With an India target of just above 500 units annually, the numbers aren’t huge, but Hyundai hopes for a positive penetration in the EV business with the Kona.
Hyundai India just launched their first electric car in India – the Kona Electric SUV – at an introductory price of Rs. 25.3 lakhs, ex-showroom. This is the first proper electric car from a mainstream manufacturer in the country. Yes, we of course had the Mahindra e2o Plus and the Mahindra eVerito but these cars were never really positioned well enough to make it viable for private buying. While these cars did sell a few numbers, the Hyundai Kona is very well going to be the game changer and a target for all other EVs to beat in India.
The Hyundai Kona also comes as quite an expensive product, for a five-seater crossover that’s even smaller than the Creta. If you want a dual-tone shade on your Kona, it would cost you Rs. 20,000 more. The Kona will come to India via the CKD route and then will be assembled here in India. Hyundai has invested heavily in making the Kona a viable alternative to traditional cars here in the Indian market.
Hyundai has an India target to sell just above 500 units of the Kona anually. That’s not a huge number but that perhaps could be the right way to ensure penetration into the market. Given its price, the Kona will be more of a statement to save the environment and a lifestyle product rather than a genuine alternative to traditional cars for most Indian buyers, at least for now. Also, considering that more than 7.5 lakh EVs were sold in India in FY2018-19, the Kona might not have a difficult time at all in meeting that target.
Puneet Anand, Senior General Manager and Group Head Marketing, Hyundai Motor India Limited, in an interview with Carandbike said, “In terms of the pricing strategy we are taking now a top-down approach wherein we are launching the product at a very niche segment but obviously to understand the consumer needs, desires, and what kind of you know, the usage the customer puts to the electric cars and once we understand that we will be looking forward to the mass launch of the EVs also come further. So having said that, our target for the Kona first year is probably close to more than 500 units on an annual basis, but yes when the customer shows their interest, and we are able to get more components from our parent company we should be looking at increasing the target, but right now it is 500+ units on an average.”
The Hyundai Kona has a rather simple approach towards what it is. It does not should out load its alternate status by being overtly futuristic, yet it very subtly gives away that its not your regular car. And the same philosophy continues on the inside as well. The fact that it looks and feels pretty normal will go a long way in establishing it as the new normal for the future.
The Kona is powered by a 39.2 kWh battery which churns out 131 bhp and 395 Nm of torque. We have driven the Kona and we can tell you that the torque surge is instantaneous and it feels quite exciting. The Kona is also rich in features and it has ample space in both its rows. The Kona will come with a portable charger and a wall box charger as well which will be installed by the company for the owners.
With the India sale target of the Hyundai Kona of above 500 units anually, they will surely achieve the said target. The company has already started to receive bookings of the car and it sure will pave the way for many more EVs to come in India. By then, we will also have better technology and infrastructure to support EVs.