When the Chevrolet Bolt EV came out, its 238-mile range became the new high-water mark for electric cars lacking Tesla badges. Well, I hope the Bolt EV enjoyed its time on the throne, because a new king has been crowned.
The EPA just revealed its figures for the 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric, the automaker's first battery-electric crossover in the US. It's officially rated at 258 miles per charge, which is 20 miles more than the Bolt EV. It's not even close to other competitors, coming in 107 miles higher than the 2018 Nissan Leaf, 134 miles higher than the Hyundai Ioniq Electric and 169 miles higher than the Honda Clarity Electric.
The EPA has not tested its Kia-badged sibling, the Niro EV, just yet. But the two share the same 64kWh lithium-ion battery, so it's safe to say that the two should have similar ranges. The body style of the Niro, as well as its standard equipment, should produce a slight difference in the end result, though.
Of course, the Kona EV doesn't hold a candle to the Tesla Model 3 with its long-range battery, which the EPA rates at 310 miles of range. But while Hyundai hasn't yet priced the Kona Electric in the US, odds are it'll be a fair bit cheaper than the Model 3's current starting price of $49,000 before incentives. It will be interesting to see how the Kona Electric stacks up against the alleged $35,000 Model 3 when (or if) it arrives.
The Kona Electric should pack a pretty solid complement of creature comforts when it launches. There's Qi wireless phone charging, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, rain-sensing wipers, a head-up display and a whole suite of active and passive safety systems. And Hyundai has plenty of EV tax credits left, so you won't have to worry about diminished incentives by the time this little guy goes on sale later this year.
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