The Hyundai Kona Electric will officially be added to Australia’s growing electric car fleet in coming weeks, following a month of preparation by the South Korean carmaker as it readies to release it’s second electric vehicle in Australia.
The compact electric SUV will join the Hyundai Ioniq, which was launched in Australia late 2018 and was the first sub-$A50,000 car on the Aussie car market, creating hopes that buying interest in Australia may finally reverse, having lagged the rest of the world in the adoption of zero emissions transport.
With 400km real world range, a 64kWh battery, and an expected price range of anywhere from $A53,000-$60,000, the Kona Electric will be available in Ceramic Blue, Chalk White, Dark Knight, Galactic Grey and Pulse Red.
It has the ability to use a 100kW DC fast charger to charge from 0-80 per cent in 54 minutes and comes with a wall cable that means the car can be charged from empty to 100 per cent in a little over nine hours at home (for most this will be overnight).
Hyundai had previously said that the Kona Electric would be available on the Australian market in early 2019, and many expected this would mean within the first three months of the year.
A shipment of vehicles has been present in Australia for some weeks now, with staff attending training events and some dealers showing models to the public.
But with the end of March rapidly approaching, there has been speculation by some as to the reasons for the delay of the official Kona Electric sales launch and announcement of pricing.
Australian Electric Vehicle Association members have a few ‘inside contacts’ – and through one of those it has been purported that there is a slight hold-up in the official launch of the Kona electric in Australia.
The official (and highly believable!) reason is a delay in ‘Government paperwork’.
Others suspected that it could be that Hyundai was awaiting the completion of its Iron Man Kona ICE marketing campaign that it has been pushing of late.
A spokesperson from Hyundai Australia, however, has told The Driven that none of these are the reason, but that it “will be on sale in next couple of weeks”.
While official driving reviews are currently under embargo until later this week, at least one reviewer is so keen he has released a video review of a stationary Kona EV.
“I quite like this, to be totally honest with you,” the reviewer says. “It’s a sporty looking little thing.”
The Kona EV has been on sale overseas since 2018, winning numerous awards across the US, UK and Europe – so while reviews are not thin on the ground, this is one of the first “official” reviews released on Australian shores.
The Hyundai Kona EV can already be ordered through the South Korean carmaker’s dealers, says Hyundai’s spokesperson, who also warns that “supply for Australia will be limited”.
“There’s massive worldwide demand for this car,” the spokesperson says.
This demand is in light of Hyundai’s worldwide production however, and for which export production was on the increase as The Driven reported earlier this year.
However, worldwide Hyundai Kona electric deliveries have fallen from over 5,300 a month in November and December last year, to barely more than 3,000 in January and less than 2,200 in February (see graph below sourced from Hyundai’s own factory delivery – that is, production – numbers).
Given the recent recall of some Kona electrics for an airbag programming issue takes only 30 minutes to fix – it can’t be that.
So what gives? Perhaps Hyundai have hit the bug-bear of all EV manufacturers: they can’t build batteries fast enough to meet demand! A nice problem to have – unless, that is, you are waiting for the delivery of one.
Hyundai Global have been contacted for comment.