Hyundai Kona Electric now on sale in Malaysia – HSDM's KLIMS 2018 demo EV going for RM180k – paultan.org

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The Hyundai Kona Electric is now on sale in Malaysia, but this is not our usual new car launch announcement. The car you see in the Facebook ad above is a used car, and one can’t just walk into Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors (HSDM) to buy a new Kona Electric or any EV. Not yet at least.

Advertised by Nicole Yap from HSDM’s sister company and used car division Sime Darby Auto Selection, this Kona Electric is listed as manufactured in 2018 and registered in September last year. The EV has 18,000 km on the clock and they’re asking RM180,800 for it.

Seen this car before? We checked with HSDM and they’ve confirmed that this is the exact unit that they brought in for the Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show (KLIMS) in 2018. After performing its duty as a tech showcase for the brand at KLIMS alongside the Nexo hydrogen fuel cell SUV and i30 N hot hatch, the EV has since been used internally by the company.

According to HSDM, this unit has been driven by its tech team and management as a test for both EV performance/suitability in Malaysia as well as reliability. Range anxiety is a major concern with EVs, and the Hyundai distributor says that the Kona Electric’s mileage per charge has been both satisfactory (they even managed to surpass the claimed range by 60 km) and accurate. The latter is important because range fluctuations are not good for building trust in your EV.

Launched in February 2018, the Kona Electric started off in the European market, like the compact B-SUV range that it’s a part of. Still recognisable as a Kona, the EV is characterised by a closed grille and a unique centre console sans gear lever. It was launched with two battery options – 39.2 kWh and 64 kWh, delivering WLTP driving range of 312 km and 482 km on a full charge, respectively.

The longer range version has 204 PS over the base car’s 135 PS, but both have the same 395 Nm of torque and 167 km/h top speed. The 0-100 km/h sprint is dispatched in 7.6 seconds for the 64 kWh and 9.3 seconds for the 39.2 kWh version.


Charging the lithium-ion polymer battery up to 80% takes about 54 minutes using a 100 kW DC (CCS) fast charger. With the 7.2 kW on-board-charger, charging with AC (Type 2) takes nine hours 40 minutes for the bigger battery pack and six hours 10 minutes for the base car.

HSDM’s demo car is the 64 kWh version and the standard charging cable is included (see the boot pic). Other fast charging paraphernalia can be ordered via the company. The Hyundai distributor confirmed to paultan.org that it will be extending full after sales support to the buyer of this Kona Electric. For those who are interested in EVs but find the new premium offerings too expensive, surely over 450 km of electric range for RM180k – with factory support – is a decent deal? What do you think of this one-of-a-kind catch?

The Kona Electric’s stats were very impressive for an affordable mass market EV back in 2018, and is still very good today (more than double the range of a 2021 MINI Cooper SE). It has been a success for Hyundai, with 100,000 units sold worldwide in just over two years from its debut.


Late last year, Hyundai gave the Kona range a facelift (launched in Malaysia this year), and the Electric was similarly refreshed. No big changes to the tech bits, but tyre improvements have raised WLTP range slightly for the 64 kWh to 484 km (+2). Click on the link for the full story on the Kona Electric FL, or check out the gallery attached below.

HSDM is a very active company these days and has been quick in launching the Kona facelift, now with a sporty N Line range topper. Will the latest 2021 Kona Electric join the family as HSDM’s first full electric offering? Stay tuned.

By the way, if you’re wondering or lamenting why are all the EVs in Malaysia premium and expensive, leaving nothing for Mr. Average Joe, here’s a full explainer.

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