Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together to welcome our new electric future. The new Hyundai Kona Electric has just been launched in Malaysia, and with a starting price of RM149,888, it might be the one to kick off widespread EV adoption here in on our shores!
The new Hyundai Kona Electric will be offered in three variants – e-Lite, e-Plus, and e-Max – although all three variants share most of the cosmetic options across the board.
On the outside, all three variants are equipped with the same LED headlights, DRLs, and tail lights, alongside the same 17-inch alloy wheels and dual-tone paint job. The only way to differentiate the e-Lite out from the two higher-end variants is the lack of a front-facing radar sensor for the adaptive cruise control feature.
It’s the same story for the cabin, too, with all three variants looking virtually identical. Standard equipment include a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster display, an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment display with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, as well as leather upholstery in either white or grey colourways.
The two higher-end variants mark their superiority with the addition of powered front seats (10-way for Driver, eight-way for passenger, heating and ventilation on the Max), head-up display, and a wireless qi charging pad.
So what’s the difference between the three variants? Most of it comes down to the battery size and charging speed. The entry-level Hyundai Kona Electric e-Lite comes with a 39.2 kWh battery, with a 7.2 kW on-board AC charger, while the e-Plus comes with the same battery but equipped with a faster 11 kW charger.
The 39.2 kWh battery supplies 100 kW (136 hp) and 395 Nm to the front wheels, taking 9.9 seconds to reach 100 km/h from a standstill onward to a top speed of 155 km/h. Driving range for is rated at 305 km (WLTP), and charging the battery takes 6.5 hours on the e-Lite, and 4.5 hours on the e-Plus.
Moving up to the range-topping Hyundai Kona Electric e-Max variant meanwhile will net you a significantly larger battery (64 kWh), which raises the driving range up to 484 km on a single charge.
The larger battery also supplies more go-fast juice to the motors, raising the output up to 150 kW (204 hp) for a century sprint time of 7.9 seconds and a top speed of 167 km/h. Charging the larger battery with the 11 kW on-board AC charger takes approximately 7.5 hours to complete.
The new Hyundai Kona Electric starts at RM149,888 for the e-Lite variant, moving up to RM169,888 for the e-Plus, and RM199,888 for the e-Max. All prices are on the road, without insurance, and inclusive of tax exemptions for EVs starting 2022.