Hyundai Hypermiles Kona Electric for 1000km

Hyundai Hypermiles Kona Electric for 1000km

Hyundai’s Kona electric SUV lapped the Lausitzring for a sleep-inducing thirty-five hours to cover over 1000km on a single charge.

Hyundai doesn’t do things by halves these days. Two pure EVs and a whole new electric brand from having neither of those things two years ago.

What’s more, the Kona electric, our current EV of choice, has a Tesla Model 3 matching range of 450km (WLTP) for a whole Kia Picanto less.

Anyway, Hyundai took not one but three Kona electrics to a racetrack in Germany (not that one), charged them and sent them out on a hyper-miling challenge.

The Rules

The drivers consisted of two teams from Hyundai Motor Deutschland and, I guess, a control team from German car mag Auto Bild.

The test was run at German race track, the Lausitzring which has a sneaky big test track that Dekra (yep, from Michael Schumacher’s hat) uses for all sorts of things including autonomous driving testing. Dekra is kind of an NRMA/RACV/RACQ but is actually interested in cars.

Each Kona, Hyundai says, was stock standard and running on Nexen N Fera SU1 215s on 17-inch rims. They didn’t say what pressure those tyres were running at, but they won’t have been soft.

The drivetrain also standard, which means a 356-volt power supply fed by a 64kWh battery, driving the front wheels with 150kW and 395Nm.

In unbelievably unpleasant news, the climate control and media systems stayed off. Hopefully it wasn’t hot and the drivers were at least allowed to put their phones on speaker. The daytime running lights stayed on, though, but as the press release readily admits, everything else stayed off for maximum range.

The Results

I don’t think it’s going over the top to say that his is a colossally good result. Yes, the team drove around the Ring at averages of between 29km/h and 31km/h with no air-con or entertainment but as you can see, each of them cracked 1000km on a single charge.

This ridiculous feat took almost 35 hours, which is a long time to be purring slowly around a test track. The cars used less than half the WLTP 14.7kWh/100km, coming in at 6.28kWh, 6.25kWh and 6.24kWh/100km.

I’ve wrung 412km out a Kona electric with range to spare and I was not messing about and trying to do what these crazy Germans have managed.

The team even eked out 20km with just three percent of charge left, so that first 1000km was easy.

What does all this mean?

Not a great deal to you and me – we won’t ever have an opportunity to drive a  sustained 29-31km/h with the sound and air-con off. Even if I did, I’d choose whatever else was on offer, even it included listening to Malcolm Turnbull or Kanye West talk about themselves. Hopefully not for 35 hours, though.

But it does point to the fact that the Kona is the real deal. While you can do a similar thing in other electric cars – the Tesla Model S record stands at 1078km on a much bigger P100D battery – it does show that the Kona is a well-engineered EV.