The Hyundai Kona EV is an all-electric, subcompact SUV that was released as part of the existing Kona line. It offers a competitive range on par with a Tesla Model 3 , VW ID.4, or Chevy Bolt. Drivers love the reliability and economy of ownership, and how it feels like an "ordinary" car (hint: it is!). Because Recurrent has relatively few Kona EV's in our community, some of the range data is preliminary.
Hyundai first released the Kona in summer of 2017 and it made its US debut with the 2018 model year. The Kona EV quickly followed. The second in Hyundai's EV line, it did not make a huge splash, but it is not a splashy car. It was geared towards economical buyers looking for great efficiency and solid range. And it delivers. The Kona EV consistently ranks on cost-conscious EV lists. Starting in 2021, Hyundai partnered with Electrify America to provide 250 kWh of free charging (around 1,000 miles of range) for new drivers and dropped the entry level price for the Kona EV.
The Kona EV had a redesign for the 2022 model year that includes exterior design changes and added interior amenities. The range, efficiency, and battery size remain the same.
The Kona EV is offered in three trims: SEL, Limited, and Ultimate.
The base trim, the SEL, is a sweet package, offering many features standard that require an upgrade in other cars. It comes with leather steering wheel, heated front seats, a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen, integrations with Apple and Android, the Blue Link connected service system, DC fast charging, and a 7.2 kW on-board charger. A safety package includes collision warning, automatic emergency braking, cruise control, lane assist, and more.
The step up to the Limited gives you leather power seats, a sunroof, and wireless device charging. Starting in 2020, the Limited includes a battery warmer for cold weather, as well. Finally, the Ultimate gives you heated steering wheel, cooled front seats, a head-up display, larger infotainment screen and more speakers. It also includes upgraded driver safety and assistance features.
All trims come with the same 64 kWh battery and 258 miles of range, so the difference is in driver comfort and amenities.
The Kona EV is an all-electric vehicle, running solely on power provided by a high voltage lithium ion battery. It has zero tailpipe emissions. Although Recurrent does not have enough Kona EVs to track their first few years of range degradation, battery electric vehicles typically hold their range well over time.
Range is how many miles a car can go when fully charged. Like with an ICE car, factors like outside temperature, driving conditions, and driving style can affect the efficiency and energy needs of the car. Battery powered cars are most efficient when the temperature is warm, terrain is flat or downhill, and the car can use its regenerative braking feature to recharge the battery. So, while the EPA rates vehicles with a single "range," this number is really an estimate under a set of highly controlled conditions. Short term range changes tend to reflect external factors, while permanent range effects point to vehicle degradation and age.
Read more about how temperature affects range.
The Kona EV has only been on the road since 2019 so it is still a relatively new car with limited evidence for how range degrades with time. Despite the 2021 LG battery recall that affected around 5,000 US Kona EVs, the battery is expected to hold its capacity at least 70% for at least ten years. Recurrent is actively looking for new Kona EV drivers to share their data with us so we can paint a clearer picture of how range changes with time.
In the Recurrent data set, we track the maximum achievable range at 100% charge for vehicles in different locations and conditions. New vehicles, less than a year old, should have used ranges very close to their original rated range, and we see 2021 Kona EVs getting between 232 and 386 miles on a charge. For the 2019 and 2020 models, we see ranges between 214 and 366 miles. Although we do not have enough Kona EVs in the Recurrent fleet to make any definitive statements, it seems that over the first few years, Kona EVs hold their range quite well.
The main ways to measure vehicle efficiency, or energy use per distance traveled, are MPGe and miles/kWh. You may see these values on new car stickers or on dealer listings. No matter which you slice it, the Kona EV is an efficient car. All years and trim get a cool 120 MPGe, which works out to 3.7 miles per kWh. This puts it in the same class as the Model 3, which is the most efficient mass-produced EV on the road today.
Our community of Kona EV drivers give their car a Charging Score of 4.12/5, meaning that most drivers are somewhat satisfied with their charging experience. The most common complaint is that the DC Fast charging speeds do not get to or stay at their maximum of 70 kW, meaning that fast charging takes longer than advertised.
Onboard, the Kona EV is equipped with a respectable 7.2 kW charger, meaning that it can charge to full in around nine hours. With a standard 120V plug, it will get the standard 3-5 miles an hour, meaning that a full charge can take several days. The Kona EV is compatible with DC fast charging at speeds up to 70 kW which can add 80% charge in under 50 minutes. However, as noted, some drivers note that the maximum charge speed is hard to attain.
Hyundai has partnered with Electrify America to provide drivers of 2021+ Kona EVs with 250 kWh of free charging - enough for around 1,000 miles of driving.
The Kona EV uses lithium ion batteries - a power dense, high voltage technology that works well for storing a lot of energy. Although the lithium ion batteries in an EV are much stronger and more durable than those in your phone or laptop, they will still start to lose power and capacity with age and use. Battery degradation happens because of two things:
a) the age of the battery (also known as 'calendar' aging)
b) how the battery is used, charged, and stored
Calendar aging is inevitable - it starts the moment a battery is made. However, there are things that can cause a battery to degrade faster. The way an EV is charged and stored will impact the rate of battery degradation, so there are ways for an EV owners to slow the process. This discussion is covered in a research article on battery degradation.
The battery size, or battery capacity, is measured in kWh. All Kona EVs, regardless of model year or trim, have a 64 kWh battery. This is fairly average for a non-performance EV and is comparable to the size of Bolt, Model 3, and LEAF Plus batteries.
Despite the 2021 battery recall for select Kona and Ioniq EVs, Hyundai stands behind their battery and expects them to last. Through 2019, Hyundai offered a lifetime warranty on hybrid and electric vehicle batteries for the first owner, with a subsequent 10 year/ 100,000 mile warranty for subsequent owners. Starting with the 2020 model year, they changed the coverage to 10 years or 100,000 miles, guaranteeing their high voltage batteries will maintain at least 70% of their original capacity over this time. However, the warranty is not transferrable to a new owner, although the 5 year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty will carry over.
This page shares Kona EV data collected from 92 drivers across the United States. Each of the 390 thousand miles driven helps to draw a picture of the driver experience. We polled our community to find out what they love and what they could leave with their vehicles.
Most liked features:
"It is really an affordable way to replace an ICE car without range anxiety"
"Charging for free at available stations, complimentary DC Fast occasionally and comp. from Electrify America, nice seats and amenities, immediate power with nearly 300 pd ft of torque, small but good storage and easy to maneuver"
"Small, nimble, and fun to drive"
Room to improve:
"Fast charging isn't as fast as some competitors. I see on average 25-35KW/h when using a fast charger."
"The lack of options such as electric sun roof, memory seats, electronically operated tailgate"
"The onboard range reliability. When on a highway doing 65+ mph, the range is quite inaccurate. Always leave myself an extra 10 miles per 100 miles driving 65+ mph so roughly 10% more.
The Green Score for the Kona EV is GREAT. Like other battery electric vehicles, it has no tailpipe emissions. If driving electric isn't environmentally friendly enough for you, you can lower your impact by buying used and avoiding the production and shipment of a brand new car. Finally, you can really up your green game by powering your EV with renewable energy for the ultimate clean machine.
While the original Hyundai Kona line is an economy priced crossover SUV, the Kona EV is priced at for mid-market customer. From its US market debut in 2019 through the 2021 model year, the MSRP hovered around $37K before the available $7,500 federal tax incentive. For the 2022 model year, the starting price dropped to $34,000, perhaps to make it more competitive with the gas version (starting at $21,150). Multiple comparisons between the gas and the electric Kona point out the EV's relatively high entry price for the normally affordable Hyundai brand.
Since there is no difference in range between different Kona EV trims, there is not a ton of variability in the used price. Most Kona EVs are between $30K and $48K, with a select few seeing prices as low as $23,000. Higher priced models are usually upgraded trims or newer vehicles.
Unlike most other used EVs, the average price for the Kona EV has not risen a lot this year. This may be in response to the way Hyundai handled the battery fire recall in early 2021, or due to the relative ease with which Hyundai has handled production delays related to the global semiconductor shortage.
Cost per range mile is one way to look at the value of an EV across different makes and models. It helps a shopper understand how much of the purchase price is really going towards range, as opposed to amenities, comfort, or brand name. The Kona EV has a cost per range mile of $132 to $166, making it a very affordable EV.
Recurrent uses data from the AFDC to determine the range of annual charging costs for the Kona EV. The highest electricity price we use is in Hawaii and the lowest in Louisiana. We assume an average driving pattern of 34 miles a day, 5 days a week, 49 weeks a year with 25% highway driving, plus a few additional highway road trips. For a Kona EV of either trim, this puts the annual charging costs between $317 - $1015. More detailed and personalized values can be calculated at the link above.