Kia Gets Sustainable with EV3 and EV4 Concepts
If there was any doubt that battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) would never be popular, the Kia Corporation is putting an end to it. Sure, city infrastructures still need to change to make BEVs more practical. There aren’t as many BEV charging stations as there are gas stations, but many automakers are investing to make it happen. Once BEV charging stations are plenty and easy to find, Kia will already be at the top of its game with a total of five BEV models all ready to hit the market. First it was the Kia EV6 and EV9, then came the EV5, and during Kia’s EV Day event in Seoul, the automaker released the EV4 and EV3 concepts.
Attention and information is coming much faster than anticipated. It’s only been a week since the reveal of the EV3 and EV4, and we’re getting already getting a look at the interiors. Last week, there was only information on the EV4, but it was a doozy. Said to be the replacement for the now discontinued Kia Stinger, the EV4 looks like a crossbreed between the EV5 and Kia Stinger to give us our first all-electric sports car. Yes, please! With narrow, LED-heavy headlights and the new “tiger face” grille, the swept-back look of Kia sports cars, the Stinger trunk, and a slim but strong profile that calls back to the spacious Stinger interior cabin, we look forward to seeing this one hit the U.S. a.s.a.p.
The initial look into the cabin showed us a very driver-focused dashboard and center console with “pin-style” air vents all around the interior to keep the cabin cool. Speaking of, the climate controls keep the clean look, integrated into a slide-out panel that will most likely house more controls. Becoming a more eco-friendly automaker, Kia first changed its production with the sustainable materials used to build the Kia EV9. The Kia Concept EV3 and EV4 reduce the vehicles’ environmental impact while providing greater freedom in its design.
For instance, the EV3 concept comes with a fiber-based structure for a more light weight and slimmer seat design, as opposed to carbon. It’s all a part of becoming carbon neutral, another goal of Kia and its parent group, Hyundai Motor. Sustainable fibers complemented by soothing natural tones create a more laid back interior cabin made with applied 3D Knit technology that delivers soft surface and class-leading efficiency of interior design with zero waste material. Speaking of the soft surface, the center console was actually made from mushroom roots. If anything, the console wasn’t built, but grown.
“Mycelium, which comes from mushroom roots, combines excellent strength with an extremely soft surface… the material can be grown in any shape you want using a mold… as part of Kia’s Sustainability Strategy, we are working with partners to accelerate development of the material. One day, [we will be able to grow] our own materials…” – Marília Biill, Head of CMF Design at Kia
Definitely sustainable and all about that “opposites united” design philosophy when growing your own vehicle components. Starting up again with the interior of the Kia Concept EV3, the Kia CMF (Color, Materials, Finish) design kept up with the “opposites united” design philosophy of mixing man-made constructs and nature. They went with the element of Air to make use of light and transparency throughout the cabin. For the Concept EV4, the Kia CMF team for took inspiration from the element Earth. By applying natural dyes made of madder roots and walnut shells to 100-percent recycled cotton, the Kia design team has a near-endless range of tones to paint the interior cabin – and it’s all natural. The seats also use the 3D Knit finish used in the Concept EV3 seat covers for a 3D effect of the cabin, but this time around, the EV4 uses hemp fibers to create the console, versus mushrooms.
Just don’t light it on fire…This is some pretty cool stuff Kia is working on for its upcoming BEVs. It all started with the Kia EV9, and we’re seeing more of it in the EV3 and EV4 concepts. You can keep up with all Kia-related news when you follow us on Miami Lakes Automall social media.