Hyundai prices its electrified Kona SUV for the mass market
Hyundai has finally shared the first pricing information for its electric Kona SUV, and the figures will be welcome news for those looking to shed fuel costs and emissions from their everyday travel without entering premium-price tag territory. The 2019 Kona Electric will start at US$36,450, with EV-related tax incentives available to US customers that can drive the price below the $30,000 mark.
The Kona Electric is latest in a string of clean-driving cars from Hyundai, which also has its IONIQ line of electric vehicles in the works, along with an electric bus. It is based on the gasoline-powered original that arrived in 2017, but with a few cosmetic tweaks that include a closed grill.
The $36,450 price tag is attached to a mid-range model offering 258 miles (415 km) of range on each charge, with pricing for other variants, including the long-range 300-mile (482-km) version, to follow.
Depending on individual tax circumstances, US customers can take advantage of tax credits of up to $7,500 when buying electric vehicles. This is the same mechanism Tesla leverages in selling its cars as it edges towards its much-anticipated $35,000 price point for the Model 3 sedan. But the Kona's $28,950 total with tax incentives included is lower than what Tesla is currently able to offer, with its cheapest Model 3 today carrying a price of $37,500, tax credits included.
With the current timeline around the arrival of a $35,000 Model 3 very much unknown, Hyundai's Kona seems well-placed to tempt shoppers away from Tesla's mass-market sedan, despite them being different types of vehicles. And if nothing else, greater options and some healthy competition in the EV arena can only be good news for consumers (not to mention the planet as a whole).
Hyundai is producing the Kona Electric at its plant in Ulsan, Korea, and expects the first models to become available in California at the beginning of 2019.
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Perhaps an even more interesting subject than the RRP would be the profitability of the Kona for Hyundai at this price...?
I hope Hyundai broadens is goals with this vehicle, rather than emulating Fiat's stubborn refusal to promote the extremely popular 500e, a remarkable car with a well-designed but much-lower-range battery that leaves it better suited to around-town driving and under-100-mile round-trip commutes.
$10,000 pays for a lot of gas and maintenance, then after 5 years you can sell the gas Kona for about $10,000.
But a 5 year old battery Kona is almost worthless because the cost of replacing the battery is more than the resale value of a 5 year old Kona.
Is the entire EV tax credit program stopping, or just Tesla's?