In October, we finally got a chance to drive the Hyundai Kona EV, a rather wonderful little electric vehicle. Based on the internal combustion-powered Kona, it packs in 64kWh of lithium-ion to give it an EPA range of 258 miles (415km). On top of that, the little Kona EV also sported a rather nifty Smart Regeneration System that uses the car's cruise control radar to maximize energy recuperation when following other cars. The one thing we couldn't tell you back then was how much this EV would cost.
Wonder no more. On Friday, Hyundai finally revealed US pricing: the 2019 Kona EV will start at $36,450, which means it should cost $28,950 after the $7,500 IRS tax credit is taken into account. (On top of that, there's the delivery charge, which bumps the post-credit price up to $29,995.)
That makes it more expensive than the base model Nissan Leaf, which starts at $29,990 before tax credits. However, the Leaf only offers 150 miles (241km) of range, and you'd need to spring for the $36,200 Leaf SL to get a similar level of equipment to the Hyundai. (A longer-range, more expensive Leaf with a 60kWh battery pack is coming at some point in 2019, but that adds $5,500 to the car's price.)
A closer competitor range-wise is the Chevrolet Bolt EV. This was the first mass-market EV with a 200+ mile range—238 miles (383km) by the EPA's reckoning. It's more fun to drive than the Kona EV, but the Bolt also lacks some of the newer car's features. And since the Bolt EV's pre-tax credit MSRP is $37,495, the Korean battery EV manages to undercut it.
Many are still holding out for the $35,000, 220-mile range (354km) Tesla Model 3. But Elon Musk recently told employees that the current price of that configuration Model 3 would cost the company $38,000 to build, meaning Tesla has an awful lot of optimization and cost cutting to do if it wants to be able to offer that car to customers and still make any profit whatsoever. And of course, Tesla's tax credits are in the process of sunsetting as the company delivered its 200,000th US car in July of this year.