The new 2019 Hyundai Kona EV is a clever little electric crossover


LOS ANGELES—If you believe we'd be better off with more people driving electric vehicles, any increase in the variety of those EVs is a welcome event. The latest option for the would-be EV owner certainly hits most of the right notes to be a hit. The Hyundai Kona EV is a crossover, the body style so on-trend that it made Ford kill all its old-fashioned cars. The 64kWh battery gives it a range of 258 miles, and on the latest fast-chargers it will go from flat to 80 percent state-of-charge in 54 minutes. And it comes with all the latest advanced driver assists and a rather funky interior. The only thing we still don't know is the exact price. But since Hyundai told us it's meant to be competitive against the Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf, and that elusive standard-range Tesla Model 3, expect a pre-incentive price to start somewhere around $37,000.

Our first experience of the little Kona crossover was back in April when we tested a pair of its gasoline-powered variants. The Kona EV is built on the same bones, but Hyundai's design team has given it a unique styling treatment inside and out to distinguish this all-electric one from its internal combustion engined siblings. Most noticeable is the new nose. Hyundai is eschewing the idea of making all its models look identical, and battery EVs don't need to suck in lots of fresh air to feed an engine. So the Kona EV ditches the big grille for a much more aerodynamic front end.

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