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Hyundai Kona Electric vs. Chevrolet Bolt EV: Which Is the Best Affordable Long-Range EV? | Edmunds

Published on Nov 24, 2018 340,207 views

Until now, the Chevrolet Bolt EV and its 238 miles of range had a lock on the affordable long-range electric vehicle market. But now Hyundai has introduced the Kona Electric, a similarly sized EV that packs 258 miles of range for about the same price. We put them through the wringer to see which one is best.

Q: Are the Bolt and the Kona Electric really competitors?
A: Yes, the Kona Electric and the Chevrolet Bolt EV are competitors. They share the same wheelbase and overall length, and the Kona is only slightly lower and a bit wider than the Bolt. Both are four-door hatchbacks, although the Kona Electric is marketed as an SUV while the Bolt is not. And each is a front-wheel-drive machine powered by an electric motor rated at 150 kilowatts, which translates to 200 horsepower in the case of the Chevy and 201 hp for the Hyundai.

Q: How are the Kona Electric and the Bolt EV different?
A: The Kona Electric rides smoother than the Bolt because it has a multilink rear suspension instead of the Bolt's less sophisticated twist beam. And the Kona's cabin is wider inside, its front seats are more accommodating, and its interior controls and materials are more attractive. The Bolt, on the other hand, offers slightly more cargo room and a clear advantage in rear legroom.

Q: How far will the Chevrolet Bolt EV and the Hyundai Kona Electric go on a single charge?
A: The Chevrolet Bolt EV can go 238 miles on a charge. And to this point that has been far and away the most electric range offered by any affordably priced electric vehicle, by which we mean, not a Tesla. The Kona EV now tops that with 258 miles of range. That's fantastic, but it doesn't put the Bolt EV to shame. Both have enough to allow spontaneous side trips, skipped days without charging and even short weekend trips. And we have seen for ourselves that each of them can manage stints of over 300 miles with sensible driving in L.A.'s notorious slow-and-go freeway commute traffic.

Q: Wouldn't 300 miles or 400 miles of rated range be better?
A: We're not convinced. How much do you drive in a day, really? Besides, bigger batteries cost more money, and they also take up space that is better used for passengers and cargo. The range of these vehicles may represent the sweet spot. After all, the typical 240-volt charge station can add no more than 18-25 miles per hour of charging, which is why both take over nine hours to fill from empty.

Read more about the Chevrolet Bolt EV here:

Read more about the Hyundai Kona Electric here:

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