Hyundai Motor has announced the start of production for the all-new Kona Electric at its Czech Republic-based plant, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Czech (HMMC), with 21,000 units of the second-generation of the sleek family crossover planned for production in the first year, with a further 50,000 for next year.
The second-generation Kona, announced in December last year, is led by the all-electric variant (EV), which offers advanced safety and convenience features and a class-leading range. Hyundai developed the all-new Kona as an EV first, in line with the company’s March 2022 accelerated electrification strategy announcement that will bring eleven new Hyundai EVs to market by 2030.
When we reviewed it at ev.tips, we found it to be a joy to drive — practical, well equipped, safe and offering a genuinely long EV range at an affordable price. Plus, it offered peace of mind too, as it came with a generous five-year, unlimited mileage.
Dedicated to the European market
Hyundai said that it’s intends to show its dedication to its customers across Europe. Back in 2020, the first-generation KONA Electric became Hyundai’s first electric vehicle to be produced in Europe. The strategic decision to supplement its supply from the company’s Ulsan plant in South Korea with production at HMMC drastically reduced delivery times for customers in Europe. The second-generation KONA Electric continues with this strategy to better serve the European market – made in Europe, for Europe.
Additionally, experts from HMMC had a significant say in the new model’s development for Europe, starting with the preparation of initial sketches. This new development process allowed them to not only shape the all-new KONA Electric’s character and parameters but also consider the specifics of the plant at an earlier stage.
Michael Cole, President & CEO of Hyundai Motor Europe: “Hyundai regards Europe as a core market, which is reflected in our dedication to our customers across the continent. That is why we produce more than 70 per cent of our models – designed with European customers in mind – in Europe.
“In response to the growing demand for our electric vehicles in the region and with a focus on shortened delivery times, producing one of our most important electric cars in Europe underlines the importance of the European market for Hyundai.”
Production in the Czechia
Hyundai expects KONA Electric to represent 15 per cent of the plant’s total production by late 2023, thanks in part to the fact that the electric vehicle from HMMC will be delivered to an additional 20 countries to the current 22 exclusively European markets. By the end of this year, 21,000 cars of the new generation KONA Electric model are to be produced, with a further 50,000 manufactured next year.
KONA Electric will now be produced at HMMC in a right-hand drive version for the UK, Ireland, and Cyprus. New destinations for the electric model will also include Turkey and Israel, as well as the islands of Reunion and Guadalupe.
The Czech-based plant will continue to produce two versions of KONA Electric with different battery capacities, with both offering higher performance and range than their predecessors. The 65.4-kWh battery pack KONA Electric is equipped with a 160-kW electric motor and offers a class-leading WLTP range of 514 km. The base version will have a 48.4-kWh battery pack and a 114.6-kW electric motor, providing a WLTP 377-km range.
KONA Electric’s battery cells are manufactured at LG Energy Solution’s plant in Wroclaw, Poland. The batteries are then assembled in their final form at the same HMMC facility that produced manual transmissions until the end of 2021.
Besides, Hyundai will only offer zero-emission vehicles in European from 2035. The share of hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles in production at the Czech plant is already more than 40 per cent this year and growing steadily.
And the manufacturer also hinted at some new electric models, saying that “the portfolio of pure electric models produced at HMMC will continue to be expanded in the coming years”. So we’ll be keenly anticipating, and even hoping, for some new EV announcements soon.