It was recently revealed that the Union government placed initial orders with Hyundai for its first electric SUV - the Kona. The Kona was launched by the company in July this year and in just 20 days it managed to garner 152 bookings, which shows how much people want an electric car in the country. Now, the demand may not be as much as a petrol or diesel engine car, but that will happen gradually. In fact thanks to the reduction of GST rate on electric vehicles from 12 per cent to 5 per cent, the company made reductions in the price of the Kona as well and it now retails at ₹ 23.71 lakh (ex-showroom). While we've already given you a consumer perspective about the Kona electric, a report in Mint suggests that the Kona electric is already being used by Power and new and renewable energy minister Raj Kumar Singh, and NTPC chairman and managing director Gurdeep Singh and there are several who are keen to use it. The company has received an order of 10 cars from EESL and Hyundai Motor India has confirmed that only 4 out of the 10 have been delivered.
Now EESL had already placed orders as also procured vehicles from Tata Motors and Mahindra, however, in 2018, a report suggested that government officials were unhappy with the range and performance on offer. The Kona then, comes as a breath of fresh air and according to a statement made to Mint, EESL MD Saurabh Kumar said, "Kona's battery size is almost three times that of these other cars (Tigor and e-Verito). The running cost is just 40 paisa/km. It's a brilliant car in terms of comfort and this is the beauty of EVs anyway."
The Hyundai Kona Electric retails for ₹ 23.71 lakh in India
As far as the EESL orders for electric cars go, only 500 Tigor EVs have been supplied by Tata Motors to EESL so far, while Mahindra has delivered 1,000 e-Veritos. EESL now plans to limit the final order to around 3,000 cars by March 2020 amid an economic slowdown.
The Kona Electric in India gets a 100 kW motor which sends power to the front wheels and the output is equivalent of 131 bhp and 395 Nm of peak torque. It is a compact crossover, similar to Hyundai Creta in terms of size and space but has a design which is not overly futuristic yet sharp enough to distinguish itself on the road. Globally, the Kona Electric gets two battery options, which are a 39.2 kWh unit and a 64 kWh unit, India will only get the former, which offers a certified range of 452 kilometres on single charge. The battery can be fully charged in seven to eight hours and using a fast-charger can charge the battery up to 80 per cent in under an hour. Hyundai customers will be provided with a portable charger and an AC wall box charger. The portable charger will be able to plug into any three-pin 15 Amp socket and charge for a top up to 50 km in less than three hours. The 7.2 kW wall box charger can top up the vehicle within one hour of running up to 50 km.