By on December 7, 2018

Hyundai Kona EV

Hyundai’s front-drive Kona Electric began appearing on Norwegian streets back in August, slowly proliferating to other European countries ever since. Backing up the model was its enviable status as the longest-range EV on the market.

Using the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), testers rated the Kona EV’s range at 292 miles, more than enough to travel between tightly spaced European cities. Now, the vehicle faces a double blow of bad news. First, the testers got the test wrong, and second, a new Tesla his poised to arrive on the east side of the Atlantic.

Both Hyundai and Kia have had to downgrade the range of their new electric sort-of crossovers after learning their external test agency followed the wrong procedure. As such, the range of the 64 kWh Kona Electric drops from 292 miles to 279 miles, while the entry-level model (which we won’t get here) drops from 186 miles to 180 miles.

Kia’s e-Niro, following close on the Kona’s heels, sees its 64 kWh variant fall from 301 miles to 282 miles. The lesser, 39 kWh version drops from 193 miles to 179.

In a statement reported by Autocar, Hyundai said, “In testing the Kona Electric to establish its homologated electric vehicle driving range, the independent organisation overseeing the process accidentally provided an incorrect testing methodology and then approved the results it generated.

“This led to the Kona Electric being tested for a disproportionate length of time on the WLTP ‘urban’ cycle – comprising lower overall vehicle speeds and a reduced energy requirement – resulting in an overestimation of the vehicle’s all-electric range.”

Bummer. In the U.S., Hyundai’s gas-free Kona rates 258 miles on the EPA cycle, which is some 20 miles ahead of the Chevrolet Bolt. Tesla’s new “Mid Range” Model 3, currently the cheapest Model 3 available, is rated for 260 miles between plug-ins.

Speaking of the Model 3, demonstrator models have now arrived to further annoy Hyundai on European soil. While deliveries of the Model 3 aren’t expected until the middle of 2019, would-be customers in some locales can now sit in and test drive their prospective purchase, further drumming up demand. Available for ordering are the twin-motor Long Range and Performance variants, rated (on the WLTP cycle) at 338 and 330 miles, respectively.

Hyundai’s time on the throne stands to be as short-lived as that of flaky Edward VIII.

[Image: Hyundai]

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12 Comments on “Hyundai’s EV Range Reign to Prove Short-lived in Europe...”


  • avatar
    arthurk45

    Let’s see now .. The Kona EV gets two miles less driving range (perhaps!!) and costs $40,000 less $7500 for $32,500. The Tesla Model 3 costs $45,000 and no tax credit by the time I can buy one. So that extra 1 percent of driving range will cost me $12,500. Boy, driving ranges of Tesla cars cost a fortune.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Sure, because only one metric is useful when buying a car, such as EV range or MPG.

    • 0 avatar
      vvk

      Gotta pay to play.

      Kona is a small economy hatchback. M3 is a premium RWD sedan. The fact that they are close in MSRP speaks volumes to Tesla’s economies of scale.

      Also, Kona is not available nationwide and does not have access to the supercharger network. So no long distance driving.

      • 0 avatar
        conundrum

        I hadn’t noticed a premium interior in the “premium” Model 3. A Mazda6 Signature slays it. Also, the Model 3 is a car, not a handy crossover. Once the red haze of brainwashing clears from the eyes of the hordes of adoring Tesla worshippers, things will settle out.

        In Europe there are 500 superchargers, but also over 6,000 public access charging stations are up and running. They have a different standard plug from Tesla, whose European models have a different electric connection to those in the US models anyway. On top of that, they have to plug into euro standard chargers by law. The late intro of the Model 3 seems to be tied up in Tesa bothering to design a socket that suits both their supercharger and the public access one.

        So the Kona EV is far more viable in Europe than in the US due to the availability of public charging stations. I don’t suppose Hyundai gives a fig about US sales at present knowing the mind-altering presence that is Tesla, but they sure are interested in European ones. The market there will go EV much quicker than the US will.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, Mercedes also costs more than Hyundai. So what no one buys Mercedes?

  • avatar

    I have never considered Hundai a car I would consider buying. Any model.

  • avatar
    Asdf

    I don’t get all the articles about BEVs at TTAC. The truth about electric cars is that there’s not a single BEV ever manufactured that has a reason to exist outside of the R&D departments of their respective automakers. As cars they are without exceptions total, utter crap, usually with short range, and always with extremely slow charging times and exorbitant prices. In short, BEVs have no business being sold in the market AT ALL at this point, and their presence is an embarrassing joke. It makes no sense for TTAC to waste time writing articles about them.

    • 0 avatar
      chris724

      You don’t have to buy one! But it sounds like you don’t think other people should be allowed to buy one either? IMO, your opinion sucks.

    • 0 avatar
      Lee in MD

      You make this same point over and over as if BEVs are some sort of existential threat to you personally. Your incessant harping on the same talking points makes you look less like Best and Brightest and more like Mentally Illest. Give it rest man. Or at least get some new material.

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