Hyundai India CEO YK Koo has just confirmed that the Kona Electric SUV will be launched in India by the middle of 2019. Instead of importing as a completely built unit (CBU), Hyundai is planning to assemble the Kona Electric at Chennai through the completely knocked down (CKD) kit route. This is expected to push down the final price of the Kona Electric, which is likely to retail at around Rs. 25 lakhs. This is similar to the starting price of the Toyota Fortuner SUV, a much larger vehicle but one that’s not electric powered.
Here’s comment from Mr. Koo,
We are not looking at big sales numbers with the Kona, but we want to make a technology statement and show our commitment to an EV future. Since there are no tax incentives for hybrids, we are looking at concentrating our efforts on pure EVs
The high cost of Kona Electric mainly is to do with the cost of the Lithium Ion batteries that the vehicle packs. Hyundai is not looking at big volumes for the Kona Electric. Instead, the brand wants to sell the electric SUV as a brand builder, highlighting its ability to produce an everyday electric car that can go long distances on a single charge.
The Kona Electric sold in India will be equipped with an electric motor generating 134 Hp and 395 Nm. It’ll offer a battery range of 300 kilometers, and will have a top speed of 155 Kph. The 0-100 Kph sprint will be achieved in just 9.7 seconds, making it one of the fastest SUVs from Hyundai in India.
The batteries will take 6 hours and 10 minutes to charge fully while the fast charge option will allow the battery to be charged to 80 % from empty in just 54 minutes. The Kona Electric is a five seat SUV and in terms of dimensions, the vehicle measures similar to the Hyundai Creta. Hyundai hopes to sell 50-60 units of the Kona Electric in India each month.