The likes of Volkswagen are preparing to go big into electric cars with its ID range, but mass market rival Hyundai Kia has a decent head-start on the EV front. The Korean firm’s battery-powered cars, which have strong stats/performance, have been on the market for a couple of years now.

With momentum in the bag, Hyundai is now gunning to be the biggest EV vendor in Europe. The carmaker is looking to “drastically reduce” delivery times for the Kona Electric. This will be done by increasing existing supply from its Ulsan plant in South Korea, as well as starting European production of the model at Hyundai’s Czech Republic plant this March.

Hyundai says that demand for the Kona Electric has surpassed expectations since it went on sale in 2018, and the increased capacity is intended to keep up with rising demand.

Hyundai aims to sell over 80,000 zero-emission vehicles in Europe this year, including the Kona Electric, Ioniq Electric and the Nexo hydrogen fuel cell car. This could be good enough for it to be the top ZE carmaker in the continent.

“We are listening to our customers and have made this decision in order to meet the growing demand for our electric vehicles. With more and more people becoming concerned about the impact of their choice of car on the environment, we see a huge potential for EVs in the European market. This reflects our progressive mindset and will reinforce our position as a leader in future mobility,” said Hyundai Motor Europe chief Dong Woo Choi.

The giant of the continent will be coming (that’s VW), but for Hyundai to steal a march on its rivals in a growing segment, in their home market, is very impressive. Let’s not forget that Renault-Nissan was an early punter in the EV game as well.

The electric version of the Kona crossover packs a 64 kWh battery and is good for a claimed driving range of up to 482 km (WLTP mode). Maximum output is 204 PS/395 Nm, pushing the EV from 0-100 km/h in a swift 7.6 seconds. There’s also a basic version with a 39.2 kWh battery, good for 312 km and 136 PS.

The Kona Electric, which has been on sale in Thailand since March 2019, was showcased by Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors at KLIMS 2018.

GALLERY: Hyundai Kona Electric in Malaysia