Hyundai Kona Electric a total power trip

Price: 73990
Engine: Lithium-ion battery pack with permanent magnet synchronous motor, 39.2kWh (100kW/395Nm); 64kWh (150kW/395Nm)
Transmission: Direct drive
Brakes and stability systems: Front and rear disc brakes, ABS, EPB, ESC, FCA
Safety: Five-star ANCAP
Wheels and tyres: Alloy wheels, 215/55 R17
Fuel and economy: 12kWh per 100km optimum
Emissions: None
Dimensions: Length 4180, width 1800, height 1570

Overview

Hyundai has added an e-SUV to its already impressive lineup. And, writes Richard Bosselman, it won't disappoint. No mainstream brand is power tripping more than Hyundai just now. With its Ioniq settled in and dominating the new electric vehicle sector, it is now delivering the country's only e-SUV. The electric version of its cute Kona compact crossover has an AC electric motor driving the front wheels via a direct drive transmission, fed by a lithium-ion polymer battery that resides under the floor and has a 10-year warranty. Hyundai New Zealand has two models _ a 63kWh (kilowatt hour) battery promising a range in excess of 400km, a top speed of 167kmh and 0-100kmh in 7.6 seconds and later in the year, they are introducing a 39.2kWh battery, price as yet unknown, touting 250km ``real world'' range, 155kmh and 0-100kmh in 9.7 seconds. On test, the 64kWh Elite took me to Raglan from Hyundai NZ headquarters in Mt Wellington, Auckland and return. Registering a theoretical 445km range at the start, our car made lunch having used 38% of the battery to clock 150.7km, with 268km remaining range. By journey's end we'd clocked 329km and battery life had fallen to 18%. Power consumption worked out to 15.6kWh/100km, clearly short of the 12kWh per 100km required to make good on the optimal. Not bad, I felt, given the route, driving styles and our pace, plus the impact of messing with the driving modes _ the default Comfort, Power, Eco and Eco Plus (the latter two reducing maximum speed to 90kmh) _ and the four regenerative braking choices, accessed via the steering wheel paddles. That battery, spanning the entire underfloor, adds significant weight, taking the vehicle to 1730kg. That doesn't inhibit frisky step-off, and though it feels stronger when speeding up from town speeds than it does on the open road, there is still enough to allow overtaking with confidence. The weight has more impact on the dynamics. It is not as cheekily playful as the fossil-fuelled Konas and you'll need to be cautious about pushing those low-rolling resistance tyres in the wet. At least, with the weight being as low as it could go, the car feels well planted, doesn't express much body roll and has a supple ride. The Elite's 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, digital instruments, head-up display and premium audio system add class and it has push buttons to select Drive, Reverse, Park and Neutral, but the interior ambience struggles. It is no i3. Towing is not allowed, but cycles (and a luggage pod) can be mounted on the roof. Boot space relative to other Kona models is smaller, down 29 litres to 332 overall, and the EV bits also reduce the back seat room. However, even with the usual new world order design features of a closed grille and strange-looking shrouded alloys that reduce the drag co-efficient, it still could pass for a regular Kona _ just one that warbles like a Tardis (it is the pedestrian alert) when passing by at low speed. WHAT IS A KILOWATT HOUR (kWh)? A kilowatt hour (kWh) is a measure of how much energy you're using. It doesn't mean the number of kilowatts you're using per hour. It is simply a unit of measurement that equals the amount of energy you would use if you kept a 1000 watt appliance running for an hour. So, if you switched on a 100 watt light bulb, it would take 10 hours to use 1kWh of energy. A 2000 watt appliance would use 1kWh in half an hour, while a 50 watt item could stay on for 20 hours before it used 1kWh. _ Source: www.ovoenergy.com

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