If you want more range from an electric car than is offered by the Hyundai Kona, you’re going to have to spend a lot of cash. In fact, there are cars that cost twice as much that would struggle to go as far as the Kona on a single charge. This is partly because the battery is huge, but the Kona is also comparatively efficient and uses its power wisely.
As a result, the official tests suggest that you should be able to go 180 miles in the 39kW Kona Electric or 300 miles in the 64kW car, depending on how you drive, the type of roads and the weather. That’s enough to do a return trip from Birmingham to Leeds, or a week of average commuting.
There are two battery sizes in the Kona Electric. There’s the 39kW or a 64kW, which is almost twice as large as the packs in city cars like the VW e-UP! and is even usefully bigger than the 50kW in the standard range Tesla Model 3. Even the latest Nissan Leaf e+ is beaten, although by just 2kW. To find a bigger battery than the Kona 64kW in an electric car, you’re going to have to spend a lot more money.
The battery is pretty clever too, being made of lithium-ion polymer and featuring a thermal management system (basically a heater or chiller, depending on the conditions) which should increase efficiency and the battery life.
As with most electric cars, the power pack is stashed safely out of the way under the floor, which means you sit higher than you might expect in a conventional hatchback, but it feels ‘right’ in a pseudo SUV like the Kona.
Having such a large battery means that the biggest battery Kona does take a while to charge if you are plugging in at home or work. From empty to 100% takes nearly 10 hours on a 7kW charger, but unless you are really racking up the miles it’s unlikely you’ll be needing to do that every day. If you rely on a three-pin plug the Kona will need to be plugged in for a laughably-long 30 hours before it’ll be fully charged. That’s not going to be practical for everyday use but might be useful if you are going away for a week’s holiday and there’s no dedicated charger at your destination.
If you need to top up in the middle of a journey or are just charging once a week then the Kona will take a rapid charge via a CCS socket at a maximum rate of 80kW. You’ll be able to get up to 80% in 75 minutes. Naturally, the 39kW slashes charging time considerably – a three-pin charge takes 19 hours, 7kW wallbox in 6hrs 10mins and a 50kW CCS charge takes 57 minutes.