Kia’s EV5 is forerunner of new affordable electric model range

At its EV Day in Seoul, South Korean carmaker Kia has taken the wraps off the production version of its new compact SUV, the EV5. It’s a ‘scaled-down’ version of the big EV9 and will be positioned as a forerunner of a series of affordable EVs. A taste of what’s to come is seen with the even more compact Kia Concept EV3 SUV and the Kia Concept EV4 sedan.

With prices ranging from $35 000 to $50 000, the South Koreans want to accelerate the widespread adoption of EVs. “Kia is keenly focused on providing solutions to the concerns that continue to cause hesitation when making an EV purchase.”

SUV for millennial families

“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 at the presentation.

Kia sees the EV5, with its 4 615 mm length, as a compact electric SUV for millennial families built on a dedicated EV platform, E-GMP. Production will take place in both China and Korea. For China, the basic model will feature 160 kW (214 hp) of power and have a 64kWh (LFP) battery pack that should be adequate for 530 kilometers of range. But that’s according to the China Light Duty Vehicle Test Cycle (CLTC), which tends to be up to 20% more ‘favorable’ than WLTP.

Up to 720 km range

The long-range model gets an 88kWh battery and, while having the same 160kW motor, aims to achieve 720 km (CLTC). The top version gets a front-wheel 160kW motor, a rear-wheel 70 kW motor (230 kW or 308 hp), and the same 88 kWh battery pack. That should be good enough for 650 km (CLTC).

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 carmaker says. These will probably have NMC batteries with slightly shorter ranges. The EV5 will also be available in a GT version.

Production starting in 2025

The Korean production is also meant for Europe but would not start before 2025. Production in Europe itself is a possibility, too. For the US market, this model won’t be offered so far.

One of the tricks to offer the EV5 cheaper than the EV6 built on the same platform is that this one is a 400V car instead of 800V. That has implications in charging speeds that shouldn’t be much more than 120 kW DC, compared to the 230 kW of the EV6. It will feature Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) and Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) functions, though, to power 230V appliances or to deliver surplus power back to the grid.

Rear console refrigerator/warmer

Although positioned as a more affordable version, the EV5 can be luxuriously equipped with eco-friendly seats with recycled PET fabric or Bio-PU leather coverings, heated and ventilated, and with massage functions, at least in the Chinese market.

Other nice-to-haves are the center console armrest that incorporates a table and storage or the full-flat folding second-row camping seat that transforms the back of the vehicle into a double bed. You also can opt for a four-liter rear console refrigerator/warmer to keep food or beverages hot or cold, with a temperature range of 5 to 55 degrees Celsius.


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