Hyundai's electrifying Kona


HYUNDAI has introduced what it claims is a ground-breaking new electric vehicle with an unrivalled range and is available to buy only online from this weekend.

Costing about £25,000, including a tax payer-funded £5,000 Government grant, the KONA Electric is claiming a non-stop driving range of 300 miles.

The company says that the newcomer, which is emissions-free when running, can travel from Land’s End to John O’Groats for less than £20.

Unusually, however, it is not available at Hyundai dealerships and can only be bought online at www.hyundai.co.uk/clicktobuy.

Hyundai has commissioned a poll among motorists to coincide with the car’s arrival, which concludes that running costs, reliability and price are what motorists mainly look for when buying a car.

Researchers polled 2,000 British car-buyers and found that fuel type, road tax and the brand image also influence the motor we go for.

Economy, handling and safety have a bearing too – as do size, comfort and emissions.

On the long-distance journey, the company says that driving the same distance in a medium-sized petrol-powered car would cost £120.

In an obvious reference to Nissan’s best-selling North East-made electric LEAF, Hyundai says: ``The KONA Electric is the first mainstream family electric vehicle to have such a range. The 300 mile threshold is normally limited to electric cars costing twice as much.’’

The KONA Electric will accelerate from 0-60mph in just 7.6 seconds, which is  comparable to a hot hatch, and has a top speed of 105mph, while producing zero emissions and being exempt from road tax.

Sales of pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are up 25 per cent this year, with a new model registered in the UK every ten minutes.

The newcomer attracts a £4,500 Plug-In Car Grant, and additionally there is a £500 grant that can be put towards the purchase and installation cost of a home charging point.

The Hyundai research also found that motorists typically own a car for five years and eight months before buying a new one.

And when they do, they’ll check out just three vehicles before making their mind-up on which one to buy.