Hyundai Motor India has launched its first all-electric model in India in the form of the Kona Electric SUV. Priced at Rs 25.30 lakh (introductory, ex-showroom, India), the Kona has been brought here as a CKD (completely-knocked-down) unit, but with a small level of localisation to keep the price in check.
In terms of appearance, the Kona EV looks more or less identical to the conventionally-powered model. The only differences are the lack of a front grille and exhausts, unique 17-inch alloy wheels and the badging. The SUV also features automatic LED headlights, LED tail-lights, plastic body cladding and roof rails. Hyundai's first all-electric model for India will be available in 4 solid colour options (white, silver, blue and black) and one dual-tone exterior (white with a black roof) option, which costs an extra Rs 20,000.
Inside, there’s a 7.0-inch digital dashboard, head-up display, wireless charging, automatic climate control (the option to have just the driver's side vents functioning) and an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. Through the display, one can also change drive modes and manage the EV's charge setting, and get information on the power consumption.
Commenting at the launch of Hyundai Kona Electric, S S Kim, MD and CEO, Hyundai Motor India said “India is ushering into a new era with clean and connected mobility. We are committed to government’s vision of ‘Shared’, ‘Connected’ and ‘Clean’ mobility. Hyundai is leading the future mobility solutions globally and will bring in the most relevant technology in the clean mobility space in the Indian market. As we embark on the journey of India’s future mobility, the launch of India’s first fully-electric SUV Kona in India will be a revolutionary and a definitive forward move to change the perspective towards electric cars altogether.”
"The Kona electric is the ‘The New Normal’ as it is the first long range green SUV with 452Km/Charge (ARAI Certified) enhancing the customer confidence towards electric mobility. KONA Electric has received worldwide recognition and will be the most conducive e-vehicle for the Indian market. The Electric SUV showcases strengths of its SUV model combined with advanced innovative technology of an electric powertrain.” he added.
The front seats are heated and ventilated, as well as 10-way electrically adjustable. In addition, Hyundai provides leather on the seats and steering wheel, a powered sunroof, heated wing mirrors and an electric parking brake. Standard safety kit on the Kona Electric includes 6 airbags, ABS with EBD, ESC, traction control, hill-start assist, rear parking sensors and a rear camera, a tyre pressure monitoring system, Isofix child seat mounts and a rear defogger. Interestingly, the brand also lists its Virtual Engine Sound System (a device that mimics the sound of an internal combustion engine) as a safety feature.
Powering the Kona Electric is a permanent magnet synchronous motor that produces the equivalent of 136hp and 395Nm of torque, helping it to do a claimed 0-100kph time of 9.7sec. It comes with a 39.2kWh lithium-ion battery that is said to provide an ARAI-rated range of 452km. A point to note: on the WLTP (the European Union's Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure), this battery pack is said to go up to 289km on a single charge.
The lithium-ion battery pack can be charged to 100 percent capacity in as little as 57min using a 50kW DC fast charger, or 6hr 10min from a standard AC source. The model also comes with adjustable regenerative braking via the paddleshifters and three drive modes – Eco, Comfort and Sport. The gearbox as standard is a one-speed automatic unit.
Hyundai will provide a home charger with the EV and also install charging stations at its dealerships for customers. Along with this, the Korean brand will also install EV charging points at select Indian Oil petrol pumps in four major Indian cities. The Kona Electric will come with a 3-year/unlimited warranty as standard along with an 8-year/1.6 lakh kilometre warranty for the battery. Although there are no direct rivals to the Kona Electric right now, it will face stiff competition from the MG eZS all-electric SUV that is scheduled to arrive at our shores in December 2019.