South Korean maker Hyundai has launched their first electric vehicle – the Kona SUV – in Indian market. The prices for SUV start at Rs. 25.30 lakhs, ex-showroom Delhi. The reason behind such a steep price tag for the Kona electric SUV is that it will be brought to India via the Completely Built Unit Route and hence will attract a higher tax rate. Kona is not only Hyundai’s first electric vehicle in the Indian market, rather it is the first all-electric SUV to be launched in the country. Kona will be kind of a flagship vehicle from the brand and will display the maker’s engineering capability.
Although Kona also comes in a fossil fuel avatar, the South Korean maker has only brought the electric version of the SUV to the Indian market. Taking a look at the design of the SUV, one finds that the front grille of the SUV has no air intake vents and is a solid unit. This lends the SUV a sturdier but also somewhat boxy look at the front. The headlamps are dual LED units with cornering lamps to accompany them. The black cladding on the wheel arches and the sides of the body lends the vehicle the look of a SUV. However, overall the vehicle is not that big. The tail lamps at the rear are stretched to the sides of the SUV and they somewhat carry the outline of the headlamps at the front.
Moving on to the interiors, one finds that cabin with an all-black theme and leather upholstery. Hyundai has loaded the car with features in its typical fashion and the Kona comes with 10-axis electrically adjustable driver seat, heated and ventilated rear seats, 6.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, dual-zone climate control, satellite navigation, 8-speaker KRELL audio system, wireless charging, tilt and telescopic steering adjust, cruise control, smart electric sunroof, drive mode selector and electric parking brake among others. The safety features on Kona comprise of 6 airbags, ABS, blind-spot detection, hill-start assist, reverse camera, impact and speed sensing door lock, real-time traffic alerts, TPMS, virtual engine sound and autonomous emergency braking among others.
The biggest USP that the brand is touting for the Kona is the massive 452-kilometre range of the SUV. The 39.2 kWh battery pack of the electric SUV from the South Korean maker equips it to deliver 135 Bhp and 335 Nm. The 0-100 km/h time for the Kona SUV is just 9.3 seconds. The SUV also comes with fast charging capability that takes the charge level of the vehicle to 4/5th of the total charge capacity or at 80% capacity in just under an hour. Whereas, the normal charging time for 0-100% stands at 6 hours 10 minutes. The company is currently working on installing fast chargers in major cities of India. All Hyundai dealerships which will sell EVs will have a 7.2 kW AC charger to cater to the needs of the customer.
Speaking of the same, the South Korean maker plans to sell the SUV only in the large cities of India as of now and in smaller cities as the infra for electric cars develops. Speaking of the charging solutions, the company will bundle two chargers with the Kona SUV, a normal wall charger that will give the SUV a range of 50 kms in an hour and a portable charger that will give the same range in 3 hours. Hyundai also plans on providing charging solutions support to the buyers which includes installation along with any power supply upgradations required at the buyer’s home.
As far as the rivalry for Kona is concerned, it faces no challenger in the Indian market as of now. However, the coming times will see the launch of MG eZS and Nissan Leaf in the Indian market. A global competitor, the Nissan Leaf will lock horns with Kona straightaway, while the lower priced MG eZS’ top models could end up giving Kona a run for its money in the market.