Hyundai Kona Electric crossover gets 258-mile range estimate

The Hyundai Kona Electric will be joining an ever-growing selection of EVs in the U.S. market when it goes on sale next year, and the automaker has just published the full-charge range of this compact electric crossover. Hyundai says that the Kona will be able to cover an estimated 258 miles on a full charge — along with an EPA-estimated MPGe rating of 132 city, 108 highway, 120 combined — landing the Kona in the upper half of all EVs on the market when it comes to range.

Powered by a 64-kWh lithium-ion battery, the Kona will propel itself via a 201 hp and 291 lb-ft electric motor, sending power to the front wheels only. While it features built-in Level-II charging capability, the Kona will be able to get juiced up to 80 percent in 54 minutes via a Level-III charger, using its SAE-Combo charging port. Via a Level-II charger, more common for overnight charging, the Kona will take 9 hours and 35 minutes to achieve full charge status. DC fast-charging tech will be standard on the Kona, in contrast to its optional status on other non-luxury EVs.

"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," says 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."

The 258-mile estimated range places the Kona well ahead of competitors in the non-luxury EV group. By comparison, the new Nissan Leaf offers a 151-mile range, the VW e-Golf is rated at 125 miles, while the Ford Focus Electric offers a 115-mile range. The closest competitor to the Kona is the Chevrolet Bolt, which is rated at 238 miles.

Granted, the difference between 238 miles and 258 miles of range can be "equalized" just by exercising different driving styles: blasting down the interstate versus driving at city speeds. But by the manufacturer's estimate, the Kona lands slightly north of the Bolt among non-luxury automakers. In standard flavor, the Tesla Model 3 offers a full-charge range of 220 miles while in long-range form. It is rated at 310 miles, but it's positioned as a "premium" EV if not a full luxury offering in the strict sense.

The Kona will first go on sale in California, prior to a wider but not necessarily nationwide rollout in 2019. Hyundai says that the EV will be offered in "ZEV-focused states in the western and northeastern regions of the U.S. market." The automaker has not released a definitive list of just which states will get it and which ones will not.

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