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Hyundai talks about new Kona Electric and its cold weather performance

After unveiling the Kona Electric earlier this month, Hyundai now elaborates on its latest all-electric vehicle’s performance in cold weather.

Automakers like to share cold weather testing information about their electric vehicles since it has often been a concern of buyers especially due to the reduced range in extreme cold.

We recently reported on Jaguar and Mercedes sharing similar information about their winter test programs for their upcoming electric vehicles and now it’s Hyundai’s turn.

They brought the vehicle to the Hyundai Mobis Proving Ground in Sweden where they tested in temperatures as low as -35°C.

The Korean automaker also brought their NEXO fuel cell electric vehicle for testing alongside the Kona Electric, but let’s focus on a vehicle that will actually be sold outside of California and the few other places where they are pushing hydrogen fuel cells.

Hyundai says that it developed air intake and ventilation systems specific to the new electric vehicle:

  • The Kona Electric’s heat pump system harnesses wasted heat emitted by electrical components and recycles it to increase the efficiency of the heating and ventilation systems. By minimizing electricity consumption from the battery, the heat pump contributes to the overall driving range of the Kona Electric in winter.
  • The smart air intake control system featured on the Kona Electric recycles heated air by controlling the amount of air entering and exiting the vehicle. By better controlling the air flow inside the vehicle, the HVAC system is able to heat the cabin more efficiently, thereby minimizing the amount of heating used during winter driving.
  • The individual ventilation system of the Kona Electric completely shuts off heating and ventilation to the foot-well and dashboard ventilation on the passenger side when driving alone. The system is activated by a ‘driver only’ button on the dashboard.
  • When plugged in, the pre-conditioning ventilation system allows the Kona Electric to be pre-heated, utilizing electricity from the grid before the car is driven. Customers can schedule to pre-heat or pre-cool the cabin of their vehicles before driving.

As we previously reported, the new Kona Electric compact SUV will be offered in a ‘Short-range’ battery pack option, which consists of a 39.2 kWh battery pack enabling a range of 300 km (186 miles) on a single charge.

That version of the vehicle will also be equipped with a 99 kW permanent magnet synchronous electric motor putting down 395 Nm of torque and a top speed of 167 km/h (103 mph).

Another higher-performance version with a ‘Long-range’ battery pack option will also be available. Under this configuration, the Kona Electric will be equipped with a 64 kWh battery pack, which will enable “nearly 470 km (292 miles) of range.”

Hyundai hasn’t released pricing yet, but the vehicle is expected to start in the low-30,000 euros when it launches in Korea and Europe later this year before arriving in North America.

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