Update: ‘Kia EV strategy’ section added.
Kia plans to launch several electric SUVs following the Kia EV6, and as per a report from Auto Express filed in August 2021, a compact model called the Kia EV4 is in the pipeline, a product developed for the European market. An EVx SUV refers to the dedicated electric vehicle, and not a conversion BEV such as the Niro EV or Soul EV.
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 4,660 mm (183.5 in.) long, 1,865 mm (73.4 in.) wide, and 1,660 mm (65.4 in.) tall, and its wheelbase measures 2,755 mm (108.9 in.). The EV6, at 4,680 mm (184.3 in.) length, matches the wheelbase of the flagship Telluride at 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.).
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 out of recycled plastic bottles and recycled wool fibers. Vegan leather is used throughout the interiors, as opposed to animal leather. 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.
According to the Auto Express report, the Kia EV4 may go on sale in 2023. 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.
Kia EV strategy
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 will be SUVs. The first of the 8 Kia electric SUVs that will be 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. Later, 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 EV4 FAQs
What is the Kia EV4?
What is the expected Kia EV4 release date?
Kia could launch the EV4 in 2023. It has confirmed 2 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 would be sold in the United States.
Featured Image Source: Kia