Saturday September 16, 2017
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Hyundai plans to reveal an all-electric Kona at the Geneva motor show. ― AFP picHyundai plans to reveal an all-electric Kona at the Geneva motor show. ― AFP picSEOUL, Sept 16 ― When Hyundai starts to move in a particular direction it doesn't waste time. Having already dipped its toe into the electric vehicle market with the introduction of the all-electric version of the Ioniq, the South Korean manufacturer is now planning to unveil a fully electric version of its new Kona compact crossover SUV at the Geneva motor show next March.

At the Frankfurt motor show, which launched this week, Hyundai Europe's chief operating officer, Thomas Schmid, confirmed that an electric Kona will not use the drivetrain currently used in the Ioniq. Instead, the Kona will feature a next-generation electric system with a more powerful battery for greater range.

Hyundai is now the latest automaker to announce its electrified vehicle strategy for the near future. We now know we'll see 15 “eco” models included in the Hyundai range by 2020, which not only means battery electric vehicles, hybrids and plug-in hybrids, but hydrogen fuel cell vehicles too. However, Hyundai Europe President, Hyung Cheong Kim, told an audience at the Frankfurt show that only 10 of these 15 models will be sold in Europe. Included in these will be a next-generation hydrogen fuel cell crossover SUV with a range of some 800km, which is set to be launched as soon as next spring.

The regular version of the Kona made its public debut this week at the Frankfurt motor show, where the company also revealed five-door hatchback and N-badged performance versions of its i30 compact car line.

The Kona compact crossover SUV will be offered with available all-wheel drive, and there will initially be a choice of 1.0-litre and 1.6-litre gas engines. A 1.6-litre diesel variant is then set to be released in the summer, although how much demand there will be for that in the current climate remains to be seen.

Hyundai had already confirmed it intended to put EVs right to the center of its ongoing product strategy, and was therefore working on developing its first dedicated all-electric vehicle platform. The aim is for the new platform to allow Hyundai to be able to come up with a number of different models with longer driving ranges than are available at the moment. The electric Kona is expected to offer a range of somewhere in the region of 390km (242 miles) when it goes on sale in the first half of next year. ― AFP-Relaxnews

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