Hyundai unveiled the U.S.-spec version of the 2019 Kona EV at the 2018 New York Auto Show today. Based on the standard Kona that just went on sale, the subcompact crossover SUV will challenge EVs such as the Chevrolet Bolt, the Nissan Leaf and the Tesla Model 3.
The EPA estimates the Hyundai Kona EV will achieve 250 miles of range on a full charge and produce 201 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque. Power will be stored in a 64-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that will be able to charge to 80 percent in only 54 minutes if plugged into a Level 3 charger (100-kW DC fast-charging capabilities will be standard on all Kona EV models). By comparison, Level 2 charging will take a bit more than 9.5 hours.
Differences between the Kona and the Kona EV will be most noticeable up front: The EV eliminates the signature Hyundai grille in favor of a body-colored fascia that houses the charging port. Inside, a light gray color palette replaces the stark black cabin of the standard Kona, and the floating center console will feature a push-button gear selector.
We expect the Kona EV to be as user-friendly as the gasoline-powered Kona, with similar features that include a wireless charging pad, a head-up display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Hyundai's Blue Link telematics. Available advanced safety features will include forward collision warning and mitigation, driver attention warning, lane keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic high beams.
The Kona EV's significant power advantage over its gasoline-reliant Kona siblings has the potential to make it our pick of the litter, especially since it should also benefit from the same strong driving dynamics and a roomy interior. Sales will begin at the end of 2018 in California, followed by other zero-emission vehicle-focused states (Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont). Pricing for the 2019 Hyundai Kia EV is unlikely to be announced until closer to the on-sale date; the standard 2018 Kona starts at $20,000.