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Hyundai Downgrades Kona Electric Range Following WLTP Mess-Up

After Kia announced it’s downgrading the WLTP rating of the e-Niro, Hyundai follows suit with the Kona Electric. The question is, what went wrong this time around?
Hyundai Kona Electric 1 photo
A statement from the South Korean automaker claims “the independent organization” overseeing the testing process “accidentally provided an incorrect testing methodology and then approved the results.” In other words, it’s the fault of WLTP engineers for this mess-up.

“This led to the Kona Electric being tested for a disproportionate length of time on the urban cycle, comprising lower overall vehicle speeds and a reduced energy requirement.” The combined range for the 39.2-kWh model now stands at 289 kilometers (180 miles) while the 64-kWh options is good for 449 kilometers (279 miles).

Hyundai promises to investigate the matter, resulting in a “full explanation” at some point in the future. The automaker from South Korea “is concerned to have learned that the officially recognized driving range of Kona Electric must be corrected and is taking this matter seriously.”

On the upside, no other Hyundai model is affected by this issue. Also worthy of highlighting is the real-world range of the Kona Electric 64 kWh, capable of 259 miles on a charge of the lithium-ion battery. This puts the Hyundai at an advantage compared to the Jaguar I-Pace and Kia e-Niro, which tied for second place in the What Car? “Real Range” group test with 253 miles.

Looking at the bigger picture, the Kona Electric is one of the most surprising entries in the EV segment thanks to a number of factors. The pricing in correlation with the electric range and standard equipment make up for a game-changing formula that not even Chevrolet and Tesla managed to mirror with the Bolt and Model 3.

The least expensive configuration starts at 34,600 euros in Germany, not including the plug-in grant that amounts to 4,000 euros for electric vehicles in Europe’s largest market for new cars. Over in the United States, the Kona Electric with the 64-kWh battery is EPA-rated 258 miles. Odds are the pricing won’t cross the $40,000 threshold, which is a-OK considering the Model 3 with the Standard Battery is coming next year with a starting price in the ballpark of $35,000 and a range estimated at 220 miles.


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