Kia Moves the BEV Market Forward with Five New Models Entering the Lineup
The Kia Corp, and Kia America for those of us stateside, is changing the way consumers look at the auto market with its upsurge of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs). Back in 2022, every major automaker and automotive group shared their future business plans for the rest of the decade. During the Kia 2022 CEO Investor Day, amongst their plans for connectivity like Kia Connect and autonomous technology, one major focus was the development of BEVs, at least two per year between 2023 and 2027. If the current layout of BEV models is anything to go by, the automaker is well on its way. In 2023 alone, four BEV models have been announced or released since the first Kia EV6 in 2022. These are the Kia EV9, Kia EV5, and Kia EV4 and EV3.
The first all-electric model with no gasoline predecessor, the Kia EV6 changed the lineup of the automaker forever. Built on the Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), the platform that will be the cornerstone for most of the new BEVs, the EV6 showed us what a BEV can really do. Adopting the hatchback look of a compact SUV, the EV6 comes in various trims, the EV6 showed that BEVs can also be high-performance vehicles, introducing the EV6 GT trim. Powered by a 77.4 kWh battery, and riding on an electric all-wheel drivetrain (e-AWD), the EV6 GT could generate 576 horsepower and 545 lb-ft of torque.
A second BEV to come from the lineup with no gasoline model before it, the EV9 finally made it to America this year (2023) during the 2023 Monterey Car Week. The Kia EV9 had already been winning hearts overseas, but now stateside, we can enjoy all the electric SUV has to offer. Seemingly based on the award-winning Telluride SUV, the EV9 is not only spacious, it comes with an amazing all-electric range (AER) for all five variants. The range stretches from 230 miles, with a miles-per-gallon equivalent (MPGe) of 88 for its Light short-range model to 270 miles and delivering 80 MPGe for the EV9 GT-Line. The Kia EV9 is also the first to start the trend of being the first BEV built with sustainable materials.
After the fall of the Kia Stinger, only available as the Stinger Tribute Edition, we were sad to see the first Kia sports car in ages go, but it was quickly replaced by the Kia K5. There is some hope, however. Determined to show consumers that BEVs can also be sporty, high-performance vehicles, the Kia EV5 has something to prove. Also built on the E-GMP, the EV5 comes with three trims. The most powerful is a long-range all-wheel drive (AWD) model, equipped with an 88kWh battery pack and features a combined output of 230kW from a front-wheel 160kW motor and a rear-wheel 70kW motor. With a targeted AER of 404 miles, the EV5 also wows us with an interior cabin that can turn into a bedroom with a 0-degree, full-flat folding second-row camping seat and a rear console refrigerator/warmer for long overnight road trips. Sporty and functional, what a combo!
Kia EV4 and EV3
The EV4 and EV3 are still just concepts, so there isn’t a whole lot of information going around just yet. Making their debut during Kia’s EV Day event in Seoul, the EV4 takes styling cues from the EV5 and Stinger with narrow, LED-heavy headlights, the new “tiger face” grille, and the swept-back look of Kia sports cars. Heavily driver-focused, the center console is basically all digital to get rid of the numerous buttons and knobs, and the entire cabin comes with pinhole air vents to free up space on the dashboard for a very clean look. Also using sustainable materials, the EV4 and EV3 engineers paid close attention to the Kia “opposites united” design philosophy when designing each new model.