Two Years in the Hyundai Kona Electric EV


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May 8, 2006
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Sutton in Ashfield
Well the end of August marks 2 years since we purchased our Hyundai Kona Electric 64Kwh Premium SE at the beginning of September 2018

(And due to some issues later on in the report I am able to do its end of School report a little early)


It was our 4th EV and we were planning on keeping it for 12 months then selling on, as we usually do with cars due to putting about 40/45k miles a year on them.

The Car Cost £32300 on the road after the Govt EV Grant
We were given 60k miles free servicing with the car due to an error in the pre launch specification, (Was listed as having a 298 Mile WLTP Range, Which was dropped to 279 Miles due to a testing error)

From Sept 2018 to Sept 2019 was a normal year for us, 45k miles and the car behaved perfectly.
Apart from the stupidly short service intervals (10k miles) it didnt need to go into the dealership at all.

We debated what to change the car for, having arguments with SWMBO over a Tesla M3, as the Kona has features the Tesla does not have which she loved (Head Up Display and Air Cooled Seats). And the Car in our price bracket the Standard Range Plus would have a 40 mile lower range than the Kona.

We got to the point of ordering a Tesla M3, but walked away on the Pickup day due to issues with it. And decided to spend another year in the Kona, A First for us.

This was only really possible due to the 5 Year Unlimited Mileage Warranty on the Kona, as I dont want to be driving a computer on wheels that is going to cost a fortune to fix when it brakes down.

First set of tyres lasted just over a year and were changed at 47k miles. Nexen SU1
I was given a free brand new set by someone who bought a Kona but straight away put on different tyres, so it didnt cost me anything to replace them
Its still on these tyres,

At its 60k Service in Dec 2019 Brake Pads were reported as Less than 10% Worn, and there were no other issues,

We were away from Late Dec 2019 to Feb 2020 working overseas, so the car was left at home parked up with 60% charge, On return 8 weeks later it was at 59% and all good but the 12v Battery was flat, this was charged and all ok.

Then Lockdown Hit, The car was almost 100% off the Road March April and Early may.

Mid May The Car Was called into the Dealership for a Compulsory Software update, Straight away after this we noticed issues with the way the car was charging on Rapid and Ultra Rapid Chargers. (On Ionity Ultra Rapids the Car was charging at a Max of 31Kw rather than the 77Kw it did before, and on 50Kw Rapids the car would charge at 45Kw then drop down to 20Kw Rather than rising to 49Kw like it did before).

Took some time time to get. Hyundai to believe there was a problem, I even had to arrange a meeting with 2 other Kona owners on the Old Software and video the charging showing the slow charging on our car.


Car went back to the Dealership who advised they found one of the 4 Software updates had not been done correctly, so they re did it.

Checked car on Chargers again, Now its Charging at full speed on Ultra Rapids at 77Kw but the battery is getting hot and the Battery Cooling system is Not Cooling the Battery

More and More Test by Us with Results sent to Hyundai, So now Hyundai decide they want our car back at the Tilbury Import Centre to have it checked by a Senior Tech. Car it taken to Dealers and Transported to Tilbury.

Here we get major issues with Hyundai and the Transport Company. (We have a Live 360degree Dash cam in car which recorded the whole weeks saga).

Car was picked up on Sat am from Dealer, (Not the Friday am as agreed), as such the Transport Co could not get into Tilbury Docks, so rather than take car to a secure compound, they dumped the car in a Motorway Services from 5pm Sat to 11am Mon.

Car Finally Made it To Tilbury, Tech on phone to his boss says they have updated another software package and will blame the dealer for the issues saving them face, then goes on to describe all EV owners as Sad Anal ****ers (His boss on the phone agrees with him), He makes it clear he is not going to look for overheating.

Car is returned back to Dealer from Tilbury, and on the way back one of the Recovery Truck drivers decides (Again live on video), to search the car and steal from it, items including the 4G modem the car was using for comms, and other stuff of ours.

Theft is reported and Hyundai replace the items stolen
Now in July 2020

Car is returned to us, charging checked again, works fine on Ultra Rapid and Rapids now, but till battery getting too hot and not cooling,

After some rumblings on Social Media Hyundai agrees to send its technical director a top techs to meet up with us at the ionity chargers in Milton Keynes to test car alongside on of theirs.


We meet up, and within 5mins they confirm the car is not cooling, and needs repair.

They order parts while we stand at the charger, and take our car back to Hyundai head office, saying it will be ready in a week, and leave us with the Press Fleet car they brought with them to test.

A week later they call to say the parts have been replaced and they have checked it on an ultra rapid charger and the battery is still not cooling correctly.

So going into August 2020 we will not be going back into our car as it ends its 2nd year of service.

Apart from the faff at the end its been a great car and would highly recommend the Kona to anyone wanting a bullet proof EV.

AND REGARDS BATTERY LIFE. Hyudais Own top Techs tested the battery and were surprised to report that even at 67k miles and an unkown amount of time spent with no cooling while rapid charging the battery health was 100% with a 0.0v Cell deviance. Says a lot for EV Batteries.

We are using their press car for now and will start our New EV Journey on the 1st Sept 2020 which I am sure I will document on here.

So I cant really do my final cost of ownership as I normally would as its not possible to break down, but as stated over the 2 years we ran it, 1 set of tyres and servicing so you really cant say more than that..

23 Months of Ownership. (18 Months of Use due to overseas work and Covid lockdown)
67k miles covered
Costs to keep on road £0 (Excluding Insurance etc)

CAR SCORES AN "A+" Outstanding
HYUNDAI SCORES A "D+" Could Do Much Better.

Will be back in Sept All being well with the World.
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Thanks very interesting, we will be looking at EV for next car to but are holding fire for now as no instant need to change, but next year pending work imagine we will do, if can get 280 miles or so will do us for one car then won't need a second car.
what was so bad with it?

the boot was held shut with gaffa tape and we were told it was going to take a couple of weeks for a new catch to fix it so wanted us drive with boot taped shut.
When we slammed the drivers door the b pillar trim fell off as it didn’t have any clips on it

at that point we took it as a sign and walked away
Thanks very interesting, we will be looking at EV for next car to but are holding fire for now as no instant need to change, but next year pending work imagine we will do, if can get 280 miles or so will do us for one car then won't need a second car.

the 3 Korean Siblings, Hyundai Kona, Kia Niro, Kia Soul all use the same battery and drive train and will give a good 280 miles on a charge. Just depends which body style you prefer

by next year there will be even more choice with the polestar etc coming online, but the Kona and it’s siblings still seem to be the best range for pound at the moment if you are looking to spend under £40k
I think I can guess :D
Legal space fly-tipping!
Will do a proper post later am on my phone at mo

Basically in our 3rd Kona now except we are not as the drive battery failed on it last month so back in. Kona Press Car again while they decide what to do having trouble finding us a kina at mo as low stock so looking at other iptions

All odd as Kona 3 was well outside the battery recall range but failed anyway at 20k miles
Basically the first Kona lasted 18 Months and just under 70k miles, the fault was not diagnosed at the time, but I later found out it was just a valve icing up stoping coolant flow to the battery

Between July 2020 and Sept 2020 I used a Hyundai Press Fleet Car (Kona EV), put 15k mikes on that no issues

Sept 2020 they supplied me a brand new 70 reg Kona EV Premium SE,


I only kept this a month and put 2k miles on it, as I had this stupid earworm saying get a Tesla get a Tesla.

Telsa offered a Crazy high PX on it against a Model 3 SR+ so I took that deal.


What a mistake SWMBO and I hated it, (Not saying its a bad car for everyone it just didnt fit our use scenario and we regretted swapping to it). After 5 Months we jumped ship again in Feb 2021 as there were some great deals on Ex Demo Konas, so we managed to jump back to a Kona, and it cost us nothing to have the Model 3 for 5 months as again the PX on the Telsa was high and the Kona prices depressed due to the facelift model coming out very soon


All seemed well the new Kona was great, we were happy (Especially as the New Kona was outside the range of cars affected by the battery recall so would have no issues), but 25k on the Kona in 5 Months, then at the end of Aug 2021 Vicky was driving back from a 400 Mile work day. Stopped for a Long Deep Rapid Charge from 7% to 90% and at 89% the car shut down and blew its safety (Car has a safety in the BMS that if it detects an anomaly shuts off the car and leaves it in neutral so it can be pushed and nothing else. Got it recovered to the dealers Hyundai Head office got involved straight away, had the car lifted from the dealers to their import facility at Tilbury where the battery faults are being investigated.




Result Needs a New Traction Battery, 3 to 5 month wait as there are a Q of cars already there waiting, in the mean time they have put us back in one of the Press Fleet Konas to keep us going and are looking at the following options


1: Buyback on the Kona and we move on
2: Buyback on the Kona and try and find us a new Kona (Hard Limited Stock)
3: Buyback on the Kona and try to find us as Ioniq5 we can pay to upgrade to
4: Stay in the Press Loan car till the finally get around to putting a new battery in our Kona

Issue is the Recall seems to be expanding in the US they are now recalling every Chevy Bolt made (Right up to current date) and that uses the same battery, so it seems the same may happen here,

So Basically still in a Kona (Never been in a situation where we have had same type of car so long).

And the Saga goes on!!!!
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brilliant update thanks :) Interesting about the world wide battery issue


Yes looks like its going to cost LG Billions, Lets just hope they can find a second life use for all the batteries they are pulling

Fairly peanuts in the UK was about 5k cars affected that looks like it may rise to 10k, in the US its estimated at 80k Bolts alone add in the Konas its eyewatering
Can you expand on what it was about the Tesla you disliked?

With all the ongoing issues with the Kona you seem to have listed, why do you keep going back to it?
Can you expand on what it was about the Tesla you disliked?

With all the ongoing issues with the Kona you seem to have listed, why do you keep going back to it?

My main issue with the tesla was short warranty at 40k warranty we would have burnt that in under a year and in the 5 months we had it we had new lights and a new main display screen. Too much risk out or warranty. And rwal world range way worse than expected. My wife just despised the control layout and the car in general and as they say happy wife happy life.

With regards the Kona we have had issues but as a company Hyundai have bent over backwards to keep us happy and the chou w for what we do is very limited. Want 280 plus mile range need a smallish car that's easy to use in central London but still has little luxuries like cooled seats etc. And with a long high miles warranty everywhere we look brings us back to Hyundai and the Kona. As long as thry keep us on the road and it's not costing us be mad to move to something that would be worse off
Interesting read, I'm waiting on delivery of a 64K Ultimate
Yes looks like its going to cost LG Billions, Lets just hope they can find a second life use for all the batteries they are pulling

I highly doubt there is any use for those batteries beyond been scrapped, do you want to own/touch anything that has the potential to literally spontaneous combust?? The worrying thing for LG is as far as I understand they still don't know the reasons for the fires apart from its thermal runaway!!! I believe GM has stopped Bolt production but LG are still putting the same packs into other cars??!!

Tesla went through a similar thing with the older 85kWh packs about 18 months ago, but because Tesla makes the pack and the cars they seem* to have solved the issue with changes to the BMS.

The Cells LG supply for the Bolt and Kona is whats in the iPace, ID3, eTron etc pretty much everything that isn't a Tesla or made in China.

Given chronicty is clearly an important factor in thermal runaway for all EVs the executives at LG must be bitting their nails at the moment. The iPace does seem to suffer from cell block failures- isolating the bad cell is much safer than burning the car.

*Tesla 85 packs are suffering higher rate of cell block failures than before, and at low mileages. I suspect the Tesla BMS is now super aggressive in disabling the car at any hint of cell block imbalance. The trend seems to be one warning, and within days the car essentially disables the entire traction battery whilst gradually reducing usable range, presumably allowing the owner to get home rather than been abandoned by the side of the road.

There are also reports when Tesla investigated their fires they found something fundamentally flawed with the 85 packs they didn't expect to find as the packs aged but have to date not disclosed that information to the public and have threatened to sue the few private individuals who knows what the issue is to keep them quite.

I also park my car well away from the house these days. EV fires may still be rare but it clearly is an issue, and may get worse before it gets better.

Batterygate 2.0 has the potential to make dieselgate look pathetic, in retrospect the signs where there even as early as 2015 with unexplained Tesla fires, but ignored by most (my self included).

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Hyundai are trying to mitigate by telling people who have the affected batteries not to charge above 90%. They have also put in a bms update that stops the charge at 80% for a couple of mins to check the state of each cell then again at 90%

On the bolt it’s not to charge above 90% or let the battery go below 20%.

Our car was not in the recall range but still failed in exactly the same as the other cars in that it was during of straight after a deep low to high charge. Hyundai say if a cell is seen as getting out of spec the BMS just throws a safety and the whole thing is locked out

They are saying it’s down to the separator in the pouches ( more like a phone battery design than the round cells in Tesla)

Crystals grow in the cells while charging and dissolve away afterwards if they grow and puncture the separator film between the anode and cathode that’s when the cell fails and problems start

Will see where this goes but it is currently not doing the whole EV thing any favours

Apart from the failure the Konas we have had have been one of the most rock solid reliable cars I have driven in 45 years of motoring. They do the range they claim (270 to 300 miles) they are very very well spaced for a small car and they withstand impact well our first one took a major hit from a Range Rover pulling out a side road and was just panel work to the near side.

What a shame if this issue from a 3rd party supplier taints them

Interesting what you say about the one warning on the 85 packs @gangzoom the Kona does something similar many owners report. The first time you get the error you can reset it with an obd fault reader or unplugging the 12v battery for 10mins, but as soon as you charge again it locks out for good. Almost like an unofficial limp home mode

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