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Days of the past future …… Casting by Hyundai Kona

Of many scientific things that exist on this planet, electricity is one of those things that we never discovered but humanity found ingenious ways to be able to generate and transform electricity. Electricity existed even before we could understand what it was. Luckily with advancement of knowledge and technology, we got to learn a lot about electricity and even transform it for our own use.

#Are electric cars a past carried on to this future

We slowly harnessed its power, and we became over dependent on it. It was until the late 1800s where a company came up with an “electric streetcar” and a few years after that came the ‘petrol-ed’ engine to replace many steam engine cars that existed then.

#But what happen?

Somehow ‘electric cars’ or rather transportation existed before gasoline transportation. Was it that electric motors were not sustainable? Could it be that it was easy to run a gasoline car? What really happened that there was a total shift to gasoline engines? I believe if people maintained the same energy, maybe electric cars now will be even having hot-swap batteries eliminating the need of waiting for a battery to charge up. Will the energy and the vigor we have now for electric cars die of with time?

#Kenya goes electric

We are a developing country that means we are at best running so slow to barely catch up the 1st world countries. However, electric cars found a way here. No one really looked interested in the business of electric cars for many reasons, personal or otherwise.

A Tesla also found its way into the Kenyan scene, which seems to have created a spark. The fire is slowly but surely catching, evidently since we now have electric charging ports set up in town. I am not aware who is behind the charging ports but am aware of a huge number of people waiting for a government tender like blessing to get an electric car

#Enters Kona

To make matters juicier and interesting, Kenya has seen the first launch of an electric car, Hyundai Kona. Its currently on order but yes with about 8.8m you will be able to own this mid-sized SUV that was rated as the best family car by Top Gear Magazine in 2020.

Launching Hyundai Kona at Caetano

During my test drive I had a chance to interface and bond with the car. I would bet it was mine. it’s laced with all the latest technology that is available in the automotive market now. One lil feature that stood out for me among many other things is that the car intelligently switches to ‘Park’ mode should you unbuckle the seat belt and open the door. and that is just to prevent the car from rolling off.

Several convenience features allow for a more comfortable ride, in particular for back seat passengers. As with its predecessor, the new KONA Electric’s second row heated seats allow rear passengers to relax when traveling on longer journeys. The new second row USB port deliver additional power to recharge devices on-board if needed. Meanwhile, an electric parking brake offer even more reassurance for drivers, and can be activated by the simple push of a button. The new KONA Electric is available with a 10.25-inch digital cluster and a 8-inch multimedia display that incorporates multimedia and convenience features including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The new KONA Electric offers a zero-emissions battery electric powertrain, with no compromises on performance. The long-range 64 kWh battery (electricity consumption combined: 14.7 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 0 g/km according to WLTP) features an electric motor which delivers maximum power of 204 PS (150 KW), accelerating the KONA Electric to 100 km/h in 7.9 seconds.

The shift-by-wire system enables operation of the car simply by pressing buttons to switch driving modes. It also eliminates the routing space required for housing the mechanical linkages between normal shifter and the transmission providing additional storage space in the front of the car.

The Smart Adjustable Regenerative Braking system allows the new KONA Electric to automatically set the regenerative braking level, while paddle shifts behind the steering wheel allow the driver to adjust the intensity of the regenerative braking. The system recuperates additional energy when possible. Regenerative braking is maximized when keeping the left pedal held, allowing the driver to even bring the vehicle to a full stop – without use of the brakes.

#Is the future dumb?

No, we are too slow in catching up.

Look at it this way, our country is strategically placed on this planet. We literally enjoy endless days of sunshine, what stops us from having solar points for charging cars? Also, we are battling fuel prices and we are at that point where we need a competition. It might not make ultimate sense since when fuel prices go up everything goes up, but it can turn tables.

Truth is there is more carbon emissions from erupting volcanoes etc but also our human activities contribute to the carbon footprint and our environment too needs some patching and going electric will help fix the environment for the next generation.

About the price, lets agree with an electric car that is 80% cheaper in terms of maintenance cost, the mathematics will check out and somehow the price in the long run will be recovered. Also the Kenyan in me tends to believe the first product in new market is always up there, so with time and with more companies entering the game things will come down.

All in all Kona is a win for me and a bold step in the right direction from Hyundai Kenya.

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