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Hyundai Kona EV vs. Chevy Bolt: Which One Wins?

EV Car or Electric car at charging station with the power cable supply plugged in on blurred nature with soft light background. Eco-friendly alternative energy concept

Hyundai Kona EV vs. Chevy Bolt: Which One Wins?

Key Points

  • The Hyundai Kona EV and the Chevy Bolt are popular choices in the growing electric car market.
  • The Kona EV has won awards such as City Car of the Year and one of the 10 Best Electric Cars in 2021.
  • The Bolt received the 2021 North American Car of the Year and a 2021 Top Safety Pick.
  • The Kona EV has a slightly higher driving range and better efficiency than the Bolt, but the Bolt is eligible for a tax credit of $7,500.

People tout electric cars as the future of the automotive industry. Their sleek, futuristic designs and eco-friendliness make them a growing option among buyers. The Hyundai Kona EV and the Chevy Bolt are two popular choices in a growing market today.

Hyundai released its standard first generation in 2017 and followed it up in 2018 with the Kona Electric (also known as the Kona EV) in South Korea. Its funky, subcompact design and futuristic features like a floating horizontal center pad and ambient lighting made it a popular choice for buyers around the world. Since then, it won City Car of the Year from the Hispanic Motor Press and one of the 10 Best Electric Cars in 2021 by Autotrader.

Chevy released the Bolt slightly earlier than the Kona EV. The first release was in 2016, with a refresh in 2022. Chevy’s Bolt features stylish modern external design and a spacious, comfortable interior. The Bolt received the 2021 North American Car of the Year and a 2021 Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

With two great choices like this, how do you choose the best one? Read on because we have a head-to-head comparison of the Hyundai Kona EV vs. Chevy Bolt for you.

Hyundai-Kona
Hyundai’s Kona is a subcompact SUV hailing from South Korea

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Hyundai Kona EV vs. Chevy Bolt: Side-by-Side Comparison

Hyundai Kona EVChevy Bolt
What it isA South Korean all-electric subcompact crossoverAn American all-electric hatchback
Price$33,550 MSRP25$26,500 MSRP
Range258 mi (415 km)259 mi (417 km)
Cargo Space19.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats16.3 cubic feet behind the rear seats (56.0 cubic feet with the back row folded down)
Efficiency120 MPGe110 MPGe
FeaturesFloating horizontal center pad, ambient lighting, and generous equipment and warranty coverageChevrolet Infotainment 3 system and informative energy screens
Tax CreditNone$7,500

Hyundai Kona EV vs. Chevy Bolt: What’s the Difference?

Comparing the Hyundai Kona EV and the Chevy Bolt can make for a close competition. Both are all-electric vehicles that have carved out their corner of the market, and they both offer quality choices for those looking to buy electric cars. Let’s examine some key areas to see how these two cars compare.

Chevy-Bolt-By-General-Motors
The Bolt is Chevy’s budget-friendly entry in the EV market.

Range

Let’s start with the driving range. The Hyundai Kona EV can go up to 258 miles on a single charge. The Chevy Bolt can go 259 miles on one charge. These prove to be very similar. Where the Kona’s advantage comes in is the “miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent” measurement.

The Kona has an MPGe of 120 versus the Bolt’s MPGe of 110. That means you get the equivalent of 10 more gallons of gas with the Kona EV than you do with the Bolt, saving you money in the long run.

Both the Kona EV and the Bolt only come with front-wheel drive (FWD). The Kona EV’s engine is 214 horsepower while the Bolt’s is 200 horsepower. The Kona EV’s battery measures 64kWh while the Bolt’s is 65 kWh. Both have a peak power of 150 kW. The comparisons here are pretty even.

Tax Credit Eligibility

After the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022, the Chevy Bolt is eligible for a tax credit of $7,500, while the Hyundai Kona EV is not eligible for any tax credit. The IRA flipped the situation.  

The Kona EV used to be the model eligible for the tax credit while the Bolt missed out. However, the IRA made imported cars ineligible for the incentive. This act flipped the script in a major way.

Price

The Kona EV’s price, though, cancels out its MPGe edge. Its starting price comes in at $33,550 vs. the Bolt’s $26,500. Though the Kona is on the more expensive end, the price range is fairly similar.

However, taking the effect of the IRA into account, the Bolt comes out with a tremendous advantage. Before the act passed, the Kona benefitted from the tax credit, which brought its effective price below that of the Bolt’s.

After the IRA, though, the Bolt’s tax credit brings its effective price to almost half that of the Kona EV. At $19,995 versus $34,885, the Bolt wins this category easily with one of the lowest starting prices of any electric vehicle.

ev companies
EV cars offer drivers many advanced technology and safety features.

Safety

Both cars have highly rated safety systems. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) awarded both the Bolt and Kona EV a 5-star Overall Safety Rating.

The Kona EV packs in more standard safety features, however. It comes with:

  • Forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian detection
  • Blind-spot collision-avoidance assist
  • Rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist
  • Rear occupant alert
  • Safe exit warning

The Chevy Bolt has its share of safety features. It includes automatic high beams and front pedestrian detection. You can equip it with additional features like:

  • 360-degree camera system
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

Hyundai Kona EV vs. Chevy Bolt: 4 Must-Know Facts

There have been many numbers and facts thrown around so far. Let’s summarize the key points to compare these two cars better.

  • The Bolt has a distinctive price advantage. While the starting prices are $25,600 for the Bolt and $33,550 for the Kona EV, the $7,500 tax credit brings the Bolt’s price below $20k. That’s hard to beat in the electric car market.
  • Though the NHSTA gave both cars a 5-star Overall Safety Rating, the Kona EV wins based on the sheer number of standard safety features it packs in.
  • These two models have evenly matched battery power and range. With a range of 258 miles, the Kona EV is only one mile short of the Bolt’s range. The Kona has a 64kWh battery, and the Bolt has a 65kWh one. Both cars only come in FWD.
  • Both cars come with advanced technology, matching their futuristic designs. The Kona EV and the Bolt both feature touchscreen infotainment systems that are compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Higher models of the Kona EV come with a larger touchscreen, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and a premium audio system.
hyundai kona ev
The Hyundai Kona comes with a range of in-vehicle technology.

Hyundai Kona EV vs. Chevy Bolt: Which One Should You Use?

When deciding to buy the Hyundai Kona EV vs. the Chevy Bolt, the choice ultimately comes down to your preferences and needs. Both cars are quality choices and offer many similar features.

Both cars have similar drivetrains, battery power, and driving ranges. Pay attention to the differences, though, and you may discover which one is a better fit for you.

The Chevy Bolt is a budget-friendly option. It’s lower starting price and tax credit make its economical price hard to beat. Combined with its stylish design, this makes the Bolt a great entry car for the beginner EV buyer.

The Bolt lacks safety and technology features when compared to the Kona EV. For a car with an array of standard safety features and a high-end infotainment system, the Kona EV is for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Chevy going to discontinue the Bolt EV?

Yes, Chevy will stop making the Bolt EV by the end of 2023. Recalls and other factors made the Bolt a money-loss for Chevy and they want to use the plant for newer EV models.

Is the Chevy Bolt the cheapest EV?

With a starting price just under $27,000 and a tax credit of $7,500, the Bolt is the cheapest EV on the market in 2023.

What is the difference between the Hyundai Kona and the Kona EV?

The Hyundai Kona is a gas-powered car and the Kona EV is the all-electric model. The Kona offers all-wheel drive while the Kona EV only comes in forward-wheel drive.

Why is the Chevy Bolt so cheap?

Chevy’s low pricing of the Bolt is their strategy to keep the Bolt competitive. Combined with the Bolt’s tax credit eligibility, it’s price tag is the lowest for EVs in 2023.

Can the Bolt and Kona use Tesla charging stations?

Some Tesla charging stations are only open to Teslas. However, the company recently opened its stations to drivers of other vehicles. Most vehicles will need an adapter to use a Tesla charging station, though.

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