Hyundai launches the Kona Electric in India

| Kona Electric becomes India's first long-range EV |

| Pan-India introductory ex-showroom price of ₹2,530,000 |

We have had a few full-electric cars launched in India already but they have all had a serious limitation or two that prevented them from being serious contenders. The Reva and it's many siblings were too small, unsafe and impractical. With the same technology underneath, Mahindra Electric's eVerito solved the space issue but it was dated and it's range was limited. Tata's Tigor EV, though modern and safe, is crippled by it's limited range too. Both the Mahindra and the Tata offer a range in the thereabouts of 100 km which does nothing to deter the range anxiety these EVs are notorious for!

In short, Hyundai's Kona Electric - launched in the country earlier this week at a pan-India introductory price of ₹2,530,000 ex-showroom - is India's first proper long-range EV!

With a 39.2 kWh battery that powers an electric motor rated for 134 horsepower and 395 Nm of torque, the Kona Electric is quite powerful. And it's fast too, accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.7 seconds. Four driving modes - Eco, Eco+, Comfort and Sport are on offer as are paddle shifters to adjust regenrative braking. 

Crucially, the Kona Electric has an ARAI-certified range of 452 km on a single charge. In real-world conditions, expect that number to drop down to about 300 km. The claimed time to recharge the battery to 100% with an AC charger is 6 hours and 10 minutes. With a DC quick charger, the battery can be recharged to 80% of its capacity in just 57 minutes. All Kona customers would be provided with a 7.2 kW charger that can top-up the vehicle's battery withan an hour for a range of 50 km.

The Kona Electric is on sale in 11 Indian cities in select Hyundai dealerships. All of them would be equipped with the aforementioned 7.2 kW AC chargers. That apart, Hyundai has joined hands with Indian Oil Corporation Limited to install a charging network in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai. Hyundai is leaving no stone unturned to deter the range anxiety. There will also be a fleet of cars fitted with power converters to provide emergency charging support in these cities. 

The Kona Electric comes with a 3 years / unlimited km warranty with the battery getting a separate 8 years / 160,000 km warranty. That's another concern every EV buyer has ticked off!

With a modern-yet-quirky design language highlighted by the split light clusters at the front and rear, the fake grille-like thing on the fascia, those bulky plastic claddings and the busy profile with multiple cuts and creases, the Kona is an eyeball-grabber. That said, it's a love-it or hate-it affair! Interiors are a typical Hyundai affair with the Kona Electric getting a ton of features and acceptable levels of fit and finish. 

The kit on offer include six airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Hill Assist Control, Tire Pressure Monitoring Sytem, electric sunroof, automatic climate control, cruise control, rear-view camera, ventilated and heated leather seats at the front and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Voice Recognition, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity options. 

Measuring the scales at 4,180 mm in length, 1,800 mm in width and 1,570 mm in height with a 2,600 mm wheelbase, the Kona Electric is smaller than a Creta. But then, as a high-riding urban SUV boasting it's EV credentials, it makes perfect sense. 

The Kona Electric is modern, safe, practical and offers a long driving range too. Yes, the price appears higher but you'll know it is not when more EVs with similar driving range enter the country. Let's wait and see if the car-buying public out there are convinced.

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