India’s first electric SUV is finally here! The Hyundai Kona Electric has been launched at a price of ₹ 25.30 lakh (ex-showroom, pan India), and is a one-of-its-kind in the country. That really makes it special, but it is priced at a premium when you consider that the Kona is a sibling to the Hyundai Creta. In fact, the Kona Electric is about a shade smaller than the Creta, while sporting a slightly longer wheelbase. The Creta between ₹ 9.99 lakh and ₹ 15.65 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). There’s a difference of nearly ₹ 10 lakh between the two models. So why does it cost ₹ 25.30 lakh for an SUV that small? Here’s a breakdown on what makes this electric SUV a premium offering.
The Hyundai Kona is positioned as a compact SUV for developed markets, whereas the Hyundai Creta is placed as an offering for emerging markets. India now gets both SUVs, but the Kona is only sold in the electric avatar here. The key takeaway is the fact that it gets an electric powertrain and that makes all the difference. Electric technology itself is expensive and there’s no surprise that the acquisition cost on an EV will be more, compared to a standard fossil fuelled counterpart. The Kona EV is also built on an all-new and more advanced platform that makes it more expensive to manufacture than the Creta. With the platform shared with the petrol version, the car uses over 52 per cent of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) used in its construction with the components hot stamped.
Furthermore, the Hyundai Kona Electric is loaded to the gills on the feature front with LED headlamps and taillights, 17-inch alloys, electric sunroof, HUD, touchscreen infotainment system, electric parking brake, ventilated seats, 10-way adjustable driver’s seat, leather upholstery, multiple driving modes and more. With respect to safety, the car comes with six airbags, ABS with EBD, VSC, VSM, HAC,TPMS, all disc brakes and more as part of the standard safety kit. While all of those features are certainly welcome, they drive up the cost. That said, for the premium you are paying on this EV, the features certainly add more value.
The Hyundai Kona Electric offers an impressive range of 452 km from its 39.2 kWh battery
The other big reason is the fact that the Hyundai Kona Electric is locally assembled in India and not completely manufactured like the Creta. The EV comes to the country as a Completely Knocked Down (CKD) kit, which means it still attracts higher taxes than a locally built model. Hyundai won’t share just yet what percentage of local content actually goes into the Kona, but we know that the car and the battery are locally assembled at the company’s Chennai-based facility.
Power output is impressive with 131 bhp, while 395 Nm of peak torque is available right from 0 rpm
CKD imports do result in big cost savings over a fully built import, and that has majorly helped Hyundai India offset costs on the Kona Electric. However, the lithium-ion battery still remains a major component that needs to be sourced internationally considering India still does not have a battery production facility. That’s a massive cost to the vehicle, which adds up to the overall asking price of the electric SUV.
Yes, a more reasonable cost will help Hyundai India sell more units of the Kona Electric in India. But the company is quite clear about where the SUV is positioned. The automaker aims to sell about 500 units in a year, which isn’t a high number but then the Kona Electric isn’t a high volumes model either. Not yet at least! But if it does manage to meet the company’s estimated sales, the model will pave way for other car makers to bring more electric vehicles in India. It does help that the Kona Electric has a range of 452 km (ARAI certified), killing that range anxiety.
Source: Read Full Article