The Best Mainstream Electric Vehicles (EVs) in Singapore

Page 1 – Introduction
Page 2 – Hyundai Kona Electric
Page 3 – Kia Niro Electric
Page 4 – MG ZS Electric

Hyundai Kona Electric

Our pick: Hyundai Kona Electric Long Range from S$166,888 with COE (Aug 2021)
Read our review of the Hyundai Kona Electric here

In the internal combustion engine (ICE) era, a model lineup often offered a choice of engines, with different capacities and outputs. But in the electric era, when cars have no engines, variants are differentiated through electric performance and, crucially, range.

The Hyundai Kona then currently offers a trump card, in that it is currently the only mainstream EV that is available in both standard and long range forms. In fact, it is one of only three EVs currently on sale in Singapore that allows buyers to have a choice of range, the other two being the Tesla Model 3 and Porsche Taycan.

If you can stretch to it, the Kona Electric Long Range is obviously the one to get. At S$166,888 with COE though, it is not exactly cheap, but it does offer almost 500km of range on a single charge, which is enough to cover nearly two weeks of average driving in Singapore, thanks to its 64kWH battery powering an electric motor that puts out 204hp and 395Nm of torque.

But even if you opt for the Standard Range variant (S$141,888 with COE, add another S$5,000 for a sunroof), you’re not being shortchanged either. The ‘regular’ Kona Electric still gets you about 300km of range on a full charge, which is still respectable and more than enough for a week’s worth of driving here. In this form, it uses a 39.2kWh battery to power a 134hp electric motor, and both versions can accept fast charging, meaning it takes just a couple of hours to recharge at a DC fast charger.

The Kona has recently been facelifted, and it gets some cleaner styling to keep it refreshed. But most of the car’s underpinnings have remained the same as the Kona Electric that first arrived here in 2019, and as such the driving experience is not much different than before, with its punchy yet easy-going nature.

It has to be noted though that the Kona is slightly smaller than most of the other EV SUVs in its class, and as such cabin space can be a bit tight, especially for rear passengers, while its boot space is relatively tiny too. On the flip side, Hyundai has specced out the Kona pretty impressively, and it does come with an impressive suite of driver assistance features, including stuff like adaptive cruise control and blind spot monitoring, to name a few.

The appeal of the Kona Electric then is not so much outright practicality, but the fact that it demonstrates what mainstream EVs can do. Its flexibility in offering a choice of standard or long range variants show that EVs can adapt to the varying needs of drivers, and should make the transition into electric motoring easier for ICE owners.

Continue to Page 3 for the Kona’s Korean EV sibling

about the author

Ben Chia
CarBuyer's senior staff writer went out to explore the Great Big World, including a stint working in China (despite his limited Mandarin). Now he's back, ready to foist upon you his takes on everything good and wonderful about the automotive world. Follow Ben on Instagram @carbuyer.ben