Hyundai Kona Electric details unveiled

Hyundai Kona Electric charging

Just a few days before the 88th Geneva International Motor Show, Hyundai shows us the details of one of the most awaited electric cars in 2018.


Hyundai made my job easier and summed up the details in this infographic:


Hyundai Kona Electric infographic


However, if you prefer to look at information displayed in a comparison table I made one for you:





Maximum Power

99 kW / 135 PS

150 kW / 204 PS

Maximum Torque

395 Nm

395 Nm

Maximum speed

167 kph

167 kph

Battery Capacity

39,2 kWh

64 kWh

On-board Charger

7,2 kW (1-phase)

7,2 kW (1-phase)

AC Charge Time

Approx. 6 hrs 10 min

Approx. 9 hrs 40 min

DC Charge Time (100 kW DC fast charger)

Approx. 54 min up to 80 % state of charge

Approx. 54 min up to 80 % state of charge

Range (WLTP)

Up to 300 km (186 miles)

Up to 470 km (292 miles)

0-to-100 km/h acceleration (sec)



Efficiency (kWh/100 km)



CO2 combined (g/km)



Overall length

4.180 mm

4.180 mm

Overall width

1.800 mm

1.800 mm

Overall height

1.570 mm

1.570 mm


2.600 mm

2.600 mm

Front overhang

855 mm

855 mm

Rear overhang

720 mm

720 mm

Head room (1st/2nd row)

1.006 / 948 mm

1.006 / 948 mm

Leg room (1st/2nd row)

1.054 / 850 mm

1.054 / 850 mm

Shoulder room (1st/2nd row)

1.410 / 1.380 mm

1.410 / 1.380 mm

Luggage including charging cable storage (VDA)

332 litres

332 litres

Luggage without charging cable storage (VDA)

373 litres

373 litres

What doesn’t seem right is that according to the information provided by Hyundai, the two motors deliver the same top speed and torque. Moreover, the DC fast charging time is the same for the two batteries. It must be a typo.



Moving on…

The Hyundai Kona Electric is the first next-generation electric car from the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group to use the revolutionary NCM 811 battery cells. However, other electric cars such as the Kia Niro EV, new-generation Kia Soul EV and Hyundai IONIQ Electric will follow. Imagine the super-efficient Hyundai IONIQ Electric with these new powertrains…

Not only the electric powertrains are very impressive, this electric car is also packed with the latest active safety and driving assistance technologies from Hyundai, called SmartSense:

  • Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go
  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with pedestrian detection
  • Lane Keeping Assist (standard)
  • Lane Following Assist
  • Blind-Spot Collision Warning including Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning
  • Driver Attention Warning
  • Intelligent Speed Limit Warning.


Furthermore, it has a HUD (Heads Up Display), which “projects the relevant driving information directly to the driver’s line of sight. This allows faster processing of information while keeping attention on the road ahead.” This will probably be the safest car (electric or not) to drive in 2018.

Unfortunately, Hyundai’s electric car production goals for this year are still very shy.

Anyway, Hyundai Kona Electric will have its first deliveries to South Korean customers in April, while in Europe they’ll happen during the summer. Regarding electric cars North America is not a priority for Hyundai.



What do you think about the Hyundai Kona Electric? And what’s your favorite upcoming electric car?



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This Post Has 36 Comments

  1. Thanks, Pedro, for this post. Kona Electric is the first in line to replace my aging Ion. I just wonder if it will be available in Slovenia this sommer…

    1. In Europe, Norway will take the biggest piece of the cake.

      You might be able to get one in Slovenia this summer, but it won’t be easy.

  2. To support the 100kWh charging, it will have TMS?

    1. Yes, it will have a TMS (Thermal Management System) to protect the battery from temperature-related degradation.

      TMS are specially important when we increase the amount of nickel in the cathodes.

      All the first generation NCM 811 battery cells need it. It might not be required when the second-generation arrives and we move to solid (non-flammable) electrolytes.

  3. Very nice two options. Short range for competing with Zoe and Leaf, and long range to compete with Model 3 (when arrives in EU) and Bolt/Ampera-e.

    Just missing the key piece: the price.

    1. Hyundai will probably reveal the European prices at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show (8rd to 18th March 2018).

    2. Long range to compete with Model 3, Bolt AND 60kWh Leaf.

  4. This is a fantastic EV!!

    First of all, I like the interior upgrades. The interior looks so much better compared to the ICE Kona.

    Also, the specs are really good!

    I wish they would have build more than 30,000-40,000 per year.

    Half of that figure has already been sold out in South Korea (pre-sales event), while the other half will be shipped around the world.

    According to some report, in Norway, there are already 20 000 preorders places, which means the vehicle is already sold out.

    Dam*** Hyundai for being so cautious with EVs!! Instead of pumping their money in FCEVs, they should have invested it all in EVs!!

    1. Agreed.

      Investing money in developing cars other than BEVs does seem a waste of money. Most automaker’s shareholders are really short-sighted.

    2. They are not cautious, they just don’t want to canibalize their ICE sales and their profitable service & parts business.

      Also, they don’t have dedicated battery production so they can only get as much as LG Chem is willing to ship to them (LG Chem has many customers and probably a lot of binding contracts).

  5. Another great piece of vaporware from hyundai….

  6. Thanks for this article. What I am missing is why is charging speed that slow? I calculate 51,2kW. Compared to Ioniq (70kW) this doesn’t seem to be an improvement to me. Not to mention Model 3 (<75kW).

    1. It does seem slow.

      I guess that LG Chem and Hyundai are being cautious with the NCM 811 chemistry – since its thermal runaway starts at a lower temperature.

    2. The Bolt/Ampera-e are also slow chargers, arent they? And this is THE same battery?

    3. Chevrolet Bolt EV has a battery made with NCM 622 cells. Hyundai Kona Electric’s battery is made with more energy dense NCM 811 cells.

  7. This is exciting because as you say, it’s the first mass market EV with 811 batteries, and it signals that there are more practical EVs just around the corner.

    I’m excited about how this will translate into the Niro EV, mainly because I’m under the impression that the Niro is a little larger than the Kona, especially the cargo space. If the Niro EV retains the towing ability of the HEV version, then I’ll be really excited, because then I’ll no longer need to rent vehicles for road trips and camping trips.

    The upcoming Nissan CUV might compete with the Niro though.

    1. Yes, the Kia Niro EV is bigger and will definitely be more successful in North America. I see it as a BEV alternative to the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

      The smaller Hyundai Kona Electric is aimed for the European market, that’s why it was unveiled here.

  8. Did Hyundai state any reason for not producing more EVs? If you have to wait between 9 and 12 month for a Ioniq Electric I guess we can all agree that that the demand is higher than the production.
    Pedro: How can we see that the Kona will get NCM811 batteries, the size is not much bigger than what the Bolt has and the charging rate doesn’t seem too great either?

    1. Hi Lars, that’s a good question.

      We’ll have the confirmation when we find out how much the battery weighs.

      With NCM 622 battery cells Chevrolet Bolt EV’s battery weights 435 kg, Hyundai Kona Electric’s battery has to weigh significantly less with NCM 811 cells.

      Less weight (raw materials) also means lower costs, which is important to increase production and availability.

  9. Question is if the Kona EV will be a compliance car like the Ioniq EV or not.

    The Ioniq EV is practically unavailable in my country (only a couple of units at a hefty premium even compared to the new Leaf)

    I would not be sure that a compliance car will get proper service & parts support till the end of life of the units, so this is an important question.

    1. Until 2020, most electric cars will be compliance.

  10. How many kWh for the ioniq with this next generation batteries?

    1. It’s too early to tell. But Hyundai is aiming for a IONIQ Electric with at least 200 miles (322 km) EPA range this year.

      It needs at least a 46 kWh battery to achieve this goal, unless Hyundai can make the IONIQ Electric even more efficient, which is difficult.

    2. Hey, did you see the news today? There was a great story on diesel. I would be genuinely afraid if I was considering a brand new diesel. They talked about Paris 2040 and other major cities wanting to ban diesel but the most important piece was about a German federal court acknowledging that cities have the right to ban diesel. Just like that. Not in 2040, not in 2025, now (The court did advise caution and gradual impositions, but…). Seriously man, I couldn’t believe I was actually watching telejornal. Even the tone was sort of aggressive towards smokeys

    3. Yes, I saw it on RTP 3.

      It’s about time that German citizens start making automakers accountable for their actions.

  11. It would be nice if they would produce more so that people actually can buy them and get them.

    1. until manufacturers can source batteries at low enough price to make money on their EV’s, they will continue to limit production. i’m excited that they’re willing to produce 30-40,000 first time. this will get enough units into the hands of people who really want an EV. in later years, as battery prices come down, they’ll ramp up production to meet demand, imho

  12. Does anyone know if the battery capacities listed are nominal or useable? Hyundai and Kia seem to list useable for their current EVs, so we can hope that it’s 39.2 useable, rather than the new Leaf’s 39.5 nominal.

    That would give a significant 10% advantage to the Kona.

    1. Yes Hyundai always quotes usable capacity. As I learned later Kia is a different story.

      Considering that LG Chem EV batteries usually allow a DoD (Deep of Discharge) of 90 % we get a 71 kWh battery for the long-range version.

  13. > What doesn’t seem right is that according to the information provided by Hyundai, the two motors deliver the same top speed and torque.

    I believe it’s the same motor. Max torque being delivered at 0 RPM, it then makes perfect sense for the bigger pack to cause much less drop-off in torque with rising RPM, since it’s now power-constrained. After all, the work the motor can do per revolution is proportional to torque (Nm is an energy measure, equal to one joule, or 1/3600 Wh if you prefer!), so the work it can do per second (power) would rise proportionally with RPM if torque stayed constant.

    In other words, I think both have the same MAX torque because it’s the same motor and it’s not power-constrained at the lowest RPMs. As revs go up, torque falls faster with the smaller pack, accounting for slower acceleration as well as maximum power.

    1. That’s quite possible.

      Probably the same scenario in Renault Zoe’s R90 and R110 powertrains.

  14. So when can we expect that the BEVs won’t be compliance cars any more? What about the EV version of the Peugeot 208 that is comming next year?

    1. Automakers will only become serious about electric cars when their ICE car sales start to decline.

      This can happen via: regulations and better alternatives.

      1) Regulations in Europe and China start killing diesel cars in 2020.

      2) Better alternatives to ICE cars come from Tesla, but it’ll take at least one more year until Tesla reaches production levels that scare legacy automakers. Every Tesla sold, is a BMW, Mercedes or Audi not sold.

      We really need Tesla to reach its goal of selling 500.000 cars per year as soon as possible.

      Regarding the Peugeot 208 EV it will be a good electric car, but I don’t expect to see it priced to compete with ICE cars.

  15. Some information about the type of refrigeration used in the Kona’s batteries. Air or liquid?

  16. Is it a 2 or all wheel drive

  17. “A Car of No Compromise” rings false when this supposed CUV/SUV is not offered in AWD while the ICE version is.

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