Hyundai presented its new 2019 Kona Electric crossover (introduced in March at the New York Auto Show, earlier post) and 2019 NEXO fuel cell SUV (showcased at CES in January, earlier post) to US media at a driving introduction in Los Angeles. Kona Electric models will be produced in Ulsan, Korea and will be available in the beginning of 2019, with initial availability in California and subsequently in the ZEV-focused states in the western and northeastern regions of the US market. NEXO will be available in California before the end of 2018.
Kona Electric. Kona Electric rides on an all-new CUV platform and is Hyundai’s first compact electric crossover for the US market. It joins Hyundai’s successful new Kona, Tucson and Santa Fe in a full line-up of Hyundai crossovers for the US market.
The Kona Electric compact platform has been developed to give customers CUV-like ground clearance and an elevated, command seating position to provide better visibility and comfort on long journeys, as well as easy ingress and egress. Rear suspension component intrusion is minimized, allowing for a lower load floor and seating position to deliver impressive headroom and ease of access for rear occupants.
Designers maximized interior space for storage versatility, meeting the requirements of eco customers with active lifestyle pursuits. Split-folding rear seats fold flat via a dual-level load floor that yields additional vertical space and allows easy access for a variety of recreational equipment. As a result, Kona Electric offers 19.2 cubic feet of rear cargo volume—exactly the same volume as the Kona with an internal combustion engine.
Kona Electric features a 150 kW (201 horsepower) permanent-magnet synchronous electric motor supplied by a high-voltage 64 kWh lithium-ion battery. The motor develops 291 lb-ft (395 N·m) of torque distributed to the front wheels through a 7.981 axle ratio.
The powertrain inverter has a power density of 25.4 kVA per liter. The battery system is liquid-cooled and operates at 356 volts. Battery pack energy density is 141.3 Wh/kg (greater than Chevy Bolt), with a total battery system weight under 1,000 lbs. In addition, Kona Electric EPA-estimated MPGe is 132 city, 108 highway, and 120 combined. Hyundai estimates the range to be 258 miles.
The Kona Electric utilizes a standard Level-II on-board charging system capable of a 7.2 kW rate of charge for rapid recharging characteristics. An eighty percent charge can be achieved in 54 minutes with a Level-III quick charge (zero to 80 percent charge @ 100 kW charging capability), using the SAE-Combo charging port, while a 7.2 kW Level-II charger takes nine hours and thirty-five minutes. This fast-charging capability is standard on the Kona Electric. For charging convenience, the charging port is located in the front grille area for head-in parking ease whenever charging is needed.
A number of advanced safety features are also available on Kona Electric, including Lane Keeping Assist, Blind-Spot Collision Warning, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, Parking Distance Warning and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection.
Kona Electric was developed with a focus on enhanced driving dynamics and responsive performance for a variety of urban and multi-surface driving conditions. The long wheelbase, short overhangs and wide track create a planted stance that results in agility in urban environments with enhanced linear stability and ride comfort.
NEXO fuel-cell SUV. NEXO leads Hyundai Motor’s plans in development of zero-emission vehicles. Hyundai Motor Group plans to introduce 38 eco-friendly models by 2025 and Hyundai Motor Company plans to introduce 18 models by 2025.
Improving upon the Tucson FCEV, the NEXO Blue model has an estimated driving range of 380 miles, 115 more than its predecessor. The NEXO Limited trim has an estimated range of 354 miles. NEXO Blue models have estimated MPGe of 65 city, 58 highway and 61 combined, while NEXO Limited models have an estimated MPGe of 59 city, 54 highway, and 57 combined.
In addition, NEXO refueling time can be achieved in as little as five minutes, allowing a consumer lifestyle very similar to a comparable gasoline-powered SUV in terms of range and refueling speed. NEXO hydrogen storage uses three separate hydrogen tanks in the rear of the vehicle. These are configured to maximize overall interior volume, especially in the rear cargo area, increasing it by 5.8 cubic feet over the Tucson Fuel Cell and allowing for a flatter load floor.
With 161 peak horsepower (120 kW) and 291 lb-ft (395 N·m) of torque, acceleration and power have also increased to improve NEXO overall performance compared with Tucson fuel cell.
NEXO features a number of aerodynamic design features, including a D-pillar air tunnel, front wheel air curtains, aerodynamic wheel design, auto-flush door handles and hidden front wipers. These contribute to an overall Cd of 0.32.
To achieve an ultra-rigid structure while maintaining a light weight, NEXO uses Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS). AHSS also reduces cabin NVH and gives the suspension a rigid structure from which to precisely articulate body movements.
NEXO utilizes a fully-independent McPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension for both sporty cornering feel and superior ride comfort. Steering uses a motor-driven system tuned for smoothness and responsiveness. Michelin tires are fitted on both the 17-inch and 19-inch alloy wheels for excellent handling and good ride comfort.
NEXO offers a number of advanced driver assist systems, including Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), Lane Following Assist (LFA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), High Beam Assist (HBA) and Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA).
Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA). RSPA enables NEXO to either autonomously park or retrieve itself from either a parallel or perpendicular parking space with or without a driver in the vehicle. The RSPA system can even autonomously back NEXO into a parking spot with a touch of a key fob button by the driver.
Lane Following Assist. Lane Following Assist (LFA) is a new technology for Hyundai, showcased first in the NEXO fuel cell. LFA automatically helps assist steering to help keep NEXO more precisely centered in its current lane of travel. LFA can help keep NEXO centered in its lane at speeds between zero and 90 miles per hour on both highways and city streets.
Blind-spot View Monitor (BVM) and Surround-view Monitors (SVM). Hyundai’s Blind-spot View Monitor is an industry-first technology. It projects the side views of NEXO in the center cluster to the driver using cameras while changing lanes with the turn signal on. The system uses wide-angle Surround View Monitors (SVM) on each side of the vehicle to monitor areas that cannot be seen by a traditional rearview mirror and create various exterior vehicle perspective views. Hyundai is the first automaker to provide drivers video footage from both sides of the vehicle with this feature.
Blind-spot Collision-Avoidance Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist. BCA and RCCA both utilize sensor technologies to help alert the NEXO driver of approaching vehicles in its intended path, whether changing lanes or when backing out of a parking spot. Blind-spot Collision-Avoidance also helps provide steering correction when the turn signal is on and the system detects a vehicle in the blind spot area of the NEXO. This is the first application of blind spot steering assist in a Hyundai vehicle in the US market.
NEXO uses a number of ecological materials in its construction, including soybean-oil based polyurethane paint, bamboo-thread-based bio fabric, bio-plastic extracted from sugar cane and bio-carpet extracted from sugar cane. Bio-based materials were applied to 47 different parts and reduced CO2 emissions by 26 lbs during the manufacturing process.