Hyundai Kona Electric gets tweaks to improve range

Tyre and chassis changes will improve the official range estimate for new Kona Electrics produced from July

Hyundai Kona Electric

The Hyundai Kona Electric will get a range boost in the coming months, with a new design of low-resistance tyre and tweaks to the chassis to reduce friction on the road upping the number from to 279 to 301 miles.

Left-hand-drive Konas produced at the firm's factory in the Czech Republic are already being made with these updates, with right-hand-drive UK models (built in Ulsan, South Korea) set to benefit from July, although a Hyundai UK spokesperson told DrivingElectric that efforts are being made to bring this forward.

Hyundai previously announced it was tripling the supply of the Kona Electric for 2020, in response to "significant customer demand". Production of the zero-emissions SUV is now taking place at a factory in the Czech Republic, as well as in Ulsan, Hyundai's South Korean headquarters.

Ashley Andrew, Hyundai Motor UK's managing director, said at the time: “The Kona Electric has achieved outstanding success in the UK since its introduction, with demand for the model quickly outstripping supply. We have listened to our customers and are significantly ramping up availability to cut delivery times.”

The UK’s entire 2019 allocation of Kona Electrics sold out by March of that year, leaving customers no choice but to join a waiting list for 2020. Hyundai's sister brand Kia faced similar issues with its e-Niro SUV, but also promised greatly increased supply for 2020, alongside the arrival of the Kia Soul EV.

The electric Kona also received a raft of updates for the 2020 model year. Chief among them is an 11kW three-phase on-board AC charger, which allows faster charging speeds from public stations and home wallboxes.

Also added was the Blue Link smartphone app, also seen on the revised Hyundai Ioniq Electric. This allows drivers to start their car, unlock its doors and activate the climate control remotely. It's also be possible to programme charges remotely, with the app relaying battery status updates to owners.

Inside, the Kona Electric received an updated sat-nav package, displayed through a new 10.25-inch touchscreen. Passengers benefit from optional rear heated seats, too. Hyundai also added its eCall service as a standard feature: this automatically calls the emergency services in the event of a collision that triggers the car’s airbag sensors.