Update: ‘Production & Sales’ and ‘Release Date’ sections updated.
The Hyundai Kona Electric will undergo a full model change, a report from the Korean portal Aju Economy said in October 2021. This was the first time we heard of a next-gen 2024 Hyundai Kona EV in the pipeline. Analysts are divided on the idea of the Hyundai Kona Electric continuing in the market beyond the first generation. Some feel that Hyundai should use it as a stepping stone to an Ioniq series model. As we’ve explained in the article’s conclusion, that could be the eventual fate of the small electric SUV, but for now, there appears to be progress on the second generation.
New generation 2024 Hyundai Kona testing begins
The first spy shots of the new generation Hyundai Kona appeared this year on The Korean Car Blog. Codenamed SX2, the 2024 Hyundai Kona looks to be larger than its predecessor, as evidenced by the pictures taken in South Korea.
Besides the change in the size, there seem to be several changes in store in the Kona’s design language. The prototype embodies the Kona’s crossover proportions with a tall roofline, roof rails, and a squared-off rear end. New angular ORVMs and machine-cut alloy are also observed in the test prototype.
On January 26, 2022, Naver user soonjung8116 published new spy pictures of the next-gen Kona, showing it from different angles and revealing new design details.
The Kona was the brand’s first model featuring Composite headlamps, commonly known as split headlamps, and the second-gen model is set to carry the feature forward. However, while the model started off with horizontal lower lamps, the 2024 Hyundai Kona would have vertical lower (main) lamps, as seen on Palisade, Tucson, and other recent Hyundai SUVs.
From European spy shots shared online in early June, the next-gen Hyundai Kona (and Kona EV) sports vertical headlamps, which differ from the horizontally stacked design of today’s car. We presume that the cluster would house three horizontal light modules for sufficient illumination, while the full-width daytime running light strip should remain at the hood level. The revised lights will bring a whole new look to the front-end of the vehicle, lending the 2024 Kona EV a more SUV-like appearance.
More recent spy shots have revealed that the charging port of the next-gen Kona Electric, like that of the current model, is located in the front. Retaining the charging port in the grille area makes head-in parking easier when charging.
In October 2022, a spy picture (view on Autospy) almost fully exposed the rear fascia of the next-gen Kona. The image showed a clean, monolithic design with few but clear lines and a slim tail light stretching the width, all the way to the SUV’s shoulder area. Naver user damian2952 has created a rendering using details from this spy shot to preview the 2024 Kona from its rear three-quarter angle. The rendering shows the reverse lights, fog lights, and reflectors positioned separately and stacked vertically behind at a lower height on what may look like (but is not) an extension of the rear wheel arch extensions.
The shape of the Kona will likely remain more or less the same. In this segment, customers generally prefer crossover-type looks with a soft character, as opposed to a squarish or boxy shape like the Renegade. Don’t expect Hyundai to offer features like hidden door handles, digital mirror, or solar roof, in the interest of maintaining the low price.
New steering wheel and center console
The next-gen Hyundai Kona Electric will have an interior design that’s visibly different from the current model. A spy picture thekoreancarblog.com published in late September shows the next-gen Kona featuring a new interior with cues borrowed from the Ioniq 5. It consists of a more contemporary dashboard, a dual-display panel housing the digital instrument cluster and touchscreen infotainment system together, slimmer central AC vents, a new climate control panel consisting of physical buttons, and a chunky new three-spoke steering wheel with a squarish center pad similar to that of the Hyundai Nexo‘s two-spoke unit.
The floor console has a completely new design and structure, and it has been divided into two sections. The front section is more tilted, as a result of which there’s no need to secure the wireless smartphone charging area with a lid on the top. Towards the bottom of this section, there’s a slim panel with a rotary dial in the center and switches on the sides. Hyundai has used a two-tone color scheme combining light gray and black that makes the cabin look bright and pleasant.
Free-standing instrument cluster
Like the Ioniq 5, a large free-standing digital instrument cluster is visible. What’s more, in spy shots thekoreancarblog.com published on February 1, 2022, a large left ORVM is visible and probably an A-pillar integrated speaker as well.
Video Source: YouTube/우파푸른하늘Woopa TV
New spy images emerged on Cochespias on April 28, 2022, revealing the finer details about the upcoming 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric. Purists would appreciate that the cabin isn’t devoid of physical buttons; there are plenty of them. The buttons under the infotainment have an aluminum-like finish but are likely to be plastic; the controls will allow customers to access certain functions like maps and media directly, sans navigating through the touchscreen menus.
Moreover, there are rotary knobs for climate control—another valuable addition where customers will not have to take their eyes off the road to adjust climate control settings; knowing the position of the knobs and their tactile feel would enable them to change the temperature while focusing on the road. Many carmakers are integrating climate settings into the infotainment or adding a secondary screen on the center console dedicated to climate settings, which can be distracting, and a pain to operate when wearing winter gloves.
Lastly, the steering wheel also has seemingly well-finished buttons and rotary dials for calling, audio and ADAS. Customers will also be able to navigate through different settings on the digital instrument cluster using the steering-mounted controls.
Rear AC vents & better rear knee room
The interior of the next-gen Kona Electric features a light grey color theme. We see new door panels with sleeker grab handles, rear AC vents, which is a new feature, and an electrically adjustable front passenger seat similar to that of the Ioniq 5.
Korean YouTube channel Mocar posted revealing spy shots of the upcoming Kona Electric’s interior on April 3, 2022. Here, a pillar-mounted tweeter is also visible, and the front seat backrests are slim, opening up ample rear knee room. And lastly, the EV seems to also have a column-mounted gear selector, identical to what is seen on the Ioniq 5.
The 2024 Hyundai Kona is likely to continue as a multi-energy family, offering petrol and all-electric powertrains. Its EV sibling is codenamed SX2e EV, with ‘e’ denoting Europe, the report adds. There’s another codename, SX2 N Line, which suggests that Hyundai will continue to offer the next generation Kona with a sportier styling package and performance enhancements for the enthusiasts.
Minor increase in battery capacity
Kia released powertrain details of the next-gen Niro EV in February 2022 for the European market. The Niro EV is the Kona Electric’s cousin, and the same upgrades are likely to be applied to the Hyundai crossover. The 2022 Niro EV will offer a 64.8 kWh battery, a negligible increment from 64 kWh on the 2021 model.
As the 2024 Hyundai Kona has grown, like in the new Niro EV, the knee and shoulder room in the rear seat and the cargo volume should be better. However, the increased dimensions may not be kind to the range, which may improve nominally at best. Therefore, customers who require a longer travel range would have to upgrade to the Ioniq 5.
As in the case of the Chevrolet Bolt EUV and Chevrolet Bolt, LG Chem’s defective battery cells posed major problems for the Hyundai Kona Electric. However, that doesn’t mean that Hyundai will choose a different supplier for the next-gen Kona Electric’s battery cells. “It will be difficult for Hyundai to completely exclude LG Chem’s products from the second-generation Kona Electric due to the existing contract,” an EV battery official said, as per the Aju Economy report.
|Aspect||Hyundai Kona Electric Specification||Next-gen Hyundai Kona Electric Specification (Expected)|
|Length||165.6 in.||168 in.|
|Width||70.9 in.||72 in.|
|Height||61.2 in.||63.5 in.|
|Wheelbase||102.4 in.||104 in.|
|Power||201 hp||201 hp|
|Torque||291 lb.-ft.||188 lb.-ft.|
|Battery Pack||64 kWh lithium-ion||64.8 kWh lithium-on|
|Range (EPA-est.)||258 miles||250-260 miles|
|DC fast-charging (10% – 80% SoC)||47 minutes||40 minutes|
Hyundai Kona Electric discontinued in S.Korea
Introduced in March 2018, the Kona Electric was in the news in 2020 for all the wrong reasons due to defective batteries and software. Some of the manufacturing defects led to massive recalls, and in South Korea, Hyundai discontinued the Kona EV after just three years in showrooms. It replaced faulty batteries in over 75,000 Kona EVs globally, which no doubt tainted the car’s image. Despite the troubles, the company seems confident about the EV’s future and has decided on a second-generation family, as per the the AjuNews report.
Production & Sales
On November 7, 2022, Electronic Times Internet said in an exclusive report that Hyundai will start mass production of the next-gen Kona for final quality inspection at the end of November 2022. The company will manufacture it at Ulsan Plant 1 (S.Korea), where it builds the current model, and at Ulsan Plant 3, as per the report. The company suspended production at Ulsan Plant 3 several times in the first half of 2022 and installed a new production line for the next-gen Kona. It will start making the regular and Hybrid variants first and begin the production of the Electric variant later.
Since March 2020, Hyundai manufactures the Kona Electric in Nosovice, Czech Republic as well. The Nosovice factory supplies the car to the European markets, and this separate regional production may continue in the second generation.
According to the Electronic Times Internet report mentioned above, Hyundai plans to launch the next-gen Kona in South Korea in January 2023. The next-gen Kona Electric could follow a few months later, with sales in the U.S. beginning in the second half of the year. The gap should give its cousin, the 2023 Kia Niro EV, enough time to settle into the market.
A lower Ioniq model should eventually replace the Kona Electric
Lorenz Glaab, Head of Global Product Management at Hyundai Motor Group, has indicated that the Kona Electric may get the ax when the E-GMP Ioniq EV family is fully developed and ready for mass adoption worldwide. “That sort of direction is possible, but for the time being, Kona EV will still be around and run in parallel (to the E-GMP Ioniq EVs),” he told Autocar in September 2020.
In the second half of the decade when electric vehicle adoption increases and competitors offer electric crossovers at lower prices, Hyundai could consider releasing a smaller Ioniq as the Kona EV’s successor, to keep up with peers in the aspects of looks, space, features, performance, besides pricing. Thomas Schemera, Executive Vice President of Product and Strategy, Hyundai, also agrees that an Ioniq model could eventually replace the Kona Electric. That “seems to be likely,” Schemera told Automotive News in September 2021.
2024 Hyundai Kona Hybrid
The next-gen Hyundai Kona line-up is almost certain to include the 2024 Hyundai Kona Hybrid, revealed by a test prototype seen with this engine label (via KCB). Featuring a slightly more aggressive design with larger grille openings and sportier bumpers and alloy wheels, the next-gen Kona Hybrid should carry the powertrain of the current model but with improvements for reduced energy consumption.
The 1.6-liter GDi naturally aspirated direct-injection gasoline engine is currently paired with a permanent magnet synchronous electric motor. The gas engine produces 105 PS of power and 147 Nm of torque and the electric motor generates 32 kW of power and 170 Nm of torque. The 1.56 kWh lithium-ion battery pack feeds the electric motor. A 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) sprint takes 11.2 seconds and the top speed is 160 km/h. The combined efficiency rating (WLTP) in Germany is 4.3 l/100 km (23.3 km/l or 54.8 mpg), which should go up in the next generation.
Hyundai electrification targets
Hyundai Motor Company (HMC) plans to introduce 17 EVs by 2030. 11 of these new electric vehicles be Hyundai models, and one of them will be the next-gen Kona Electric. HMC has set a long-term annual EV sales target of 1.87 million units and plans to achieve it by 2030. The company has earmarked KRW 19.4 trillion (USD 13.6 billion) for electrification. It aims to capture 7% of the global EV market by the end of the decade.
With the Ioniq 5 costing well over USD 40,000, putting it out of reach of many car buyers shifting to EVs, the next-gen Hyundai Kona Electric will have a bigger role in the company’s line-up as the budget model. The redesigned Kona should overcome the flaws of the first generation—better space, faster charging, improved HMI, and reduced energy consumption are among the expected changes of the next-gen Kona Electric. The all-new model could be suitable for customers seeking an electric compact SUV that’s great value for money.
2024 Hyundai Kona Electric FAQs
What is the 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric release date?
The 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric could be launched in the U.S. in late 2023.
What will be the 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric price?
The base 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric cost come in at under USD 40,000.
Which models will be the 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric rivals?
The 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric will compete with the 2024 Kia Niro EV.
Featured image: TopElectricSUV’s rendition of the next-gen Hyundai Kona.