HYUNDAI HAS stolen the lead over the Nissan Qashqai, the best-selling SUV in Britain, after the Korean car maker revealed the first affordable electric SUV.
The new Kona Electric will go on sale this June and will give drivers the chance to ditch diesel-powered SUVs and switch to a zero-emission electric model instead.
With a driving range of up to 300 miles, and a price that’s expected to start from £25,000 – before the government plug-in car grant – this is the first family SUV that offers battery power at an affordable price.
Increasing numbers of drivers are switch from diesel to hybrid or plug-in electric vehicles, as concerns grow over the true levels of harmful pollution from diesel-powered cars and new road tax rates for diesels.
It features a choice of a 64 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery, with a range of 292 miles, or a less powerful 39.2 kWh version that can travel up to 186 miles on a charge.
Hyundai claims the batteries can be charged to 80% capacity in less than an hour using a 100 kW direct current (DC) fast charger. However, drivers new to the world of electrically-powered cars should note that, currently, there are no such chargers available in the UK.
Using the Kona Electric’s 7.2 kW on-board-charger, charging with alternating current (AC) takes 9 hours 40 minutes for the long-range battery pack and 6 hours 10 minutes for the shorter-range battery pack. The charging port is located in the vehicle’s front next to the Hyundai logo.
Hyundai had not confirmed the UK warranty for the Kona Electric’s battery, but a spokesperson told Driving.co.uk that the battery warranty is expected “…to be consistent with that of the IONIQ, which is eight years or 125,000 miles.”
As with many electric cars, performance is spritely. The big-battery version can accelerate from 0-62mph in 7.2 seconds, and the smaller capacity version takes 9.3 seconds.
The Kona Electric is a five-seat family SUV that’s slightly smaller than a Qashqai. It has a 332-litre boot with a dedicated under-floor storage area for charging cables.
A host of electric driver aids will be available, including a head-up display, an autonomous emergency braking system, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, blind spot detection and another that warns drivers when their attention wanders.