid market is growing to fill the need until more cars like the EV Kona/Bolt make it to market. A friend of mine has leased a gas Soul for the last few years as her main commuter car, and I told her to expect this new EV Kona to become available shortly, and she will probably be buying or leasing one soon.

kent beuchert (not verified)    October 12, 2018 - 2:23PM

A virtual tie with the Bolt, except that the Bolt wills start losing its tax credits in the near future. And countries are starting to rescind their subsidies for electric cars - EV folks are arguing that EVs are cheaper while at the same time claiming they require govt subsidies. Not very bright people, these early adopters. They actually swallow the global warming scams, but power their cars off the grid and then falsely refer to their cars as "zero emission vehicles." Like I say - not very smart people.