Watch out Chevy Bolt!? Hyundai dropped a bomb on us today with the announcement of the US price of the Kona Electric with 64kWh battery and 258 mile range. Are you sitting down?

$36,450 base price

As always, Electric vehicle prices are a little complicated so I’m just going to quote Hyundai here.

Hyundai today announced the starting price for its long-awaited 2019 Kona Electric convention-breaking electric crossover. The Kona Electric starting price is $36,450, for an effective net price of $28,950 ($29,995 including delivery), with the electric vehicle tax credit of $7,500 factored in. Customers may receive the available federal tax credit of up to $7,500, dependent on individual tax circumstances, yielding a sub-$30,000 net value. Pricing for other Kona Electric trims will be announced shortly.

That price doesn’t factor in state incentives which drop the price further. California for instance will drop another $2500 on you and New York will do $2000.

The Hyundai Kona has been in Korea and Norway for a few months so we’ve gotten some solid reviews so far. Production ramped up last month likely for a US market entry. We’re scheduled for a long-term Electrek review next month so stick around.

Electrek’s take

Well, Chevy had its chance to sell the heck out of the Bolt before this thing dropped and I’ll still say that there are a lot of things I like about the Bolt. But if you are looking for a $30,000 EV, a larger, less expensive Kona with more range and slightly more horsepower is almost always going to win head to head. Chevy currently lists the Bolt at $36,620 but I’m imagining a price drop may be imminent.

Tesla Model 3 competitor?

Will the Kona affect Model 3 sales? Hyundai which has been very stingy with its 200,000 US EV sales will have the $7500 tax credit long after Tesla’s drops later this month. That said, I think this is a very different car than the Model 3 which is a premium sports sedan.

We had estimated that the Kona would come in around $40,000, so this is a great surprise. The Kona is the current non-Tesla range champ, even outlasting the bigger battery, more expensive Jaguar I-PACE and Audi e-tron with an EPA-rated 258 miles from its LG 64.4 kWH battery pack or 120 MPGe. Hyundai along with Tesla seems to be able to get more miles out of every kilowatt-hour, likely being helped by its low weight and grill-less low drag.

The problem, as it was with the IONIQ, is that Hyundai might not be making these for or marketing these outside of ZEV states. In fact, Hyundai says that it will initially only be operating “in California and subsequently in the ZEV-focused states in the western and northeastern regions of the U.S. market.” There’s no guarantee they will make these outside of the ZEV US. And if it is anything like the IONIQ, there will be no marketing and almost no dealer training to keep numbers artificially low.

Please, please, please prove me wrong here Hyundai. Make a ton of these, market them like crazy, and get them out to customers. Here’s a Kona vs. Bolt compare from Edmunds:

Full press release follows:

2019 Hyundai Kona Electric Pricing Confirms an Unprecedented Sub-$30K Electric Crossover Value with 258 Miles of Range

  • Kona Electric Starts Below $30,000 with Available $7,500 Tax Credit
  • Generous 258-Mile Estimated Range Meets More Varied Lifestyle Needs
  • New Electric CUV offers Youthful Design, Sporty Driving Character, Leading Safety Technology and Advanced Infotainment Features in an Affordable, Compact Footprint
  • Abundant Suite of Standard Safety Equipment

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., Dec. 14, 2018 – Hyundai today announced the starting price for its long-awaited 2019 Kona Electric convention-breaking electric crossover. The Kona Electric starting price is $36,450, for an effective net price of $28,950 ($29,995 including delivery), with the electric vehicle tax credit of $7,500 factored in. Customers may receive the available federal tax credit of up to $7,500, dependent on individual tax circumstances, yielding a sub-$30,000 net value. Pricing for other Kona Electric trims will be announced shortly.

Kona Electric rides on an all-new CUV platform and is Hyundai’s first compact electric crossover for the U.S. market, appealing to consumers with active, eco-focused lifestyles of all kinds. Kona Electric models will be produced in Ulsan, Korea and will be available in the beginning of 2019, with initial availability in California and subsequently in the ZEV-focused states in the western and northeastern regions of the U.S. market.

“Our new Kona Electric crossover is an exceptionally affordable, stylish and efficient compact electric CUV, tailored to the needs of customers who pursue eco-focused active lifestyles requiring generous range,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president of Product, Corporate and Digital Planning, Hyundai Motor America. “We’re confident it will set new standards for the electric-propelled compact CUV segment, with outstanding value, range flexibility, appealing design, cutting-edge connectivity and class-leading available safety features.”


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