“I can’t buy it, I need more than 250 miles of range,” my client said.
“But you can plug it in every night and be fully charged in the morning. You might find that 250 miles is more than enough,” I replied.
This tiny conversation would routinely happen every time I would attempt to sell an E-Tron while working at an Audi dealership. I understood, though, as most of the general public is still apprehensive when it comes to the driving range on many electric vehicles currently in the market. However, what they may be missing out on is that the current 250-mile gold standard range can work just fine for them. I found that out for myself after spending a week with the 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric.
How many miles does the 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric get?
According to Hyundai, the 2022 Kona Electric can achieve up to 258 miles on a single charge. When comparing that figure to the gas-powered Kona, which can get up to 422 miles on a tank of gas, I can see why many curious buyers would be wary. However, most commuters don’t use a whole tank of gas in one day, so I doubt anyone would use up a complete battery charge as well.
In my experience with the Kona Electric, I admit that I was worried about the car’s range the first day that I had it. However, that concern quickly wore off when I realized that the car’s range didn’t drop off as quickly as I thought it would. When I first got into the car, the instrument panel read that it had 254 miles of range left. After a few short trips to the grocery store and a handful of other errands, it had dropped to 230. Considering the amount the miles that I drove to run my errands, that total was pretty accurate and it quelled my fear of not having enough juice for the week.
The Kona Electric is quick and thrifty
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During my week with the Kona Electric, I made sure to put it through its paces by taking it on my usual test drive loop. In total, the loop is about 38 miles long and combines city driving with highway cruising and some tight canyon roads. I started out the trip with 220 miles on battery and after flogging through the switchbacks and testing its acceleration with jack-rabbit starts, I returned with 185 miles left. I’m happy to report that the car felt really quick at every speed and I had no issues getting up to highway speeds and passing cars.
Also, that range is pretty good considering I wasn’t driving very efficiently and I had the radio, heater, and seat heaters on the whole time. One thing to note is that you can turn up the Kona’s battery regeneration when decelerating by pulling the left paddle on the steering wheel. Click it three times and you’ll get the car’s full regen action when you lift off the throttle. It slows down the car to around 5 mph, but it won’t come to a complete stop like other electric vehicles, so there’s no one-pedal driving here.
Otherwise, the feature is great for when you have long downhill stretches as you can lift off the throttle and recoup some of the lost electricity easily. Of course, the Kona doesn’t recharge super-fast that way, but it’s enough to add a couple more miles to the battery on longer trips.
It’s better to charge your Kona Electric at home
If you’re planning to buy a Hyundai Kona Electric, then I would suggest having a 240-volt charger installed at your home. Hyundai estimates that it should take around 9 hours to charge the Kona Electric from 10 to 100 percent. In my test charging – which consisted of me parking the car at my local Whole Foods for an hour and walking back to my apartment – resulted in about 34 miles added back to the battery at a rate of 5.8 kW per hour. According to the car, the battery was at 70% when I plugged it in and it would have taken around 5 hours for it to fill up completely.
Apparently, the Charge Point chargers in public aren’t as powerful. However, if you have access to a quick charger that can transmit 50 kW per hour, then it should only take around an hour to get from 0 to 80%. Don’t count on plugging it into a regular 110-volt household outlet for a full charge – you can, but it will literally take days to fully charge it.
Ultimately, driving and charging the 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric is not as daunting as it may seem. Short trips and daily errands won’t suck the life out of the battery and if you’re going on a long trip, then plan it accordingly. Otherwise, the Kona Electric has convinced me that 250 miles of range is more than enough for almost anyone’s daily life. It’s too bad I can’t tell my former clients that.