New Hyundai Kona Electric (facelift): What to Expect

While detailing changes on the conventional variants, Hyundai Motor Company has announced that the 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric will be revealed soon. The company has also revealed information about its technical specifications. Let’s take a look at what we know about the new Kona electric car:

Exterior

The 2021 Hyundai Kona has several noteworthy changes at the front. The upgraded DRL (shaped like a fishhook) and headlights (featuring three individual LED modules) and the new grille give a refreshing new look to the SUV. The ‘H’ badge has been moved to the panel above the grille, but this change would not apply to the Electric variant. Also new are the front skid plate and bumper. It goes without saying that the ‘face’ of the Kona Electric would continue being closed-off for better aero while retaining the regular version’s lights.

2021 Hyundai Kona facelift green front quarters
The headlamp is now an assembly seated in a leaf-shaped enclosure with three individual LED modules. The DRL has been tweaked resembling a fish hook. The Electric variant would adopt these but retain the closed grille for better aero. 2021 Hyundai Kona petrol version pictured for reference.

Minchul Koo, VP of Design, Hyundai, spoke to us about the new Hyundai Kona Electric facelift at Auto Expo 2020 and indicated that it wouldn’t be a nip and tuck job on the Hyundai Kona Electric as part of its mid-cycle update. Below is what he said when asked about the new Kona:

As you saw with the new Creta, there was a lot of changes (to the design) right? Our job is to always challenge something. At the moment customers are happy or satisfied (with the car’s design), but we’re not going to be happy! We are pursuing new challenges and adventures. With the (new) Kona you will find that everything is a surprise. In the first generation the Kona shocked and surprised the market with its unique design and we will just continue this kind of spirit.

Minchul Koo, VP of Design at Hyundai Motor Company

Interior

The interior of the new Hyundai Kona has more sophistication and progressiveness. There’s new ambient light technology illuminating the cabin, new rings with an aluminium finish around the speakers and the AC vents, new, 10.25-inch fully-digital instrument cluster and a bigger, 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with a split-screen function, multiple Bluetooth connections and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Changes inside the 2021 Hyundai Kona include heated rear seat, a second-row USB port, improved manually adjustable seats and additional voice recognition and Bluelink features as well.

2021 Hyundai Kona facelift interior dashboard
The 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric will feature a 10.25-inch fully digital instrument cluster and an upgraded 10.25-inch AVN unit. 2021 Hyundai Kona petrol version interior pictured for reference.

The Hyundai Kona Electric already has a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with split-screen function (shown in the video below), but it doesn’t come with multiple Bluetooth connections and the wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric should pack all the latest features available including the upgraded AVN unit.

Video Source: youtube.com/Hyundai Europe

In India, the Hyundai Kona Electric comes in a single trim that does not pack the bigger infotainment system. Another letdown is that the 8-inch unit doesn’t feature satellite navigation. The same system is available with navigation in other markets. Perhaps the most prominent interior change will be the adoption of the bigger infotainment system, which includes navigation as standard.

Another upgrade just for India with the mid-cycle refresh could be the availability of a colour head-up display, a feature already available in the electric SUV internationally. Lastly, a micro air filter with a new air clean mode and increased backseat support that rolled out on the South Korea spec in January may also be included in the improved Kona.

Specifications

Hyundai’s big announcement next year is the Hyundai 45-based Ioniq 5 with capabilities like 450+ km range and 20-minute fast-charging to 80% capacity.

For the 2021 Kona Electric though, technical changes would be limited. Hyundai confirmed today that the new Kona Electric won’t have any differences from the old model with respect to the powertrain and range. The company manufactures the old model in two versions: standard-range and long-range, and India gets the former.

ParametersStandard-range SpecificationLong-range Specification
Motor Power100 kW (136 PS)150 kW (204 PS)
Motor Torque395 Nm395 Nm
Battery Capacity39.2 kWh64 kWh
Battery Power104 kW170 kW
Battery Voltage327 V356 V
Range452 km (India)/254 km (S. Korea)/305 km (Europe)406 km (S. Korea)/484 km (Europe)
0-100% Normal Charging Time – 1-phase 7.2 kW Charger (AC)6 hour 10 minutes9 hour 35 minutes
0-100% Normal Charging Time – 3-phase 10.5 kW Charger (AC)4 hour 50 minutes7 hour 25 minutes
0-80% Fast Charging Time – 50 kW Charger (DC)57 minutes75 minutes
0-80% Fast Charging Time – 100 kW Charger (DC)54 minutes54 minutes
0-100 km/h Acceleration Time9.7 seconds7.6 seconds
Top Speed155 km/h167 km/h

A 10.5 kW three-phase on-board charger for improved charging times, low rolling resistance tyres and a tweaked underbody were introduced in the Hyundai Kona Electric in Europe this year for longer range and shorter charging duration while maintaining the same battery. The new Hyundai Kona Electric in India could borrow some of the updates.

The new KONA Electric, which will carry over the powertrain and electric driving range of the current version, will be revealed soon.

Hyundai Motor Company announcement on September 2, 2020.

Release date

The 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric will likely be unveiled in Q4 2020 (October-December 2020), and go on sale in first markets like South Korea soon after. India may have to wait until the second half of 2021 for the launch of the new model.

Price

While the worsening exchange rate makes imports expensive, the strong push for localisation from the government is providing hope for more affordable global EVs. Perhaps the 2021 Hyundai Kona EV will have slightly more localised content to absorb the costs of the various upgrades and any possible negativities from the exchange rate. Note that Hyundai has started localising a few components of the car in India, such as interior parts and plastic parts.

The current Hyundai Kona Electric costs INR 23,75,900 if purchased in a single-tone colour and INR 23,94,649 if purchased in a dual-tone colour (Ex-showroom Delhi).

‘mini’ Hyundai Kona for India

While globally Hyundai has several EV product programs that include the Ioniq 5, Ioniq 6 & Ioniq 7 besides facelifts, for India the company has confirmed a brand new electric car by end of 2022. The ‘mini’ Kona under the ‘Smart EV’ project that aims for EVs to break into developing markets would sport a crossover-SUV design and launch for a price of under Rs. 1 million.

Top 10 changes expected on the 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric in India

  • 10.25-inch fully digital instrument cluster
  • 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system (in markets where the smaller screen is in use)
  • Wireless Apple Carplay and wireless Android Auto
  • Multiple Bluetooth connections
  • Heated rear seat
  • Micro air filter
  • Improved tyres for better range wrapped around new alloy wheels
  • Underbody redesign for smoother airflow for better range
  • An ’emotional’ front and rear fascias retaining the signature ‘composite lamp’ arrangement and body armour.