Hyundai's Kona EV Price Bump Comes at an Interesting Time

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
hyundais kona ev price bump comes at an interesting time

Depending on your place of residence, you may have begun seeing a small, quiet Hyundai crossover with a face like Jason Voorhees tooling around the neighborhood. That’s the Hyundai Kona Electric, a vehicle with 258 miles of range and a starting price matching the Chevrolet Bolt’s $37,495 MSRP.

At least, its price did mirror the 238-mile Bolt, until Hyundai beancounters decided it was time for some new math.

First noticed by CarsDirect via manufacturer pricing docs, Kona EV pricing took a jump once the second quarter of 2019 arrived, rising upwards by $500 for the base SEL trim. That puts the post-delivery, pre-credit price floor at $37,995. Better-appointed Limited and Ultimate trims see a $250 climb, coming in at $42,445 and $45,945, respectively.

So far, the price bump hasn’t made its way to Hyundai’s build-n-price page.

While the Kona EV is only available in California and ZEV states, Hyundai was caught off-guard by better than expected demand earlier this year, forcing it to renege — at least temporarily — on the promise that it would fulfill orders in other, non-ZEV states.

The timing of the price bump coincides with another ripple in the low-priced EV world: the halving of the Bolt’s federal EV tax credit. At the end of first-quarter 2019, the Bolt’s $7,500 credit dropped to $3,750, pushing up the ultimate price of the vehicle. General Motors claimed it would step in with boosted incentives.

Perhaps this change compelled Hyundai, which still hasn’t passed the 200,000-vehicle threshold, to try and get the Kona to profitability a little earlier.

The automaker confirmed to CarsDirect that the pricing changes does not reflect any additional content applied to the model. And it’s not just the Kona EV’s purchase price that’s in flux, either.

From CarsDirect:

This month, the SEL trim starts at $369 for 36 months with $3,899 due at signing. That’s $20/month more than the previous offer of $349/month with the same amount at signing. The current promo equates to an effective cost of $477/month.

At that price, we consider the Kona to be too expensive to recommend. For reference, the 2019 Bolt LT has an effective cost of $389/month, based on $279 for 36 months with $3,959 at signing here in California. That’s an advantage of $88/month.

For its price, the Kona EV remains the range leader, beating out the Bolt and new Nissan Leaf Plus in the one category that gnaws at every EV driver’s brain — distance to darkness.

[Image: Hyundai]

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2 of 15 comments
  • Teddyc73 Teddyc73 on Apr 11, 2019

    What an ugly rear end.

  • HotPotato HotPotato on Apr 13, 2019

    I look forward to literally an article a day blasting Hyundai for missing its promised price point. Oh, you only do that for Tesla? Innnnnteresting.

  • SCE to AUX I charge at home 99% of the time, on a Level 2 charger I installed myself in 2012 for my Leaf. My house is 1967, 150-Amp service, gas dryer and furnace; everything else is electric with no problems. I switched from gas HW to electric HW last year, when my 18-year-old tank finally failed.I charge at a for-pay station maybe a couple times a year.I don't travel more than an hour each way in my Ioniq 1 EV, so I don't deal much with public chargers. Despite a big electric rate increase this year, my car remains ridiculously cheap to operate.
  • ToolGuy 38:25 to 45:40 -- Let's all wait around for the stupid ugly helicopter. 😉The wheels and tires are cool, as in a) carbon fiber is a structural element not decoration and b) they have some sidewall.Also like the automatic fuel adjustment (gasoline vs. ethanol).(Anyone know why it's more powerful on E85? Huh? Huh?)
  • Ja-GTI So, seems like you have to own a house before you can own a BEV.
  • Kwik_Shift Good thing for fossil fuels to keep the EVs going.
  • Carlson Fan Meh, never cared for this car because I was never a big fan of the Gen 1 Camaro. The Gen 1 Firebird looked better inside and out and you could get it with the 400.The Gen 2 for my eyes was peak Camaro as far as styling w/those sexy split bumpers! They should have modeled the 6th Gen after that.