Hyundai's Kona Electric SUV Will Get a Range Boost to 301 Miles Starting This Month
South Korean automaker Kia Motors recently announced that it will be partnering with the electric supercar company Rimac to develop a new high-performance EV, which is scheduled to hit the market in 2021. Meanwhile, Kia's parent company Hyundai Motors has gone ahead and added another enhancement to its own electrification plans.
As per recent reports, the range of the fully-electric Hyundai Kona SUV with the 64 kWh battery pack will be increased to WLTP range of 301 miles for all units manufactured after March 2020. This is almost an 8% increase over the earlier range of 279 miles (449 km).
The Kona electric electric was the first battery-only crossover model to be offered in Europe with a long-range powertrain.
The Kona's range boost can be attributed to using more efficient tires with less rolling resistance. Hyundai claims that the WLTP range bump to 301 miles is due to outfitting the electric SUV with new Michelin Primacy 4 tires, although there might be more to the story.
Several speculations surround the reasoning for the enhanced range. Industry rumors suggest that the previous model, first introduced in 2018, was intentionally downgraded to a range of 292 miles by the automaker for some reason.
However, it is highly improbable new tires alone contributed to the 8% gain in range for the Kona electric. The specifications of the improved powertrain remain shrouded in mystery.
But the Korean car manufacturer has gone ahead and revealed some updates about its production plans in Europe, where demand for the company's electric vehicles is increasing.
Hyundai will soon commence operations in Europe at its Czechia plant this month. The car manufacturer is also gearing up to increase its production in its South Korean plant located in Ulsan.
This year alone, Hyundai and Kia sold over 80,000 zero-emission vehicles, including those featuring hydrogen fuel cell powertrains.
The number is only expected to grow considering the increased production capacity which will substantially reduce delivery times for future customers in the European market. Hyundai's plant in the Czech Republic has an annual capacity of 300,000 vehicles per year.
Hyundai has confirmed that its decision to increase production was a direct result of the overwhelmingly positive response the Hyundai Kona electric SUV received from customers in the European market. Hyundai believes that it can become the biggest zero-emission vehicle manufacturer in Europe by focusing on customer demand.
As of 2020, Hyundai's current portfolio is comprised of 48-volt mild hybrid, full hybrid and plug-in hybrid models.
Recently, the automaker updated its electric models by including a three-phase charging system that has been introduced in several European markets.
The updated Hyundai Kona Electric also offers features popular with consumers, including Hyundai's BlueLink system and a larger 10.25-inch premium navigation system.
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