Electric Cars

2019 Hyundai Kona Electric starts at $36,450, tops out at $45,000

If you include the $7,500 federal tax incentive, the base price dips just below the $30,000 mark.

Hyundai

It might not be available everywhere for a while, but locations that receive the 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric will find it's not too expensive. It can get expensive, however, if you start packing on the features.

Hyundai announced this week that the 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric will go on sale in select locations with a starting price of $36,450 before destination. Factoring in both destination and the $7,500 federal tax incentive, the price drops to $29,995. There are two other trims beyond base, but they get expensive in a hurry -- the midlevel Limited trim will cost $41,150 before destination and incentives, and the top-floor Ultimate trim will cost $44,650.

It's important to note that the incentive is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of a person's tax liability, not a point-of-sale discount, and not everyone will have paid $7,500 in federal tax in a given year, so not every buyer will realize the aforementioned effective price.

The Kona Electric makes a bunch of its safety systems standard, while its chief competitor hides them in options packages.

Hyundai

The Kona Electric comes with a 201-horsepower, 290-pound-foot electric motor that offers an EPA-estimated 258 miles of range with its 64-kWh battery. The base SE trim comes with a whole load of standard kit, including heated front seats, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system and nearly every safety system under the sun. 

As for the higher trims, the Kona Electric Limited adds LED headlights, automatic high beams, a sunroof, leather seats, a power driver's seat, wireless device charging and a 315-watt Infinity sound system. The top-top Ultimate trim includes all that good stuff, in addition to parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers and stop-and-go functionality for the adaptive cruise control. The Ultimate trim also packs an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation.

Let's quickly compare that with the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV. Its electric motor is a bit less powerful at 200 hp and 266 lb-ft, and its range is a smidge lower at 238 miles. The Bolt EV is also more expensive to start, at $37,495 before destination. All trims of Bolt EV have a 10.2-inch touchscreen, but you have to buy into the $41,780 Premier trim to get heated seats and basic safety systems -- a proper safety suite is a paid option on top of that price.

It may take some time for all 50 states to get the Kona Electric, though. To start, Hyundai will limit the car's rollout to ZEV states (states with zero-emission-vehicle requirements), because high demand will keep its Korean-based supply on the low side. Over time, Hyundai hopes to expand the car's availability to non-ZEV states, but there's no estimate for how long that'll take.

Originally published on Dec. 14, 2018.
Update, Jan. 28, 2019: Added new pricing info.

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