New Kona Subcompact EV Announced
Following the success of its new Kia Niro crossover, Korean auto group Hyundai announced recently that it will bring its new Hyundai Kona crossover to North America in 2018. Also in the works, according to the Korean Herald, is an all-electric version of the Kona for the Korean market.
The big question is: will the Kona EV come to North America?
The new small SUV is not be based on the current Kia Niro or Hyundai Ioniq platform (Kia is a subsidiary of Hyundai), but will feature an all new platform; one that Hyundai-Kia will likely use as a base for most of their future electric vehicles. Most important, however, is Kona’s promised all-electric range of about 240 miles (390 km).
Whether or not Kona comes to the U.S. market will likely depend on how well the new Ioniq EV and upcoming Niro plug-in hybrid sell here in North America. With a range of 125 miles, the Ioniq out performs most standard EVs in its category, but still half the level of upcoming Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet’s Bolt EV.
While Kona would likely not compete directly with the new Tesla, it would be a direct competitor for the Chevrolet Bolt EV. A report from Autobild estimates a €35,000 price tag on the Kona electric car, which is roughly $45,000 USD, putting Kona significantly above Bolt’s starting price of about $36,000.
Despite the price difference, Kona’s larger size and SUV profile might help it top the smaller Bolt EV if it comes to the U.S. market. If Hyundai brings the Kona to North America, look for Kia to do the same with its upcoming Stonic EV (which will be based on the same platform).
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