The Korea Herald


Kia to expand EV lineup with mass market appeal

Three new models -- EV3, EV4, EV5 -- unveiled before official launch in coming years

By Kan Hyeong-woo

Published : Oct. 12, 2023 - 16:02

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From left are Kia's EV6, Concept EV4, EV5, Concept EV3 and EV9 (Hyundai Motor Group) From left are Kia's EV6, Concept EV4, EV5, Concept EV3 and EV9 (Hyundai Motor Group)

Kia on Thursday unveiled three new small- to medium-sized electric vehicles, vowing to lead the popularization of EVs across the world by offering more affordable options for customers.

“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,” said Kia CEO Song Ho-sung during the unveiling event at the Maiim Vision Village in Yeoju, Gyeonggi Province.

“As a sustainable mobility solutions provider, Kia’s transition to EVs 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,” Song said.

On top of its existing models, the EV6 and EV9, the South Korean carmaker debuted the EV5, a compact electric sports utility vehicle, in the country. It also introduced two concept cars -- the Kia Concept EV3 and EV4 -- for the first time.

The Kia Concept EV3 appeared to be a smaller version of the EV9, a large electric SUV that was released in Korea in June. The Kia Concept EV4 has the look of a hybrid car, and is designed to look like mashup of a sedan and hatchback.

With smaller EVs added to its lineup, Kia said the company will look to provide product prices ranging from $35,000 to $50,000 to accelerate the EV adoption trend worldwide. The company previously launched the EV5 in China in August with a starting price of 29 million won ($21,600) for the local market.

Kia said the concept vehicles’ mass production models, the EV3 and EV4, are expected to be launched in the first and second half of next year, respectively. The EV5 will be launched in the first half of 2025.

Pointing out that the global EV market is shifting from a smaller early adopter group to a broader mass majority of customers, the automaker said it will continue to expand its EV portfolio by adding new models designed to target emerging markets.

According to the Kia CEO, the company’s plan to secure a lineup of 15 EV models by 2027 will include a pickup truck EV, a small EV and an EV in the mid to high segment.

In order to experience offline experiences for global customers, Kia said it plans to establish EV-exclusive stores in the United States, Europe, China and India in the future. The company has set out the goal of having eight EV production sites across the globe by 2025.

The automaker said it will focus on the production of small- and medium-sized EV models in Europe, while the production emphasis will be put on mid- to large-sized EVs in China, adding that its manufacturing plant in India will produce new EVs that will be strategically developed to suit the demands and needs of the customers in emerging markets.

Kia aims to reach an annual sales target of one million EVs by 2026, which would account for 25 percent of its total units sold, and increase the figure to 1.6 million units sold per year by 2030.

The automaker also unveiled a plan to offer generative artificial intelligence technology to better the customer’s in-vehicle experiences such as schedule management, EV route optimization for finding chargers based on the current battery status and recommendations for planning travels. Working with generative model providers, the company aims to roll out new voice-recognition AI technology in the EV3 model next year.