2019 Hyundai Kona Electric Bests Chevrolet Bolt With 258-Mile Range

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【Summary】The Chevrolet Bolt may have helped disrupt Tesla’s throne as the electric-vehicle king, but the new Hyundai Kona Electric reveals just how quickly electric-vehicle technology advances.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Oct 02, 2018 12:30 PM PT
2019 Hyundai Kona Electric Bests Chevrolet Bolt With 258-Mile Range

For the longest time, Tesla went unchallenged when it came to electric vehicles with usable ranges. Spending six figures on one of the brand's electric vehicles meant that you could get approximately 335 miles of range on a charge. Getting into an electric vehicle with a usable range came at a steep price. 

Before the Tesla Model S, electric vehicles were a difficult sell because of their short ranges. The old Nissan Leaf could only travel 107 miles. Another option, the old BMW i3 was only rated to travel 114 miles before running out of juice. Sure, Tesla charged a large amount of money for the Model S, but it was one of the first to actually come out with an EV that could be used for lengthy trips. 

All of this changed when Chevrolet came out with the Bolt. When the Bolt appeared on the scene, the EV shocked everyone with a range of 238 miles and an affordable price tag of approximately $38,000. That kind of range was unheard of, especially at that price. 

Hyundai's Kona Electric Boasts 258-Mile Range

Now, it looks like Chevrolet has been outdone by Hyundai and the South Korean automaker's new Kona Electric. The EPA came out with its official figures for the Kona Electric and the crossover is capable of traveling 20 more miles than the Bolt. Hyundai's first battery-powered crossover has a range of 258 miles, which bests the Bolt and nearly matches the Model S 75D's range of 259 miles. 

Compared with similarly priced competitors, the Kona Electric becomes an instant leader in the segment. The new Leaf only has a range of 151 miles, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric has a 124-mile range, and the Honda Clarity Electric can only travel 89 miles on a single charge. 

While the Kona Electric handedly beats others in the segment, it still can't compete with the Model 3 with the long-range battery. That vehicle has a range of 310 miles. One thing Hyundai has going for it, though, is pricing. The Model 3 with the long-range battery costs roughly $49,000. While pricing for the Kona Electric hasn't been announced yet, there's a good chance that the vehicle will be much more affordable. 

Kona Electric's MPGe Is Also Impressive

In addition to announcing the Kona Electric's range, the EPA also released fuel economy figures for the crossover. According to the EPA's official site, the Kona Electric has a combined rating of 120 MPGe. Once again, that's better than the Bolt (119 MPGe), Volkswagen e-Golf (119 MPGe), i3 (118 MPGe), and Clairty EV (114 MPGe). 

To be able to travel 258 miles on a single charge, the Kona Electric features a 64-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that is paired to a 7.2-kW on-board charger. With that kind of power, the crossover can be juiced up in roughly 9.5 hours. Another benefit of the Kona Electric over its competitors is the fact that it's one of the first EVs from an Asian automaker that can be plugged into a CCS Combo fast charge port. When connected to a 100-kW fast charger, the Kona Electric can be filled up in less than an hour. 

The 2019 Kona Electric is one of just 13 electric vehicles that are coming out before 2020. With electric-vehicle technology improving every year, it will be interesting to see what kind of range automakers manage to come out with by then. 

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