Hyundai Ends Kona EV Sales in South Korea
Hyundai Motor Company will end sales of its best-selling electric vehicle, the Kona EV, after a series of fires and faulty braking systems prompted mass recalls in South Korea.
According to Reuters, Hyundai was reviewing the end of Kona EV sales in South Korea, while an unidentified source said sales would continue in Europe. The Kona EV ranks among Europe’s best-selling EVs. Sales of the model outside its home market account for over three-quarters of the total.
Hyundai declined to confirm the reports but told Reuters it is reviewing various options as it prepares to launch the Ioniq 5 mid-size crossover EV. In October, Hyundai recalled Kona EVs in South Korea due to the risk of short circuits possibly caused by faulty manufacturing of its high-voltage battery cells.
On the Hyundai USA website, the Kona is touted as having an EPA-estimated range of 258 miles with zero emissions out of its 150-KW, 201 HP electric motor, hawked as the highest of any all-electric subcompact SUV. Loaded with intuitive tech like wireless device charging and head-up display, what the Kona EV apparently cannot do is put out the fires, nor warn you in advance if the regenerative brakes are going south.
Here in the U.S., you may be eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500, and if you happen to reside in California, you may get a Clean Vehicle rebate of $2,000 if you own a Kona EV.
The recall, which includes software updates and battery replacements after inspections, involves 25,564 Kona EVs built during September 2017 to March 2020. Hyundai has also recalled 50,864 Kona EV and Nexo fuel-cell vehicles in South Korea due to faulty electronic braking systems. Does this mean that Kona EVs will vanish from the U.S., or will the automaker continue selling them until that proposition goes up in smoke?