Kia 2023 EV Day, accelerating EV acceptance with new models and concepts

Dean Evans
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Kia 2023 EV Day, held south of Seoul

Kia 2023 EV Day, held south of Seoul

Kia has unveiled five new additions to its expanding EV range, catering to more of the masses with a medium-sized SUV, including three production models and two concepts that the brand hopes will accelerate popularity of EVs globally - and they're likely all heading NZ's way.

Held at a global media event 50km (a two-hour drive!) south of Seoul, South Korea, the 2023 Kia EV Day is the first of what promises to be an annual event that the brand is using to promote its EV strategy for 2030 and beyond, and profile its EV products, its more sustainable future and further the thinking of EVs from niche to mainstream.

In front of 100 media and Kia VIPs, this week Kia unveiled three new small- to medium-sized electric models, the EV3, EV4 and EV5, helping establish itself as a brand with an ambitious global strategy to lead and accelerate the wave and influx of EVs that we are seeing.

With five key models displayed, many were excited to see the new Kia EV6 GT for the first time, though New Zealand has had the EV6 GT for more than six months, as we drove back in March.

Production EV6 GT

The new EV9 SUV seven-seater was also on display, which lands in NZ this month, while centre stage was reserved for Kia's latest and great for now and the near future.

Production EV9

The production EV5 medium-sized SUV should shake up the market not just in its pure passenger form, but also a top-spec sporty GT model, announcement almost as a throwaway.

The EV5 is a compact electric SUV, production ready and will challenge the likes of Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5.
The Kia Concept EV3 offers all the benefits of its larger SUV singlings in a more city-focused package, while the Concept EV4 is a little different: an electric sedan in pure speak, but with a striking design that is part coupe and very futuristic.

Concept EV3

Kia EV Day also looked at Kia's EV strategy and how it aims to increase and improve EV reception and perception by addressing typical EV concerns such as cost, safety and convenience, while offering future numbers such as typical targeted EV range to alleviate anxiety (the official target number is 520km), and addressing charging infrastructure in general.

Ho Sung Song, Kia President and CEO presented the key new models, noting the key problems relating to EVs being cost and convenience: “Kia is keenly focused on providing solutions to the concerns that continue to cause hesitation when it comes to making an EV purchase," he said. "We will meet customer expectations by offering a full line-up of EVs at various price points and improve charging infrastructure availability.”

Charles Ryu, Head of Brand and Customer Experience Division, also announced improvements to customer experiences, such as a holistic smartphone app that offers e-routing and AI services such as navigation, charging or even bookings, with an AI demonstration (albeit pre-recorded) showing how the Kia could plan a route, recharging and book a table at a cafe for a family of four.

Concept EV4

“We want to make the entire customer journey... as effortless and enjoyable as possible [from] pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase.”
Kia's goal is to achieve an annual sales target of one million EVs by 2026 and increase it to 1.6 million units per year by 2030, driven by the products and initiatives revealed this week.

LtoR: EV6 GT, Concept EV4, EV5, EV3 and EV9

Pricing will also be a key component, with Kia announcing plans to develop a wide range of EV products from $30,000-$80,000USD, around , featuring existing models such as the EV6 and EV9, as well as future offerings tailored for the popular B- and C-segments. The brand aims to introduce smaller EVs like the EV5, EV4, and EV3, with prices ranging from $35,000 to $50,000, to accelerate the widespread adoption of EVs.

Kia is also actively establishing battery joint ventures to ensure a stable global battery supply system in sync with its global EV production network.
There's also Kia's sustainable color, material, and finish (CMF) strategy, that entails incorporating sustainability at scale through action, such as using ten must-have sustainable items in the construction of each model, including bio plastic, bio paint and recycled PET or fishing net carpet.


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