Just as it was announced in Budget 2022 that EVs will soon attract zero taxes and duties, Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors (HSDM) releases the first official teaser for the upcoming Hyundai Kona Electric, its first fully-electric model. “Prepare to be electrified,” the post reads, accompanied by an image of the battery-powered crossover.

The EV in the same blue hue was spotted in the product video of the Hyundai Staria MPV, which was launched two days ago. This comes after two units of the EV were spotted at a petrol station in Ara Damansara earlier this month. HSDM has already confirmed to paultan.org that the Kona Electric’s Malaysian launch will happen in the fourth quarter of this year, which we’re deep in now.

We can also reveal that the Kona Electric will be available here in two battery sizes – 39.2 kWh and 64 kWh – just like in Europe. The base model’s single motor is a 136 PS unit while the 64 kWh car gets a more powerful 204 PS motor. Both have the same 395 Nm of torque. The 0-100 km/h sprint is dispatched in 9.9 seconds for the 39.2 kWh and 7.9 seconds for the 64 kWh version. Top speed is 155 km/h and 167 km/h, respectively.

The 39.2 kWh version’s range per full charge is rated at 305 km in the WLTP cycle, while the 64 kWh is officially pegged at 484 km. As for charging, DC fast charging from 10% to 80% with a 50 kW charger takes 48 minutes for the 39.2 kWh model, or 64 minutes for the 64 kWh version. Use a 100 kW charger and it’s 47 minutes for both batteries, Hyundai says.

Regular AC charging with the single-phase 7.2 kW onboard charger from 10% to 80% will take six hours in the base model and nine hours 15 minutes in the 64 kWh. Charging times go down to four hours 20 minutes and six hours 50 minutes respectively with the optional three-phase 10.5 kW onboard charger.

Expect all the kit seen in the 2021 Kona facelift range, topped by the 198 PS/265 Nm turbocharged Kona N Line. The SmartSense driver assist suite has been upgraded and now includes rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist (RCCA) and blind spot collision avoidance assist (BCA). Basically, these functions add on auto braking to the previous warning.

Click to enlarge

Also new to the Kona Electric are features such as Leading Vehicle Departure Alert (LVDA, like Perodua’s Front Departure Alert), Safe Exit Warning (SEW) and Rear Seat Alert (RSA).

If you’re wondering how much, the base Kona Electric with its 39.2 kWh battery is quite a similar prospect to the Nissan Leaf, which is still the sole EV officially sold here without a premium badge. The Leaf was launched in 2019 with a 40 kWh battery and RM189k price tag. The MINI Cooper SE facelift made its debut in June. With the four-year warranty and service package option ticked, and sales tax subtracted, the cute 28.9 kWh EV is yours for RM217k.

We were expecting the base Kona Electric – which trumps both Leaf and MINI in range – to start from below RM200k. But it could be even more affordable if and when the just-announced tax-free price structure for EVs kicks in. Would this be a great “first EV” option if priced close to the ICE-powered Kona?

GALLERY: Hyundai Kona Electric spyshots

GALLERY: 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric facelift

Tags: