2019 Hyundai Kona Electric gets estimated EPA ratings

2019 Hyundai Kona Electric on the road

Yesterday at the New York Auto Show Hyundai unveiled the US-market version of the Kona Electric. It has an estimated EPA range of 250 miles (402 km) and a combined efficiency of 117 MPGe (17,9 kWh/100 km).

Below we have the highlights from the press release.

2019 Kona Electric Highlights

  • Compact electric CUV segment-leading 250-mile estimated range
  • Bold, fresh design elements with extroverted color options
    • LED headlight, taillight and daytime running light illumination signature
  • High-efficiency 201 horsepower (150 kW), 291 lb.-ft. electric motor powertrain
  • High-voltage 64 kWh lithium-ion battery
  • Standard floating touchscreen with Apple CarPlay™/Android Auto™ capability
  • Hyundai Smart Sense (HSS):
    • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection
    • Driver Attention Warning
    • Lane Keeping Assist
    • Blind-Spot Collision Warning
    • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist
    • High Beam Assist
  • Premium technology availability:
    • 8-inch Navigation System
    • Shift-by-wire center console drive controls with additional lower storage
    • Next generation Blue Link® connected car system
    • Heads-up Display (with active pop-up display screen)
    • Rain-sensing Wipers
    • Qi Wireless-device charging

 

2019 Hyundai Kona Electric interior

 

Hyundai toke the opportunity to compare the Kona Electric with other popular electric cars.

 

POWERFUL ELECTRIC PROPULSION WITH 250-MILE RANGE

The Kona Electric powertrain employs a high-efficiency 150 kW (201 horsepower) permanent-magnet synchronous electric motor supplied by a high-voltage 64 kWh lithium-ion battery. The motor develops 291 lb.-ft. of torque distributed to the front wheels through a 7.981 axle ratio. The powertrain inverter has a power density of 25.4 kVA per liter. The battery system is liquid-cooled and operates at 356 volts. Battery pack energy density is 141.3 Wh/kg (greater than Chevy Bolt), with a total battery system weight under 1,000 lbs. In addition, Kona Electric energy efficiency is internally-estimated at 117 MPGe, superior to Nissan Leaf (112 MPGe), Tesla Model S (104 MPGe), and Tesla Model X (93 MPGe).

 

In this part Hyundai forgot to say that the Tesla Model 3 gets 130 MPGe and the Chevrolet Bolt EV gets 119 MPGe.

Anyway, let’s go to the interesting subject, the battery pack…

The whole 64 kWh battery pack weighs 452,94 kg, while the Chevrolet Bolt EV’s battery pack at 453,59 kg weighs basically the same.

If we consider that LG Chem rates (labels) the Bolt EV battery capacity at 57 kWh and assume that by using the same procedure the Kona Electric gets 64 kWh, we can do some calculations.

  • Chevrolet Bolt EV battery: 57 kWh and 453,59 kg (126 Wh/kg)
  • Hyundai Kona Electric battery: 64 kWh and 452,94 kg (141,3 Wh/kg)

At the battery pack level, the gravimetric energy density is 12,44 % higher in the Hyundai Kona Electric. I’ve to say that I was expecting something better for the NCM 811 battery cells, even if this is only the first generation of the new cathode chemistry and the improved second-generation with lithium metal anodes will arrive around 2020.

Nonetheless, with higher nickel content in the cathodes, batteries require better and more complex TMS (Thermal Management System) to keep them at safe temperature, this can contribute to add some weight and reduce the overall battery pack energy density.

As a curiosity, the Tesla Model 3 battery pack energy density is rated at 150 Wh/kg.

Anyway, we still don’t know the most important energy density (volumetric) because Hyundai didn’t disclose the battery volume. However, since Hyundai says that “Kona Electric offers a generous 19.2 cubic feet of rear cargo volume, exactly the same volume as the Kona with an internal combustion engine” the battery shouldn’t take much space. Considering that’s easier to decrease the battery volume than its weight, I’m convinced that Kona Electric’s battery takes less space than the one in the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

 

Moving on…

It seems that in the USA only the bigger battery capacity (64 kWh) version will be available, since the 39,2 kWh isn’t mentioned. Considering that the USA is a big country and the Tesla Model 3 is already on the roads there, it makes sense to focus on the long range version.

According to Hyundai, this electric car will be “available in the fourth quarter of 2018, with initial availability in California and subsequently in the ZEV-focused states in the western and northeastern regions of the U.S. market.” Seems like a compliance electric car…

Sadly, the Hyundai Kona Electric is a great electric car that will be produced in very low quantities. Until an electric car like the Tesla Model 3 starts selling 500.000 units per year and “stealing” sales from ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) cars, legacy automakers won’t be serious about electric cars.

 

Update: it seems that the battery cells will be NCM 622 and not NCM 811.

 

 

More info:

http://www.hyundainews.com/en-us/releases/2507

https://www.msn.com/nb-no/motor/nyheter/n%C3%A5-vet-vi-nesten-alt-om-hyundai-kona-electric/ar-BBK2Jxc?li=AA8jPC&OCID=ems.display.welcomeexperience

This Post Has 34 Comments

  1. “Until an electric car starts selling 500.000 units per year…” or a criminal complaint for air poisoning by a motor vehicle is won.

  2. Interesting. LG is selling olg technology to Hyunday. 142wh/kg is similar to the net 41kwh for 320kg in the Renault Zoe of late!2016 first 2017…. So… Nearly it will be 2years old when available to public.
    I am right?

    1. I guess that a more complex and heavier TMS with liquid cooling adds more weight. But this is required to allow a faster charging.

      Nevertheless, the most important energy density in an electric car is the volumetric, since the space is very limited. For example the Renault Zoe battery volume doesn’t even allow for the seats to fold flat.

      We’ll have to wait a bit more to know the battery volume and see where the real improvement is.

  3. By the way… Can we expect 350-400wh/kg/pack at 2020???
    I have read several news… It seems so. It will be double from what is nowadays

    1. We can maybe hope, but definitely not count on it. An increase as big as that is unlikely to come that soon.

      But I think the tech is good enough for mainstream adoption now. Cost is the more important issue in the near term. And both cost and performance (density) will probably improve apace far beyond 2020. Especially for cost this is virtually certain, because there are significant economies of scale involved in making millions of cars based on one or two platforms, with several hundred thousands of each model being made each year. Low production runs for one model is ok if the platform has big volume, but dedicated EVs today are mainly one low-volume model and no real platform at all.

    2. At the pack level energy density will be lower than that, since the metal cases, cabling, TMS and BMS add a lot of weight. We can realistically count on reaching 200-250 Wh/kg at the battery pack level in 2020.

      I think that solid state batteries is what we need to no longer require complex BMS and TMS, this alone will reduce the battery pack weight.

  4. Sadly… another compliance car 🙁

    1. agreed, but that’s the direction that is driving ev’s forward, first compliance, then when manufacturers start losing sales to ev’s, things will get interesting

    2. agreed, but that’s the direction that is driving ev’s forward, first compliance, then when manufacturers start losing sales to ev’s, things will get interesting. i feel better knowing that Hyundai/Kia is serious about the ev’s they’re producing. knowing to include liquid battery management is a big step with the current battery tech. just look at how foolish nissan looks by not including it

  5. Lower efficiency than the bolt does not sound well. Let’s hope the lower efficiency is in the city and that the highway efficiency is way higher than the bolt. Otherwise the highway range at 70mph will be poor. Lower than 200 miles.

    1. That lower efficiency is probably due to its higher weight. The Chevrolet Bolt EV weights 1.625 kg, while the Hyundai Kona Electric (64 kWh version) weighs between 1.685 and 1.743 kg.

      At highway speeds the Hyundai Kona Electric should be more efficient. Drag coefficient of 0,29 instead of 0,32.

      1. “At highway speeds the Hyundai Kona Electric should be more efficient. Drag coefficient of 0,29 instead of 0,32.”

        Not necessarily … the Kona’s coefficient of drag is lower but if the CSA is higher then so too may be the resultant air drag (Cd.A), which may be where it loses a few MPGe.

        We will see definitively when the EPA publishes its highway results.

  6. Don’t you think it would make more sense to use the official advertised numbers for the Chevy Bolt as given at the NAIAS in 2016, and compare these against the official advertised numbers for the Hyundai Kona as given at the NAIAS in 2018.

    http://www.gm.com/mol/m-2016-Jan-naias-chevy-0111-bolt-du.html

    The 2017 Bolt battery pack is 60 kWh and weighs 435kg -> Gravimetric Energy Density = 138 Wh/kg

    This now suggests the cells have the same energy density.

    1. I’ll trust automaker’s figures until proven wrong, as it was the case with Chevrolet Bolt EV: https://insideevs.com/watch-first-chevrolet-bolt-57-kwh-battery-removal-disassembly/

      Nevertheless, it’s also possible that Hyundai’s figures are incorrect. Until someone takes out the battery, we can’t be 100 % sure.

      It’s possible that I’m wrong and the battery cells aren’t NCM 811, but it was the President of LG Chem’s battery business, Lee Ung Beom that said they were going to be available in 2018: https://pushevs.com/2017/09/08/lg-chem-will-introduce-ncm-811-battery-cells-evs-next-year/

    2. For example I understand to that statement “to be available in 2018”, as there will be available production cell samples for testing. Which means that they will be used first in one-two years (2019-2020) in mass produced vehicles. I am quite sure that Hyundai Kona cells are the same, or using the same technology, as cells used in Renault Zoe. So it is one or two years old technology.

    3. The statement from LG Chem was a reply to SK innovation:

      “Starting in December this year, the new batteries will be supplied for the production of energy storage systems. For EVs, the company will begin supplying the batteries from the third quarter of 2018.”

      http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20170831000976

      SK innovation said that it will start supplying NCM 811 batteries for EVs from the third quarter of 2018, to which LG Chem replied that they would be first. Before the third quarter of 2018 is the second quarter, that’s exactly when Hyundai starts producing the Kona Electric.

    4. It is also possible that the Kona EV does not use LG Chem battery cells at all. The only company in the world we are sure about that is currently making NCM811 cells is SK Innovation.

      Here is a link to a Korean article from last year that gives the volumetric energy density for NMC811 cells.
      http://www.kinews.net/news/articleView.html?idxno=110373

      2017 existing production capability – 500~570Wh/l (with a theoretical design limit of 670Wh/l)
      2018 expected production capability – 600Wh/l
      2020 estimated production capability – 700~750Wh

  7. I read somewhere that you could drive around 300 km with a Bolt at 120 km/h. If this one is a tiny bit more efficient, with a somewhat larger battery, maybe you could drive Porto-Lisboa without charging.

    1. In the summer for sure, in the winter not so sure.

      1. Yap but, even if you need to stop, it will be 5 or so minutes not 50 minutes to “fast” charge. Besides, Serra da Estrela here, used to being cold. Also, it’s a cutie. Too bad they will order a dozen or two for Portugal. And it will probably cost 235 millions. EUR.

  8. Not much of an improvement on energy density if it is the new ncm811 cells used here

    Bit disappointing

    Was expecting greater than Model 3 of 150wh/kg at the very least

    Lithium-sulfur looks promising in that regard, even if cycles are low

    Solid state looks a long way off yet imo

    How are Tesla going to get 200kWh into Roadster 2020?

    At 150wh/kg like Model 3 it will weigh over 1300kg, that’s madness

    Even a 30% improvement in 2 years will still have it around 1000kg, 30% is almost a breakthrough

  9. Battery-only &/or “total battery system” specs (for Kona above*) are very interesting but as Pedro says, volume doesn’t matter much (it’s not taking cargo space), & I say weight doesn’t even matter much: It’s still quick, with class-leading range.

    On that note, a prior post by Pedro shows eKona with 292 mile range (470km) on WLTP test, which another prior post says is very close to EPA. I wonder if Hyundai is under-estimating, maybe since even 250 is good enough to beat the competition. Or maybe they limited the charge to 85% in USA for the lifetime batt warranty. Or maybe limited so they can “increase” it next year just by changing the software.

    *Are you all sure you’re comparing fairly

      1. Agreed.

        But it actually does make sense to have different standards in the US and Europe, because the driving patterns are different. Of course driving varies significantly within each area as well, but on average, there is significantly more highway driving and higher average speeds in the US than in the EU. (The Americans also drive farther, but that has little or no impact on consumption per km/mile.)

  10. Author’s conclusion at the end of the article is exactly correct.

    For legacy automakers, electric cars are easy to produce. Look how quickly they came out with the Chevy Bolt and VW e-Golf when they wanted to. The only issue is the cost and performance of the battery pack.

    Legacy automakers hate electric cars because they can’t make money selling electric and they can’t make money servicing electric.

    In the USA just about all new BEV models coming in the next 3 years will be compliance cars. For example, the Chevy Bolt is a compliance car in 2017-2019 because GM’s Mary Barra refuses to crank up the volume. I don’t blame her, the more they sell the more money they will lose.

    To know if an EV manufacturer is serious about electric look into their battery supply chain plans. (maybe VW soon?)

    For this reason, I predict the combined volume of the Model 3 & Model Y will be the #1 selling pure EV in the USA for EACH of the next FIVE years. (BTW, I hope I am wrong)

    See actual data here to get a better feel of individual models:
    https://insideevs.com/monthly-plug-in-sales-scorecard/

  11. A 60kWh Nissan Leaf will be probably a better option than this Kona.

  12. You used Hyundai’s stated Kona EV energy capacity of 64 kWh but instead of using GM’s stated energy capacity of 60 kWh you used the LG “rated energy” label from inside the battery pack. That is not a consistent comparison since we haven’t yet seen the LG “rated energy” label from inside the Kona EV pack.

    I wrote a recent article on this topic and GM’s explanation of the 57 kWh versus 60 kWh controversy here:

    https://electricrevs.com/2018/03/29/gm-explains-57-vs-60-kwh-bolt-ev-battery-ratings/

  13. Launch will be pushed to 2019-01 in California and only in 2019-07, it will spread to other CARB states and finally in 2020-01, it will go to the rest of USA. By this time, there will be many Electric crossovers from many other automakers.

  14. I assume that the Kona 64kWh use the same cells than the Renault Zoe 40 (65Ah , 3.67V)

    For Kona 64kWh:
    With 288 cells (96s3p), the full capacity will be 68.7kWh, usable battery 64kWh. DoD = 94%
    For Kona 40kWh
    With 192 cells (96s2p), the full capacity will be 45.8kWh, usable battery 40kWh, DoD = 87%

    The cell 65Ah, 3.67V has a energy density of 225Wh/Kg, by considering that the cell from the Chevrolet Bolt (3.67×54) has a energy density of ~200Wh/kg we have 12.5% higher energy density.
    Moreover the pack battery for the Zoe40 has the same energy density compared to the Kona ~140Wh/kg.

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