2023 Kia EV4 compact electric SUV could slot below EV6 [Update]

Update: ‘Release Date’ section updated.

Kia plans to launch several electric SUVs following the Kia EV6. As per a report from Auto Express filed in August 2021, a compact model called the Kia EV4 developed for the European market is in the pipeline. An EVx SUV refers to the dedicated electric vehicle and not a conversion BEV such as the Niro EV or Soul EV.

Hyundai Kia Genesis E-GMP platform
The Kia EV4 will ride on the E-GMP platform, which strengthens speculations for features like V2L, virtual mirrors, flat floor, and a segment-breaking EV4 GT performance version. Image Source: Kia

The Kia EV4 could offer the space levels of a Sportage. Thanks to the E-GMP, the former won’t need the dimensions of a combustion model to offer the same interior space. For reference, the new Sportage is 177.8 in./183.5 in. long, 73.4 in. wide, and 65.4 in. tall, and its wheelbase measures 105.5 in./108.5 in. The 114.2-inch-long EV6 has the same wheelbase as the flagship Telluride – 114.2 inches.

The E-GMP platform enables a high system voltage of 800 volts, double the usual (400 volts). So, customers can rapidly charge their E-GMP-based EVs at up to 350 kW. In the EV6, which is available with 58.0 kWh and 77.4 kWh battery pack options, charging from 10 to 80% SoC takes less than 18 minutes. Just five minutes of charging can provide a range of nearly 70 miles. The EV4 could get the battery of the EV6, and offer a range of around 300 miles (EPA est.).

Mercedes EQA
The Kia EV4 would be a budget alternative to models like the Mercedes EQA and Volvo C40. It could go on sale sometime in 2023, suggests the Auto Express report. Image: Mercedes-Benz

Expected features

Bidirectional charging

The Kia EV4 will likely have an Integrated Charging Control Unit (ICCU) that enables a vehicle-to-load (V2L) function. V2L allows offloading power to external equipment like domestic appliances, power tools, and electronic devices at the campsite or worksite. A vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) charging function would be possible, meaning customers can rescue charge-depleted EVs using the EV4’s battery pack.

Heat pump

Kia should equip the EV4 with a heat pump that reuses waste heat energy from the battery, power electronics, and other propulsion components to keep the cabin warm in cold weather without compromising range and help the battery charge quicker by maintaining its temperature during winters.

i-Pedal

The EV4 will likely get i-Pedal, which is Kia’s branding for the one-pedal driving mode. i-Pedal would allow recuperating maximum energy from braking. Not needing to push the brake pedal would make driving more convenient and reduce brake wear.

Sustainable Materials

Showcasing the Concept EV9 at the LA Auto Show in November 2021, Kia offered a glimpse of how the interiors of its future EVs would feature an eco-friendly design and use sustainable materials. The EV9 Concept electric SUV uses recycled fishnets for the flooring. The seating fabric is made of recycled plastic bottles and wool fibers. Vegan leather is used throughout the interior, and gradually, Kia plans to reduce the use of animal leather in all vehicles. This ecological approach from Kia is something that even the Kia EV4 could benefit from.

Dual displays

Kia may use two seamless displays in the cockpit of the EV4. They could be 10.25-inch screens or 12.3-inch high-definition screens wrapped around one body with reinforced glass. The left-side panel would be the instrument cluster, and the right-side unit would be the central display that combines the navigation, infotainment, and menu systems, running Kia Connect.

AR-HUD

The EV4 could feature an advanced head-up display with Augmented Reality (AR) technology. The AR-HUD system projects 3D images of the key driving information like speed, navigation directions, and ADAS data onto the windshield. One can also expect a premium Meridian audio system.

Release Date

According to the Auto Express report, the Kia EV4 may go on sale in 2023. However, Automotive News, in a story filed on August 21, 2022, says that the EV4 is expected in late 2024. Kia has said that every model in the EV series line will receive a GT variant, which opens the door for a future performance compact electric SUV like the Kia EV4 GT.

The EV4 will belong to the same vehicle segment as the Mercedes EQA and Volvo C40. Expected to carry a premium price over the Niro EV, it could compete with these luxury models as its budget alternative.

Kia EV strategy

Future Kia EV models
Kia has confirmed that it has two electric SUVs in its 2023 business plan. The first is the EV9, and is the second the Kia EV4? Image: Kia Worldwide/Youtube

Kia plans to build an EV line-up of 14 models by 2027, CEO Ho Sung Song said at the 2022 CEO Investor Day on March 3, 2022. In his presentation for the event, he revealed that 8 of these models would be SUVs. The first of the 8 Kia electric SUVs available in the market by 2027 came out in 2021: the Kia EV6. This year, the company will launch the 2023 Kia Niro EV. In 2023, there will be two electric SUV launches, including the Kia EV9.

Another development revealed at the 2022 CEO Investor Day that could be relevant to the EV4 through its lifecycle was that Kia will replace its current third-gen battery technology with the fourth-gen battery technology by 2025. By 2030, it will switch to fifth-gen battery technology. Between now and 2030, it aims to reduce the cost of battery packs by 40% and increase their energy density by 50%. The company is working on making software an even more integral element of its EVs and concurrently expanding the scope of OTA updates for technical changes after delivery.

Kia America EV strategy

Kia America plans to gradually expand its EV portfolio and the share of EVs in its sales. Eric Watson, Vice President – Sales Operations, Kia America, said that the company will launch one new EV every year until the end of the decade, Automotive News reported on June 17, 2022.

Eight EVs will be present in the Kia U.S. line-up by 2029, including the EV6 that went on sale in February 2022, the 2023 Niro EV arriving in fall 2022, and the EV9 due in H2 2023. Watson said that Kia America wants EVs to constitute 30% of sales by the end of the decade and then increase their share to 50% in the early 2030s.

Kia EV4 FAQs

What is the Kia EV4?

It is expected as a compact SUV and to play the role of a budget alternative to the Mercedes EQA and Volvo C40, targeting Europe.

What is the expected Kia EV4 release date?

Kia could launch the EV4 in 2023 or 2024. It has confirmed two electric SUV launches for next year.

What is the expected Kia EV4 price?

Kia could place the EV4 at sub-35,000 GBP levels in the UK. It is unclear if the EV4 will be sold in the United States.

Featured Image Source: Kia