Kia has unveiled three new small- to medium-sized electric models at the brand’s first annual Kia EV Day in Korea.
During the event, the brand presented its vision of ‘EVs for all’ and a strategy to significantly and rapidly expand its EV model line-up. The presentation featured the debut of the EV5, a compact electric SUV for modern individuals with families, as well as the introduction of two concept models. The Kia Concept EV3 aims to deliver the Kia EV9’s benefits in a compact SUV, while the Kia Concept EV4 reimagines electric saloons.
In addition to unveiling the line-up, the event showcased Kia’s EV strategy, aimed at improving customer convenience, reliability, and addressing common concerns, including charging infrastructure.
“Kia is keenly focused on providing solutions to the concerns that continue to cause hesitation when it comes to making an EV purchase. We will meet customer expectations by offering a full line-up of EVs at various price points and improve charging infrastructure availability,” Ho Sung Song, President and CEO, said.
“As a sustainable mobility solutions provider, Kia’s transition to electric vehicles is a must, not an option. By developing advanced EV technology, bold design, and intuitive services, and applying them to our entire EV line-up, our ultimate aim is to provide Kia’s unique value to as many people as possible. The acceleration towards electrification begins now.”
The brand has also unveiled plans to improve various customer experience offerings. This includes streamlining different functions into a user-friendly smartphone application, introducing new services at their physical locations, and providing customers with in-vehicle artificial intelligence (AI) services.
“Kia aims to provide sustainable mobility solutions and fulfil the needs of our customers by eliminating perceived difficulties. We want to make the entire customer journey, from digital to offline to in-vehicle interactions, as effortless and enjoyable as possible. This includes the stages of pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase,” Charles Ryu, Head of Brand and Customer Experience Division, said.
“We will continue to fulfil the needs of our customers through new digital platforms and technologies so that we can keep finding better ways to move forward. Because at the core of Kia’s DNA lies our promise to offer more advanced sustainable mobility solutions that improve people’s lives.”
The brand’s goal is to achieve an annual sales target of one million electric vehicles by 2026, increasing to 1.6 million units per year by 2030, driven by the products and initiatives revealed today.
The Kia EV5 will be offered on the company’s dedicated EV platform, E-GMP, with production taking place in China and Korea. The Chinese market will have access to three variations: standard, long-range, and long-range AWD.
The standard model, equipped with a 64kWh battery pack and a 160kW motor, is expected to have a driving range of 530km per charge according to the China Light-Duty Vehicle Test Cycle (CLTC). The long-range model, featuring an 88kWh battery and the same 160kW motor, aims to achieve a range of 720km per charge. The long-range AWD model will feature an 88kWh battery pack and a combined output of 230kW, with a front-wheel 160kW motor and a rear-wheel 70kW motor. With the AWD EV5, Kia is targeting a driving range of 650km based on the CLTC standards. Additionally, the model offers fast-charging capability, allowing the battery to be charged from 30 to 80 per cent capacity in just 27 minutes.
For Korea, all variants of the EV5 models, including standard, long-range, and long-range AWD versions, are in development, with potential adjustments being considered. The standard model will have a 58kWh battery and a 160kW front motor. The long-range model will feature an 81kWh battery and the same 160kW front motor. The long-range AWD model will include an extra 70kW rear motor, resulting in a combined power output of up to 225kW. The driving range of each model will be tailored to meet market demands.
The EV5 battery has been engineered to function effectively throughout all four seasons, even in extreme hot and cold weather. An advanced heat pump system, an already popular feature of the EV6, has been incorporated into the EV5 to manage the battery’s temperature, ensuring consistent performance regardless of external conditions.
It will offer a regenerative braking system and an i-Pedal system that allows drivers to both slow down and accelerate using a single pedal, thereby minimising fatigue, and enhancing driving comfort.
“The EV market is expanding from one catering to the smaller early-adopter group to a broader mass majority of customers. As a leader in the great EV transition, we have quickly expanded our EV line-up beyond the EV6 and EV9 to include a variety of small- and medium-sized models such as the EV5. Our competitive, growing EV line-up will accelerate the popularisation of electric vehicles and provide consumers with more options from which to choose,” Spencer Cho, Head of Global Business Planning Sub-Division, said.
“The Kia EV5 is not just the next addition to our rapidly expanding EV line-up, but also the embodiment of how we will accelerate the EV revolution. For us, it is the perfect representation of both our future EV strategy and our commitment to accelerating the worldwide transition to EVs.”
The EV5 will also be available as a ‘GT’, offering further performance features and engaging driving experience. More information regarding the EV5 GT trim will be revealed later.
Kia Concept EV3
The Kia Concept EV3 represents the brand’s vision for an electric compact CUV which offers users the technology, practicality and design of Kia’s flagship SUV, the EV9, in a compact and accessible form.
In the case of the Concept EV3, Kia’s designers have drawn a high degree of inspiration from the ‘Joy for Reason’ pillar of the design philosophy.
“Joy can be seen as the antithesis of reason. One is a positive, emotional response, and the other is derived from logic. When the two are combined, though, their contrasting qualities merge into a powerful and highly impactful design,” Karim Habib, Executive Vice President, and Head of Kia Global Design Center, said.
“With the Concept EV3, the ‘Joy for Reason’ influence is evident in the contrasting qualities of a robust body combined with a dynamic silhouette. In addition, the unexpected treatment of volumes and graphics simultaneously interlock with each other, creating a logical yet emotional design.”
Kia Concept EV4
The Concept EV4 represents the purity of the ‘Power to Progress’ pillar of the ‘Opposites Untied’ design philosophy. ‘Power to Progress’ focuses on the skills, expertise and creativity developed during Kia’s recent era of design-led transformation.
Aspects such as the evocative sleek low nose, the elongated, dynamic long-tail silhouette, and the technical roof spoiler, all attributes reminiscent of sports and racing cars, affirm the EV4’s status as an entirely new type of EV saloon.
The interior features a sleek and spacious horizontal layout, incorporating stylish design elements that prioritise the driver’s experience without obstructing their view.
To achieve this, Kia designers have placed an air conditioning control panel that can be neatly stored in the centre console when not in use and applied pin-style air vents that offer the flexibility to change patterns, among other refinements to the interior design.
The cocoon-like ambience of the cabin enables the driver to engage with the vehicle in a new and unobtrusive way. Presented via twin digital screens, a slimmed-down instrument panel delivers subtle levels of driver orientation, helping clear the mind from distractions and prepare for upcoming tasks.
The Concept EV4 comes with a new ‘Mind Modes’ feature that adjusts ambient lighting and animated ventilation patterns. In ‘Perform’ mode, the driver is presented with all the information they require to perform at their optimum and get the most out of their day. In contrast, ‘Serenity’ mode offers a range of digital graphics to create a more relaxed ambience for reflection and restoration.