South Korean automaker Hyundai has confirmed the launch of the Kona Electric SUV in India. The automaker is preparing to launch India’s first electric SUV in 2019 as Hyundai India announced that they would launch a total of 8 new vehicles in the next two years’, one of which would be an electric vehicle. The Electric SUV will make it to India through the CKD route only to be assembled at Hyundai’ Chennai plant and announcing the SUV for India, YK Koo - Managing Director, Hyundai India said that the product will be brought to India in a complete knocked down version (CKD) because they are not much assured of the success of EV products in the Indian market but to showcase that the automaker has the technology.
According to the manufacturer, they are bringing this EV product as CKD to test the market as they need a clear picture from the government but they cannot wait. Still, they are waiting for a detailed road map to be proposed and developed by the Niti Aayog in the country. The new reports in the market say that Hyundai intends to have sold 1 crore cars in India by 2021, a target of which they are 20 lakh short.
YK Koo also stated that Hyundai would go fully electric or not at all, saying that the company is not looking at hybrids for India as opposed to the likes of Maruti-Suzuki and Toyota that have both advised the influx of hybrid cars as segway to full-electric cars. However, the electric SUV in question is expected to be the Hyundai Kona which has already made its debut at the 2018 Auto Expo in the country. Currently, Hyundai is busy discussing about the pricing details of the SUV that is likely to be around 22- 26 lakh and the SUV will go on sale in 15 cities across the country.
However, Hyundai is aiming towards using the Chennai facility as a base for Made-In-India Electric Vehicles and is waiting to see the market response and an ecosystem for EVs is established in India. Koo also advised the Indian government to consider bringing the current GST rate down to 5% from 12% such as to allow for faster mass-scale adoption of electric vehicle along-side the setup of a charging infrastructure network as it will play a vital role in the adoption of EVs in India at a faster rate.
Talking about the Kona EV, the upcoming SUV is expected to come powered by the existing 135 hp Electric motor which produces 325 Nm of peak torque and a range of 325 kms. The existing Kona is capable of doing the sprint from 0-100 kmph in 7.6 seconds. Also, to compensate for the lack of charging infrastructure, Hyundai will be selling the car packaged with a home-charging kit as well. Talking about the charging, the Kona can be fully charged in 6 hours with AC charging, and a little more hour using a DC-fast charger.
In terms of features, the 2019 Hyundai Kona SUV is expected to be offered with six airbags, ABS, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian recognition, electronic stability control, forward collision warning, hill launch assist, lane keep assist and tyre pressure monitoring system as well as auto climate control, automatic headlamps, LED DRLs, cruise control, reverse parking sensors with camera and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple Carplay and Android Auto.
Though, the launch date and timing has not been revealed by Hyundai, when launched the Kona electric SUV will take against the likes of the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour, Skoda Kodiaq, Isuzu MU-X and the upcoming Mahindra Rexton.
Stay tuned to V3cars.com for further updates on the 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric SUV.