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The Hyundai Kona Electric Named Best EV of 2019 by Edmunds

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【Summary】The Hyundai Kona, the first electric SUV from the South Korean automaker, keeps racking up accolades from the automotive industry. The compact SUV was named the Edmunds Editors’ Choice for best EV of 2019.

FutureCar Staff    Feb 12, 2019 1:47 PM PT
The Hyundai Kona Electric Named Best EV of 2019 by Edmunds
The 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric

The Hyundai Kona, the first electric SUV from the South Korean automaker, keeps racking up accolades from the automotive industry. The compact SUV was named the Edmunds Editors' Choice for best EV of 2019.

It's the latest automotive award for Hyundai's new fully-electric Kona. Last month, the Kona EV was named best SUV at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

"We give the Kona Electric high marks for its excellent combination of price and range, but also really love its comfort, responsiveness, and sophisticated ride quality," said Alistair Weaver, editor-in-chief, Edmunds. It's the most accomplished, accessible EV we drove this year - even without the tax credits."

Edmunds is a popular source of automotive information for car buyers. In business since 1966, the company rates over 300 vehicles per year on more than 30 criteria. Among the criteria is driving and performance, comfort, interior, technology, as well as value.

"The Kona Electric continues to win awards from the media and we couldn't be more proud to receive this award from Edmunds," said Mike O'Brien, vice president, Product, Corporate and Digital Planning, Hyundai Motor America. "The Kona Electric provides outstanding value, comfort and style with a great range, all at a very affordable price."

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Under the hood of the Kona Electric

The Kona was developed by Hyundai with a focus on enhanced driving dynamics and responsive performance on a variety of road conditions. Hyundai also sells a standard gas-powered version include two trims with a optional turbocharged engine.

The Kona's electric range is 258 miles and offers standard fast-charging capability, a feature for which cost extra on other competitors EVs. This allows the Kona to reach a 80 percent charge is just under one hour.

The Kona EV comes with a high-efficiency 201 horsepower (150 kW) permanent-magnet synchronous electric powertrain producing  291 lb.-fts of torque and is powered by a high-voltage 64 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The Kona's battery pack has a dedicated liquid-cooled thermal management system to prevent the batteries from overheating.

In addition, the Kona Electric platform has been developed to give customers higher ground clearance and an elevated, command seating position to provide greater visibility.

The Kona is one of many new electric vehicles hitting the market with more on the way. Others include the Jaguar I-Pace, Audi e-tron, Mercedes Benz EQC and Mini Electric.

EV sales are on a sharp rise in the U.S. According to the tracking website Inside EVs, total U.S. EV sales for 2018 reached 361,307, up 81 percent over 2017. Leading the category is the popular Tesla Model 3 with 139,782 units sold.

The Kona Electric will be available in California this spring and will eventually rollout to ZEV-focused states in the western and northeastern regions of the U.S. market at a later date.

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