It seems that the recently launched Hyundai Kona EV is off to a good start in India. Within 10 days of its launch in our country, the electric SUV has received 120 bookings. Not only this, but the company states that it has recieved more than 10,000 test-drive requests for the same as well during this duration. The Hyundai Kona EV is India's first long-range all-electric SUV. Launched at a price of Rs 25.30 lakh, it currently stands as a unique product in our market. The response received for the same is quite enthusiastic in our opinion. It does hint, though not entirely, that India is slowly but surely warming up to the idea of using an all-electric car as their daily drive.
The Hyundai Kona offers all the features and creature comforts of a regular compact SUV. It has all the equipment, it's made with good quality materials and comes across as a comfortable city commuter. If we for once, put aside the fact that it derives its power from an onboard battery and runs with the help of electric motors, the Hyundai Kona is not different than any other compact SUV which is currently on sale in India. In fact, it's about the size of the Creta but has more features and a premium layout.
The Hyundai Kona currently stands as the only long-range electric vehicle in India and hence it clearly addresses one of the major concern related to EVs i.e. range anxiety. According to ARAI, the Kona promises to deliver a range of 452 km on a full charge. In real-world conditions, we can expect somewhere around the mark of 320 km.
The second most important concern is the non-availability of proper charging infrastructure. Hyundai says that it is going to provide a 7.2 kW AC wall box charger along with a standard home charger with the Kona. The former can juice up the batteries up to 80 per cent in a matter of 6.5 hours while the latter will take up to 19 hours for a full charge. In addition to this, in a tie-up with IOCL, Hyundai is going to set-up four charging stations across different metropolitan cities on India.
The only gripe is the prices of this vehicle. At the moment, it is only accessible to premium car buyers, which in India, constitute a very small slice of the pie. However, the response recieved for the Hyundai Kona does show us that if automakers introduce electric vehicles within the financial reach of buyers, along with providing a justifiable range along with the support of proper charging infrastructure, which is further facilitated by government schemes and incentives, the transition from conventional powered vehicles to EVs in India, will be a smooth one.