The Hyundai Kona Electric compact SUV is the latest new electric vehicle unveiled in Australia, and as I have discovered in recent days, it is possibly the first to offer Australian drivers who simply want an EV to do what they need it to – and a lot more.
A couple of days zipping around the winding roads of northern NSW in the Kona EV have proved it is a delight to drive; it handles corners beautifully and the instantly available power from its electric motor means it doesn’t skip a beat tackling hills and in overtaking lanes.
On the open highway, the pure electric motor handles the demands of overtaking artfully and effortlessly, as it delivers a maximum 150kW to the front wheels to zip past slow-coaches and escape looming semis.
Offering up to 480km of real driving range, the Hyundai Kona Electric’s 64kWh battery can cover enough distance in a single charge for a casual drive from town to city, as I did on Tuesday this week.
At the start of the trip, the display told me I had about 100% battery and 480km range. So, for a 170km drive, there was no range anxiety. Even switching on the aircon left a range of 466km.
Stopping at the 59km mark for a coffee, the battery was still 91% full with 439km range with the air con off and the most conservative of the Kona’s three driving modes, “eco” mode on.