Pricing for the much-awaited Kona electric – and a ballpark arrival date for Australia – have been hinted at by Hyundai staff who attended the Australian Electric Vehicle Association Conference on Friday in Brisbane.
Named a “game-changer” in the annual UK Fleet World awards, the Kona has piqued the interest of many Aussies who have been asking on social media when they will be able to order the all-electric SUV that topped recent What Car? Real Range tests, here on Antipodean shores.
However, mystery has abounded with regards to details around the pricing and arrival date for the Kona electric, with Hyundai previously announcing on social media it would be on sale here by the end of 2018, only to backflip and delete the culprit tweets.
Rumours of delays of the release of the Kona on the UK market has also raised questions about when the all-electric SUV will make it to Australia.
But here at The Driven we can now let readers in on some more solid details: while not final, the price is expected to be from $A53,000-$55,000 (before on road costs).
And that’s not all – Hyundai staff say that the Kona electric could be here as soon as February or March next year. At least, that is what they were telling the folk at the AEVA conference.
The big question now is – when it does arrive, will interest in the Kona match sales demand such as experienced in Norway (where stock ran out before they even arrived)?
Perhaps not to begin with – with a dearth of EV policy and incentives, Australia is famously slow on the uptake of EVs (although we look forward to the possibility of this changing soon).
But the Kona has the potential the ease one of the biggest barriers in Australia stopping people from making the switch to EV – range anxiety.
The long-range Kona electric with 64kWh battery (the variant Hyundai has said it will make available in Australia) has an official range of 480km, according to WLTP testing which is conducted at an average 46.5km/hr with a top speed of 131km/hr.
In real world tests though, it has been exceeding expectations.
The Kona achieved 506km in a test by journalists driving five models from Frankfurst to Paris at an average speed of 75km/hr, then on a single range test conducted by German auto mag Auto Bild, achieved an impressive 613km driving in Eco mode no faster than 100km/hr.
The final test shared by French auto mag Caradisiac, the Kona electric achieved 734.4km of range – this, at an average of 39km/hr with 20km driven on full throttle.
Hyundai is not being shy letting the public know this either: in a news post on the carmaker’s Europen site this week it trumpets about awards and accolades from the 2018 Paris Motor Show, Express New Car Awards, and the UK’s Parkers New Car Awards to name a few.
We had a chance to sit in a gunmetal grey model at the conference last week. The compact SUV still has all the leg room you’d expect in a full size SUV, with comfortable seats and smooth styling.
There are plenty of displays on the dashboard to assist with keeping an eye on range, charge management and driving efficiency.
The Kona electric also introduces the Heads-Up display that extends out of the top of the dash behind the wheel to allow the driver to view speed, safety and satellite navigation directions without taking eyes off the road.
Pricing for the Ioniq was leaked last month at somewhere well below the magical $A50,000 mark ($45,000 plus on road costs). The Kona is going to be $10,000 dearer – but the market for compact SUVs is a hot one.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.