Hyundai Ends Kona EV Sales in South Korea

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai
hyundai ends kona ev sales in south korea

Hyundai Motor Company will end sales of its best-selling electric vehicle, the Kona EV, after a series of fires and faulty braking systems prompted mass recalls in South Korea.

According to Reuters, Hyundai was reviewing the end of Kona EV sales in South Korea, while an unidentified source said sales would continue in Europe. The Kona EV ranks among Europe’s best-selling EVs. Sales of the model outside its home market account for over three-quarters of the total.

Hyundai declined to confirm the reports but told Reuters it is reviewing various options as it prepares to launch the Ioniq 5 mid-size crossover EV. In October, Hyundai recalled Kona EVs in South Korea due to the risk of short circuits possibly caused by faulty manufacturing of its high-voltage battery cells.

On the Hyundai USA website, the Kona is touted as having an EPA-estimated range of 258 miles with zero emissions out of its 150-KW, 201 HP electric motor, hawked as the highest of any all-electric subcompact SUV. Loaded with intuitive tech like wireless device charging and head-up display, what the Kona EV apparently cannot do is put out the fires, nor warn you in advance if the regenerative brakes are going south.

Here in the U.S., you may be eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500, and if you happen to reside in California, you may get a Clean Vehicle rebate of $2,000 if you own a Kona EV.

The recall, which includes software updates and battery replacements after inspections, involves 25,564 Kona EVs built during September 2017 to March 2020. Hyundai has also recalled 50,864 Kona EV and Nexo fuel-cell vehicles in South Korea due to faulty electronic braking systems. Does this mean that Kona EVs will vanish from the U.S., or will the automaker continue selling them until that proposition goes up in smoke?

[Images: Hyundai]

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  • Probert Probert on Dec 19, 2020

    Just as an FYI - the Niro uses a different battery. I recently got one and it is a lovely EV.

  • FreedMike FreedMike on Dec 21, 2020

    Attention whomever does the copy editing for this site: please re-read the sentence below. "Hyundai Motor Company will end sales of its best-selling electric vehicle, the Kona EV, after a series of fires and faulty braking systems prompted mass recalls in South Korea." The way that sentence is structured, the company has halted sales on this model altogether after mass recalls in South Korea. Of course, that's not the case - they just halted sales in South Korea. It's a simple mistake, but one that should have been caught before it was published. As it stands, the sentence makes the news story inaccurate. It should be corrected. I'm a longtime reader of this site, and have noticed a drop in basic journalistic quality - press releases being lightly massaged as news stories, news stories with blatant inaccuracies (the "Ford sales are up" one from a couple of weeks ago comes to mind), poor sentence structure causing inaccuracies, and opinion pieces masquerading as news pieces. Here's hoping the editorial staff ups its' game, and soon.

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