A Hyundai Kona electric SUV caught fire and exploded inside a home garage last Friday in Montreal, Canada. No one was harmed in the explosion though. The EV was reportedly plugged in and was not on charging when the blast took place.
Meanwhile, the Montreal fire department is investigating the incident. The homeowner had bought Hyundai Kona in March this year, CBC reported. The force of the explosion was so severe that it ripped off the garage's door which landed across the street.
Hyundai Kona was launched in India on July 9 and is India's first electric SUV. Kona is priced at Rs 25.30 lakh. Hyundai had reported on July 19 that it had received 120 confirmed bookings for the electric SUV in India.
The five-seater SUV that is being assembled at Hyundai's Chennai factory uses a 39.2 Kilowatt-hour battery in place of a combustion engine that develops a maximum power of 136 PS and a peak torque of 403 newton metres. It is capable of 0-100 kph in under 10 seconds. Globally, it is also available with one other battery option of 64 kwh that gives it a range of 449 kilometers (under EU driving cycle) on full charge.
Lack of charging infrastructure in India - there are fewer than 500 charging stations - has been a stumbling block in the growth of electric cars in the country. The Kona is capable of covering 452 kilometers on a full charge, as per ARAI standards, which Hyundai believes would assure buyers of range anxiety. As with any other test done under specific conditions, the range would have to be checked in real road conditions. In the EU test conditions for example, this battery achieved a range of 289 kilometers.
The battery can be charged in nine hours through a standard slow charger and in 57 minutes with a 50 Kilowatt DC fast charger. Hyundai is offering two chargers with every car--a portable and an AC wall box charger. The portable charger can be plugged into any normal 3 pin 15-ampere socket that can top up a 50 kilometer range in 3 hours. The wall mounted AC charger can do the same in an hour.
Hyundai has also tied up with India's largest oil marketing firm Indian Oil corporation to install high speed chargers capable of charging upto 80 percent in less than an hour, in select cities--Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai. Hyundai's special electric selling dealerships will also be equipped with 7.2 kilowatt AC charger for customers while a special Kona Electric fleet, that is capable of charging other vehicles from its own battery, has also been set up to provide emergency charging.
The two existing electric cars in India-the Mahindra e2O plus and e-Verito have a range of 110-140 kilometres.