2019 MIAS: Will Hyundai Be The First To Launch An Electric Vehicle In The Philippines?
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2019 MIAS: Will Hyundai Be The First To Launch An Electric Vehicle In The Philippines?

If true, then Hyundai may be the first to sell electric vehicles in the Philippines.

Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. (HARI) is set to unveil a plethora of vehicles at this year’s Manila International Auto Show, which is set on April 4 to 7, 2019. Over the past few days, HARI has sent invites to the motoring media community with the title “Rockology” which is a showcase of Hyundai’s latest technologies.

Now, the invites show what looks like to be the fascia of the Kona Electric. Does this mean that HARI will beat Nissan Philippines Inc. to the race of who is the first to locally sell their electric vehicle?

The Hyundai Kona Electric is exactly that, a fully electric version of the brand’s popular small SUV. The Kona was first unveiled locally at last year’s Manila International Auto Show, and given that SUVs are the flavor of the month for Filipino buyers, the Kona EV should at least on paper be more popular compared to the Nissan Leaf.

To separate it from its combustion engined sibling, the Kona Electric has a few styling tweaks, namely, the lack of a front grille, as well as enhancements to the car’s aerodynamics. The interior, meanwhile, has been revised to have a more futuristic look. The analog gauges have been swapped for fully digital ones, while the infotainment system utilizes a bigger touch screen. Lastly, the mechanical gear lever has been replaced by a push-button system.

The Kona Electric has two versions, a standard version with 289 km of range, and a long-range version with 449 km of range. Whichever version one chooses, both electric motors produce 204 hp and 395 Nm of torque. Given that electric cars have instant peak torque, the Kona Electric is also the fastest Kona yet, with a 0-100 kph acceleration time of 7.6 seconds.

With all these details, is the Hyundai Kona Electric more appealing to you than the Nissan Leaf? Better visit the 2019 Manila International Auto Show to find out what Hyundai has in store for you.

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