Hyundai today released additional details about the 2024 Kona Electric, including preliminary range estimates, specifications, and US availability. The current generation is among the few affordable electric vehicles in the US starting at under $35,000. The next generation is imminent and seems like a significant upgrade, at least on paper.
The Korean carmaker had shared powertrain and production details early this year, but now we have some more information about the US-spec model.
The Kona Electric’s nose is more aerodynamic with cleaner surfacing, and it continues to feature a split headlamp design, although the LED DRL is now full-width.
Designers have also attempted to embed the parametric design theme from the Ioniq 5 with the creases on the side profile, and sculpted wheel arches, although reminiscence to its bigger sibling is little to none.
It’s also more slippery, with a drag coefficient of 0.27, a slight improvement over the previous figure of 0.29. It also features active grill shutters to improve airflow around the car when closed and cool the battery when open.
The EV is longer, wider, and has an enlarged wheelbase compared to its predecessor. It measures 171.5 inches long (+5.9 inches), 71.9 inches wide (+1 inch), and 62.2 inches tall. Boot space is rated at 25.5 cubic feet, but the frunk only offers nine-tenths of a cubic foot (27 liters) of space.
The Chevrolet Bolt EV competitor features a marginally larger battery pack, but the range estimates are nearly identical. The current Kona Electric draws power from a 64-kilowatt-hour pack, while the 2024 model will feature a 64.8 kWh battery capacity. Hyundai’s preliminary internal testing has indicated a 260-mile range, just two miles more than the current generation’s 258-mile EPA range. The standard battery variant is estimated to have 197 miles of range.
Charging times have improved slightly. Ten to 80 percent state of charge (SoC) can be achieved in 43 minutes with 400V Level 3 DC fast charging. Customers living in the colder US regions can also opt for battery pre-conditioning.
Power output remains identical, with the long-range version’s front axle-mounted electric motor delivering 201 horsepower and 188 pound-foot of torque, while the standard range variant is rated for 133 hp and 188 lb-ft.
Remember that the Kona Electric rides on Hyundai’s modified K3 platform, primarily designed to underpin gas-powered vehicles. Newer models like the Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6 ride on the Electric-Global Modular Architecture (E-GMP), a dedicated EV platform.
New features include vehicle-to-load functionality, with 1.7 kilowatts of maximum power output. There’s also a new Smart Regenerative system which can alter the brake energy regeneration strength based on real-time traffic, an improved interior with ambient lighting, body-colored interior accents, and dual 12.3-inch panoramic screens for the gauge cluster and infotainment among other items.
The Kona Electric will be available to order in late fall 2023, and Hyundai is likely to reveal prices closer to that timeframe. The outgoing generation starts at $33,500, excluding taxes and fees, so expect Hyundai to price the new one in a similar ballpark, or at a slight premium.
The North America-bound 2024 Kona Electric will be made at Hyundai’s plant in Ulsan, South Korea. It is also being manufactured at Hyundai’s plant in Nošovice, Czechia for the European market. Through the first half of 2023, wholesale worldwide shipments of the Kona Electric amounted to just under 40,000 units, and the brand’s highest-selling EV is the Ioniq 5.