What is it?
By introducing the Kona Electric, Hyundai has demonstrated a third type of electric vehicle.
The first two are straight-forward. There are cars that were designed from a blank sheet to run on battery power alone, like Teslas, and cars that have had their combustion powertrains ripped out and an electric powertrain dropped in, like the Volkswagen e-Golf.
The advantage of purpose-built electric vehicles, of course, is that they make good use of the packaging benefits of a compact, relatively simple powertrain. They also tend to have higher-capacity batteries. An adapted EV, meanwhile, suffers all the same packaging disadvantages as a conventional car and will typically have a smaller battery.
The Kona Electric sits somewhere between the two. It isn’t quite a dedicated electric vehicle, because there are versions of the Kona that share this platform and derive their motive force from the combustion of fossil fuels. But an EV model was always part of the plan.