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HYUNDAI KONA ELECTRIC REVIEWS | 2018 MODEL

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Read and compare reviews on the Hyundai Kona EV Elite 2018 Model from top New Zealand automotive journalists on trusted websites.

2018 Hyundai Kona EV Elite – Killer Kilowatts

Hyundai Kona Electric review Drive Life

SOURCE: DRIVE LIFE | YEAR: 2018 | WORDS AND PHOTOS: FRED ALVREZ

When Hyundai first released the specs of the Kona EV, we were all salivating – an EV well under $100K with a ‘real world‘ range of 400km? Bring it on.

And then we got the VW e-Golf to review, with its ‘real world’ range of 220km. That range was worked out by a couple of journalists driving south from Auckland in an e-Golf and they got to Tokoroa before needing to recharge. That drive to Tokoroa is a pretty easy one, maybe one of the gentlest drives in the country. Don’t get me wrong – I loved the e-Golf – but claims of ‘real world’ need to be read very carefully.

So, to the Kona EV. We really like the petrol version of the Kona – looks great, goes well (in the 1.6 turbo version, at least). This seemed like a good starter for an EV.

But the thing is, when you talk to people about driving an EV, more often than not, their first reaction is, “but how long will it take me to get to Auckland from Wellington?” – because that’s something we do lots of (insert Tui slogan here). According to the stats, the average New Zealand driver does 27km a day, not 600km. But yes, there are times when you need to drive that far – I do this trip about six times a year.

Hyundai Kona Electric review: Range finder

Hyundai Kona Electric review Driven

SOURCE: DRIVEN | YEAR: 2018 | WORDS AND PHOTOS: PAUL OWEN

Hyundai’s solution to the “range anxiety” experienced by many electric vehicle owners is an obvious one: fit a bigger battery.

Hence two of the three models of the new Kona Electric SUV range come with 64kWh’s worth of lithium-ion energy storage.

That’s more than double the size of the battery of New Zealand’s most popular new EV — the IONIQ Electric eco-pod that Hyundai released to much acclaim and decent sales last year.

There’s no doubt that this multiplication of energy reserves works. My driving partner and I absolutely thrashed the new Kona Electric over 330km of the tortuously twisty roads of the western Waikato hinterland during the launch.

Every exit from a corner, and every overtake, was conducted at full Jandal; yet the trip computer of the Kona Electric was still showing 50km of range left at journey’s end.

Hyundai Automotive New Zealand says the compact SUV will travel 400-plus km before needing a recharge. The humming Kona therefore offers a compelling buying proposition to wean us off more characterful yet more poisonous combustion technologies: Tesla-like range at a well-below-Tesla price.


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