Kona EV on display – but price not provided


EV fans can now order an electric edition of the Kona crossover at Fieldays – but without knowing the actual price.

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THEY can't try, and they can't buy - but enthusiasts keen to plug into the country’s first fully electric crossover can see an example of the type at Fieldays and also place a pre-order.

However, information from the distributor today suggests access to drive the car seems unlikely. Hyundai New Zealand has also indicated it doesn’t intend to divulge, perhaps for a while yet, the most crucial single make or break element – what it will cost.

Hyundai New Zealand has flown in an example of the battery-driven edition of its popular Kona crossover for display. It arrived today.

It will apparently only have the car in the country for a week, and most of that timeframe will see it at the exposition in the Waikato that runs from tomorrow to Saturday.

The Auckland-based brand has previously said it plans to put the battery-compelled car on sale here, as an alternate not just to the regular 2.0-litre front-drive and 1.6-litre four-wheel-drive petrol Kona editions that released here in November, 2016, but also to the Ioniq hatch, which presently avails in front-drive hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric versions.

Kona Electric is expected to carry a significant premium over not just the regular Kona petrol line, which tops at $41,000, and might very likely also sit above the Ioniq EV, which peaks out at $65,990, because it has a more advanced drivetrain than the latter car – albeit only driving the front wheels.

The biggest benefit of the Kona’s new underpinnings is increased range. New Zealand is down to only take the flagship 64kWh ‘long range’ edition whose ability to clock more than 400kms between recharges means it will conceivably have double the range of the Ioniq.

The same model has just gone on sale in Norway, where Hyundai cited 470kms’ range when measured on the latest WLTP scale.

The electric motor is rated at 195kW power and 395Nm torque. The brand quotes 0-100kmh in 7.6 seconds and a top speed of 167kmh. Hyundai NZ’s publicist has cited ability to recharge the battery to 80 percent capacity within 75 minutes when using the appropriate fast charger – which the parent make suggests is a 100kW CCS Combo DC fast charger. This technology is not yet availed in NZ.

 A short-range edition runs a 39.2kWh battery that gives 300km range, offers 99kW/395Nm, 0-100kmh in 9.9s and the same top speed.

Hyundai New Zealand general manager Andy Sinclair saying the Kona Electric blends ground-breaking electric vehicle technology with New Zealand’s favourite body style.

“It’s fantastic to be able to bring the full EV version of the Kona to New Zealand so quickly and to showcase it at Fieldays.

“Due to massive public interest in this car we have worked hard to ensure New Zealand is one of the very first markets to be able to see the Kona Electric. There’s a lot of excitement among the public for this new model.” said Mr Sinclair.

“Recognising that an electric SUV has to be up to the challenge of the active, outdoors kiwi lifestyle, we have gone for the Kona with the longest range, meaning an owner in Wellington can head off for a weekend to Taupo without worrying about the need to recharge along the way.

“We see an electric version as a chance to offer our customers another way to enjoy the new Kona’s style and practicality with emission free performance.”

The Kona Electric has forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, lane following assist and a speed limit warning.

Hyundai NZ has enjoyed success cementing fleet deals for the Ioniq. It suggests a rapid expansion of the charging network is encouraging more New Zealand businesses and public to adopt EVs as part of their vehicle fleets.