Hyundai Kona Won’t Charge – This is why!

EVs are fantastic and, without a doubt, the future of motoring. But if your Kona won’t charge well, then what good is it to you? Don’t panic! There’s always a solution.

Common reasons your Hyundai Kona won’t charge include:

  • Problem with the charging cable
  • Ambient temperature
  • 12V battery dead

In this article, we’ll look at the possible issues, how to fix them, and get you charging again.


Problem with the Charging Cable

A problem with the charging cable is the most common reason for your Hyundai Kona failing to charge. The are a few likely reasons why a charging cable doesn’t work:

  • No power
  • Damaged cable
  • Debris in cable

First things first, let’s check if there is any power going to the charge port. You can tell what action is happening with the light color at the charge port, if any.

Let’s have a look at what each set of lights means:

No lightsNo charging/charging complete
Green Light – OnCharging
Green Light BlinkingScheduled Charging
Red Light BlinkingCharging Malfunction

Green Light On then Off

If the lights are off, then charging is complete. You can check the status of your charge on your screen.

  • Press the EV Icon
  • The range indicator will show how far you can go
  • Energy information will show the battery status

Green Light On

If the lights are green, then charging is in operation.

Green Light Blinking

Green light blinking could be a reason why your car is not charging. Scheduled Charging is set up. Scheduled Charging is an excellent way of optimizing your time and your wallet. Most electricity energy suppliers have off-peak cheaper rates. It’s possible the Scheduled Charging is set on your Kona, which is why your car is not charging. You can override Scheduled Charging by pressing the button beside the plug at the charge point.

Red Light Blinking

If you have a red light, then you have a charging error. Charging can only occur if a complete seal is being made between the Wall and the Charge Port at the car. If this is not happening, no charging will begin. This is a safety mechanism, so no one gets injured.

No Lights. Nada!

Suppose you have nothing at all. No lights, and no signs of power, then we have a supply issue. There are two reasons why you have no power.

  • Power outage
  • Circuit overload

Power Outages

Power outages happen more and more often because of climate change. We all are experiencing more storms and unusual weather. As an EV owner, it’s essential to keep an eye on the weather systems and preempt if there is a storm on the way.

You can be prepared by either charging your Kona in advance or having a power generator backup. (Generators somewhat go against the EV ethos but sometimes needs must). On the upside, most fast chargers are solar-powered or have a backup in place, meaning if you have enough range to get to one, this is an option.

Circuit Overload

The circuit that your EV is charging on should generally be separate from everything else, but this isn’t always the case if you’re charging with a Level 1, for example. No power could result from too much drain in that zone, which has tripped the circuit breaker. This easily happens; someone in your household may have plugged something extra in, like a vacuum or a power washer.

This is just too much for your circuit, and to prevent a fire, the circuit trips.

Have a quick look around to see if anything extra is plugged in. If there is, unplug them. Go and check your circuit and reset the breaker. On return to the charging area, your charger will now be working. If you try to charge and the circuit trips again, you must contact an electrician, as there is a bigger problem in this area that needs to be addressed.

Cable is Damaged

Red lights on or No lights can also signify a damaged cable. Again if the onboard computer can’t recognize a complete seal, it won’t activate charging. This also goes for any nicks or breaks in your cable casing.

EV charge cables are made of sturdy, heavy-duty plastic. Unfortunately, they get damaged because they live in your garage or outside. The biggest culprit is, in fact, your EV wheels. Every time we drive across the cable, we damage the internal wiring and can split the external casing. If this happens, no charging can happen.

Firstly, unplug your cable from both the wall and your car. Carefully examine the cable for any nicks or damage. If there is, then you need a new cable. The charge cables can’t be repaired as they carry the high voltage to your charge port.

Debris in Cable

Debris in the cable plug is also a possibility for problems with charging. If your cable lives outside, even if you have it stored correctly, debris can find its way into the port.

Debris can be anything from fluff, leaves, seeds, and actual bugs. Bugs are usually the main culprit. They are attracted to the heat from the power supply. They get into the plug and can’t get out. They prevent a complete connection from being made from the charging cable to the car.

Firstly ensure both ends of the cable are unplugged. You can do a visual inspection. Try shining a torch into the opening. Don’t stick anything sharp or metal into the plug. If you spot anything, try and remove it with a soft brush or plastic tweezers.

Ambient Temperature

EVs can be a little goldilocks, like when it comes to temperature. They don’t like it too hot or too cold. Charging when the temperature is either of these will be inhibited by the onboard computer. There will be a screen message to say that charging has been limited due to the outside ambient temperature.

This protects the high-voltage battery from overheating or, in the case of outside freezing temperatures, heating the cells too quickly, resulting in damage.

You may see an image of a ‘Blue Turtle’ when your Kona EV is experiencing temperature problems.

The best thing to do is to drive your car (if you have the available range) to heat the battery sufficiently to the correct temperature before starting the charge.

12V Battery Reset

Your Kona EV has two batteries. The high voltage chargeable battery and also a 12V auxiliary battery. The 12V powers locking and unlocking windows and media. The 12V gets its charge from the high-voltage battery (if this is activated). You might notice a yellow light coming on at the front of the car (on the Hyundai emblem). This signifies that the high voltage is currently giving the 12V a boost.

Sometimes the high voltage and the 12V get a little out of sync, and the 12V needs a hard reset.

  • Open the hood
    • Locate the 12V – on the right, just behind the lights
  • All brightly colored orange cables represent high voltage. Don’t tamper with them
  • Remove the left-hand terminal cover
  • With a ten mm wrench, remove the battery connector
  • Leave disconnected for up to 5 minutes
  • Reconnect the terminal
  • Close the terminal cover
  • Start the Kona
  • Check if charging is now available

If it can, then the reset has done the trick. You should consider doing this every couple of months. If you can’t charge your car or you’re having problems getting the charge to continue or above a certain range and have tried all of the above to no avail, then I suggest you make an appointment with a Hyundai Service Center. They can have a deeper look at what is going on.

Other posts you might find useful:

Hyundai Kona won’t start

Can I jump-start a Kona?

E John Cunningham

Hey, I’m John and I'm a technical writer here at I’m a Red Seal qualified Auto Service Technician with over twenty-five years experience working on Classic and Modern Cars. I've worked for GM, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo, Audi, and VW main dealers. Yep, I’ve skint my knuckles on them all!

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