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Hyundai heats up EV race with slashed prices, but they don't come without a cost: 'That's more than a smidge'

"I think most would rather have the old price and additional range!"

"I think most would rather have the old price and additional range!"

Photo Credit: iStock

Hyundai is slashing the price of one of its base electric vehicle models.

The South Korean automaker announced that the SE grade base model of the 2024 Kona Electric will cost $32,675, or $34,010 after a standard factory-to-dealership delivery charge of $1,335. The price is $875 less than last year's model, as Car and Driver noted.

The shift does come with one drawback, though — the single-charge range of the vehicle has dropped to about 200 miles, according to Green Car Reports.

Last year's model had a range of 258 miles, per the news outlet, so that's a fairly substantial reduction. The range decrease is due to the new SE's use of a smaller battery pack, which also means that the horsepower of the vehicle drops from 201 to 133.

The SEL and Limited models of the car, however, will have a battery that's slightly better than last year's base model and will both have an estimated range of 261 miles on a single charge. These models are also reasonably priced compared to competitors, as the SEL trim costs just $4,000 more than the base model ($36,675 before the delivery charge), and the Limited costs about $8,000 more ($41,045 before the charge).

Hyundai has been making advances to solidify its share of the EV market in other ways as well. The company is expecting to open its first American EV production site in 2025 in Georgia. The company's vehicles will also soon be available for purchase on Amazon. And its Ioniq 5 won MotorTrend's SUV of the Year award for 2023, making it the first fully electric vehicle to do so.

Green Car Reports readers debated the new price of the Kona Electric SE in the comment section.

"$875 less but giving up 60 miles range (25% of former range)? I think most would rather have the old price and additional range!! I guess [they] probably would have raised the price by thousands had [they] not reduced the range that much," one user wrote.

"This is nice car for driving around town and going to and from work. I would not risk driving it on a long trip as it would require that you have to stop often to recharge it. With a home charger and for driving locally this seems like a good basic transportation EV. Hopefully we will see more of these with better range and as affordable in the future," another user said.

"That's more than a smidge. But as long as u recognize that it's an urban commuter car that's fine," a third user wrote.

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