South Korean automaker Kia’s been one of the leaders in the EV segment, and it kept up the pace Thursday with the introduction of its newest electric vehicle, the EV5 SUV as well as showing off the Concept EV3 and Concept EV4. What’s coming to the U.S. and when?
Kia revealed more of its EV future Thursday with the debut of the compact EV5 SUV, along with two concept vehicles, the Concept EV3 and Concept EV4. All are designed to overcome a key barrier to quicker EV adoption among consumers, with the three vehicles priced from $30,000 to $50,000. And Kia is looking to eventually offer EVs as low as $20,000.
Of the three, the EV5 is closest to production. To be built in China and South Korea, it will make its debut in China. Kia is considering exporting the EV5 to North America starting in mid-2025, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will come to America.
The Inflation Reduction Act’s EV federal tax credit could raise its price to the point where its chances of success in America would be limited. And the company has said it has no plan to produce the EV5 in North America. Given Kia’s expanding American manufacturing base, it could build something in the U.S. for the U.S. market, something officials here suggested.
What we won’t get
The Kia EV5 will be offered in standard and long-range front-wheel-drive models, and long-range all-wheel-drive powertrains and employ Hyundai Motor Group’s Electric Global Modular Platform, more commonly known as E-GMP.
Based on the China Light Duty Vehicle Test Cycle, or CLTC, the EV5’s front-mounted 160-kW (215 horsepower) motor and standard 64-kWh battery should be able to go 329 miles between charges. With a bigger 88-kWh battery and the same 160-kW motor, the long-range EV5 can travel 447 miles between charges according to CLTC specifications. The larger battery pack, along with front and rear motors, power the long-range all-wheel drive EV5 with 230 kW (308 hp), and a 404-mile range.
Fast charging allows all EV5s to reach 80% capacity from 30% in just 27 minutes. Regardless of the outside weather, it uses the EV9’s on-board heat pump to keep the battery temperature at its ideal level
The EV5 has a 5-inch climate control display, a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, and an instrument cluster that measures 12.3 inches, just like other Kia vehicles. Like other EVs, it has a small number of physical buttons. A fridge, massaging seats, a smart key, and a front bench seat are standard on EV5s sold in China.
But that’s not all
Smaller in size, and meant to be sold at lower prices, Kia also revealed its Concept EV3 and Concept EV4, which hint at what might be coming to America.
The larger of the two, the Concept EV4, takes its looks from the EV6, but Its large, spacious cabin is a result of the Concept EV4’s long, gently sloping shape.
“We’re trying to transform the sedan,” said Karim Habib, head of Kia global design at the EV4’s reveal this week. “A sedan has intrinsically a lot of advantages right in terms of size and safety, in terms of efficiency.”
Though it’s still a concept, the EV4 has some extremely fascinating features that probably won’t make it into production, including sliding climate controls that disappear into the console. And the center console isn’t attached to the instrument panel, keeping the front floor space open.
Even more intriguing, its pin-style air vents provide a distinctive touch to the design by changing their patterns when you open or close them. Additionally, 100% recycled cotton, natural dyes, and hemp-fiber seat coverings are used throughout the EV4’s interior. Kia also uses bioplastic, which is made from plant matter.
One small concept
Then there’s the smaller concept car, the Concept EV3. More of a tall, square subcompact SUV, the square serves as the design’s compass, defining its boxy features throughout the vehicle, like the body-side cladding and wheel arches.
The EV3’s center console, like the EV4’s, is detached from the instrument panel, creating a broad, flat floor that not only draws attention to the car’s breadth but also offers room for a briefcase or handbag. The central console’s top is designed to function as a table, sliding back and forth to be utilized as a desktop or for eating.
Of course, Kia is also designing an even smaller EV2, but details of the concept have yet to be disclosed.