South Korean automaker Hyundai is preparing to launch its first electric vehicle (EV) Kona in India in 2019. The SUV will be imported via the completely knocked down (CKD) route in the country and the automaker targets to sell 50 units of Kona EV in India per year. The all-electric SUV by Hyundai will be assembled locally at the brand’s Chennai plant.
Speaking about the Kona EV, Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) Managing Director & Chief Executive Y K Koo said, ‘‘we are looking at bringing Kona EV to India and targeting to sell around 50 units a year to start with. The vehicle will be imported in the completely knocked down (CKD) format. We have planned to increase the capacity by 50,000 units by next year through debottlenecking and increasing per hour output. The company has already increased our per-hour production to 58 units from 45, and we plan to increase that further.’’
The electric vehicle will be launched in two different variants depending on the running range in the country next year. The short range variant will get power from a 39.2 kWh lithium-ion battery-powered electric motor that is capable of churning out 133 bhp of maximum power and 395 Nm of peak torque. This model will be able to run around 300 kilometres on a single charge and the electric motor will accelerate the vehicle from 0-100 km/h in 9.7 seconds to a top speed of 155 km/h while, the long-range variant of the Hyundai Kona EV will come powered by a 64 kWh lithium-ion battery-powered electric motor that is capable of churning out 201 bhp of maximum power 395 Nm of peak torque. It will be able to run 470 kilometres on a single charge.
However, initially the short-range variant of the Kona EV will be available in the Indian market, while the long-range model will be introduced at a later stage. As claimed by Hyundai, the batteries can be charged to 80% in 54 minutes using a fast charger, while it will take around 6 hours to charge it via a household socket.
Apart from Kona EV, Hyundai is also considering the Ioniq mid-size sedan and an electric version of the Xcent compact sedan for India. Also, the manufacturer had set up two facilities near Chennai, and it had originally planned a capacity of around 300,000 units a year from each plant. For 2019, the company set a target of producing and selling around 700,000 units, around 25 per cent of that will be for exports. Currently, the Indian subsidiary of Hyundai Motors accounts for around 15 per cent of Hyundai's global sales and the automaker expects to maintain this sells momentum in the future as well.
Hyundai had introduced the Hyundai Ioniq Electric at the 2018 Auto Expo in India, but it is a sedan and not a SUV. However, with customer focus on SUVs, the company has decided to launch Hyundai Kona Electric in India. Stay tuned to V3cars.com for further updates on the Hyundai Kona EV.