Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors (HSDM) has launched the Hyundai Kona Electric, making available not 1, not 2 but 3 variants, to suit your driving requirements. The differences between the e-lite, e-plus and e-max variants mainly involve battery capacity and as a result, power output.
The range-topping variant with the ‘Standard’ set-up has a large 64 kWh Lithium-ion Polymer battery which allows for an output of 204 PS (150 kW) and 395 Nm of torque. On the other hand, there are 2 variants with the ‘Urban’ set-up of a 39.2 kWh Li-Po battery with an output of 136 PS (100 kW) and 395 Nm of torque. The tuned down output for the ‘Urban’ variants is mainly to optimise driving range for better practicality. The maximum driving range are 484 km and 305 km respectively (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test results).
The water-cooled modular battery pack powers a permanent magnet synchronous motor matched to a single speed reduction gear. Hyundai had decided to use Li-Po battery (made by LG Chem in South Korea) because it has a lower ‘memory’ sensitivity and has a better charge and discharge efficiency. On acceleration performance, the 64 kWh variant can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.9 seconds, while the 39.2 kWh variants can do so in a respectable 9.9 seconds. Top speeds are 167 km/h and 155 km/h respectively.
Additionally, the Li-Po battery can be charged from 10% to 80% state-of-charge (SoC) in about 47 minutes when you use a 100 kW DC (direct current) fast charger. With a 50 kW DC charger, it takes 90 minutes and 60 minutes to fully charge from zero for the 64 kWh and 39.2 kWh respectively. For the more ‘normal’ AC (alternative current) charging, the Kona Electric features an optional 11 kW 3-phase on-board charger (OBC). This allows for significantly shorter charging times using public 3-phase AC charging stations or from a private compatible wall box charger at home. It would take about 7.5 hours to charge the 64 kWh battery to 100% with the 11 kW OBC. For the 39.2 kWh battery, it is estimated to be 4.5 hours (11 kW OBC) and 6.5 hours (7.2 kW OBC). Alternatively, you also have the option to charge via a compatible regular household mains power socket using the provided ICCB (in-cable control box) cable but it would take a little longer.
The EV battery pack is located on the floor to offer better weight distribution for driving stability. With the undercarriage shield cover attached to further protect the sealed battery, the ground clearance of the Kona Electric drops slightly by 10 mm. The rear suspension of the Kona Electric has also been switched to a dual arm multi-link set-up for improved stability.
Physically, the Kona Electric is very similar to its fossil fuel counterpart. It sits on a 2,600 mm wheelbase and is 4,205 mm long, 1,800 mm wide and 1,570 mm tall. Curb weights are 1,593 kg (39.2 kWh) and 1,743 kg (64 kWh) respectively. With the battery within the floor, the boot space is still a usable 321 litres.
The main exterior differences to the non-EV Kona are the absence of a front grille and exhaust pipes, both of which are quite irrelevant for electric vehicles. The new bumpers, tweaked headlamp design, black roof, and body coloured cladding give it a cleaner look. LED lighting is the theme, front and back, with the same 17″ alloy wheels used on all 3 variants. There is also a roof rack to extend cargo carrying capacity though it can support only up to 80 kg of load.
The interior of the Kona Electric looks similar except for the use of shift-by-wire gear selector buttons instead of a gear lever. This allows for the centre console to be designed as a double decked unit that sits higher, and with storage and charging ports underneath. Additionally, the conventional paddle shifters are available but instead of shifting through gears, they control the amount of regenerative braking. A higher level of regenerative braking will increase resistance to the motor and slow it down, and vice versa.
The rest of the interior remains similar to the regular Kona. Cabin ambience is enhanced by ambient lighting technology in the footwells. And there is an 8″ touchscreen infotainment unit with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, with the ability to connect 2 smartphones at the same time. A Qi wireless charging pad is placed at the front of the centre console for convenience. The top 2 variants are also fitted with a head-up display, with the top e-Max also getting ventilated and heated front seats.
The Kona Electric also features the Hyundai SmartSense safety suite which includes Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Following Assist, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist (the range-topping variant includes cyclist detection), Driver Attention Warning, and High Beam Assist. The basic variant makes do without the front radar so there is no smart cruising. Other features include Rear Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist, Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist, Parking Distance Warning, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, and Reverse Camera. It also comes with 6 airbags.
The retail prices are RM149,888 (e-lite) RM169,888 (e-plus) and RM199,888 (e-max). These prices are on-the-road without insurance and have factored in the import and excise duty exemptions as announced in Budget 2022 for EVs.
The Kona Electric is imported from South Korea and come in 9 exterior colour choices i.e. Dive In Jeju, Surfy Blue Metallic, Dark Knight, Galactic Gray, Cyber Gray Metallic, Atlas White, Ignite Red, Pulse Red Pearl, and Jungle Green Pearl. They are all matched with a black roof. The interior colours are either Oceanids Black or Light Shale Gray.
“With the newly announced import and excise duty exemptions, we envisage greater interest in EVs in Malaysia. The arrival of the Kona Electric is timely as it will provide more choice for consumers who want a more sustainable and greener ride option to help reduce carbon footprint ,” said Mr Low Yuan Lung, Managing Director of HSDM.
“The Kona Electric offers outstanding electric performance in terms of battery range and top speed. It also features fast charging which makes it perfect for long distance drives,” added Mr Low.
You can view the Kona Electric at the Ara Damansara and Old Klang Road showrooms. More information can be obtained from Hyundai’s Customer Careline (1-300-13-2000), the website: www.hyundai.com.my or Facebook page: www.facebook.com/hyundaimalaysia.