Hyundai's EV Range Reign to Prove Short-lived in Europe

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
hyundais ev range reign to prove short lived in europe

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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7 of 12 comments
  • DougDolde DougDolde on Dec 07, 2018

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

  • Asdf Asdf on Dec 08, 2018

    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.

    • See 2 previous
    • Jatz Jatz on Dec 08, 2018

      @Lee in MD No one who has taken the adolescent dare to whiz on an electric fence can ever forgive.

  • Johnster Minor quibble. The down-sized full-sized 1980-only Continental (which was available with Town Car and Town Coupe trims) gave up its name in 1981 and became the Town Car. The name "Town Coupe" was never used after the 1980 model year. The 1981 Lincoln Town Car was available with a 2-door body style, but the 2-door Lincoln Town Car was discontinued and not offered for the 1982 model year and never returned to the Lincoln lineup.
  • Zipper69 Some discreet dwebadging and this will pass for a $95k Lucid Air...
  • Zipper69 Does it REALLY have to be a four door?Surely a truly compact vehicle could stick with the half-door access with jump seats for short term passengers.
  • ToolGuy See kids, you can keep your old car in good condition.
  • ToolGuy MUAWGA