Until now, Tesla have had the whole big battery EV market to themselves. In America, though you might not always believe it from the news flow, they are doing an astonishing job mass-producing Model 3’s and securing remarkable market share.
While Tesla concentrates on the home market there’s a small window for other manufacturers to bring their bigger battery plug-in cars to the consumer and the first that is affordable to many is the Hyundai Kona 64kWh version.
This version of the Kona comes very well specified with all the things you would expect. In the Premium SE I drove, along with a heated steering wheel, the front seats were comfortable, heated and ventilated, with leather trim. The technology included Lane Keeping Assist – where the car will keep you in the lane, you’re in, unless you’re indicating. I found that to be very effective and very useful. I really liked the centre screen which complemented the dash displays very effectively. This model also has a head-up display for navigation and speed which I found distracting and a novelty I could do without.
The Kona EV is a touch smaller than the Nissan Leaf but still has very acceptable boot space and while rear seat legroom is less luxurious, that won’t be a problem for you if you’re considering EV as an efficient family car.
1. Mark Goodier is a radio broadcaster and electric vehicle enthusiast (he’s been driving electric since 2002).
2. Kona Interior.
Charging options are Type 2 and CCS. With Nissan and other manufacturers moving from Type 1 to Type 2, it looks like it’s going to be the default for overnight charging. CCS worked very well for me at all Chargemaster Ultra-charger locations but only at a third of Ecotricity’s Electric Highway. I can only conclude that the former are newer and perhaps better maintained than Electric Highway, which have been installed at motorway service stations for much longer.
Range, they say is 300 miles but I found it to be a realistic 250 in my mix of around town and motorway driving. That makes the Kona a very usable battery car and at half the price of the Jaguar iPace, it’s well worth consideration as your daily driver.
The only issue is, somewhat predictably, supply. There is at least a 6 month wait and the UK boss of Hyundai says his allocation is 1000 cars in the first year. With a worldwide squeeze on battery supply you might be stuck with that wait but its similar for many EV’s if you’re leasing or buying new, unless you are a client of a forward-thinking leasing company like DriveElectric who are prepared to invest in future supply.