Hyundai India will launch its first electric car in India this July, in the form of the Kona Electric SUV. The newly appointed CEO of Hyundai India, Seon Seob Kim, is quite bullish on the electric SUV’s prospects. Hyundai India is introducing the Kona Electric SUV to showcase its expertise in electric vehicle technology. The electric SUV will be a brand builder, and will also allow Hyundai to test customer acceptance of electric cars in India. The SUV will offer a range of over 400 kilometers per charge and this could be the main game changer in terms of how electric vehicles are viewed in India. In contrast, the other electric cars sold in India have a range per charge of less than 150 kilometers.
Meanwhile, here’s what Mr. Seon Seob Kim had to tell LiveMint about the Kona electric SUV, which is already sold in many international markets,
The reason why we chose to introduce the Kona EV is because it is already proven in matured markets. It might bring in a change in customer mindset. Initially we will also set up some charging stations in our office and in some dealerships but as an original equipment manufacturer, we are not responsible for setting up charging infrastructure across the country. To solve the increasing pollution level in Indian cities electrification is the right direction but the industry needs a road map from the government regarding electric mobility.
The Hyundai Kona Electric SUV will be powered by a 134 Bhp electric motor that gets a 39.2 kWh battery pack. A full charge will give the Kona a range of over 400 Kms. The car wull dash to 100 Kph from standstill in about 10 seconds while top-speed is about 160 Kmph. A single speed automatic gearbox transfers over 300 Nm of torque from the electric motor to the front wheels of the SUV.
At 4.18 meters in length, the Kona is sized similar to the Hyundai Creta but in terms of pricing, the costly electric powertrain will ensure that the SUV is twice as expensive. The estimated price at which the Hyundai Kona will sell in India is about Rs. 20-25 lakhs. Hyundai’s future electric cars are likely to be a lot cheaper thanks to local sourcing, production and higher volumes. For now, the Kona is meant to give Indians a taste of how electric cars can be a viable, everyday alternative to petrol and diesel engined cars, at least for city us