Kia’s not messing around here and the newly launched EV6 — it’s first-ever fully electric vehicle — delivers the proof.
The South Korean automaker’s first entry using the E-GMP battery-electric skateboard it shares with sibling automaker, Hyundai, the EV6 is the brand’s pioneering entry into the segment. Like so many pioneers, it’s boldly going.
First, it comes into two trims, base and GT. The GT races from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.5 seconds and tops out at nearly 162 mph. Not only does it go fast, which so many EVs hitting the marketplace do these days, it charges fast. With its 800-volt capability, owners can charge from 10% to 80% in 18 minutes.
Automaker’s new beginning
“EV6 is the embodiment of the new Kia. It is born to inspire every journey, through bold design, progressive engineering, innovative technologies, and exciting electric performance,” Ho Sung Song, Kia’s president & CEO said.
“EV6 also represents the beginning of Kia’s long-term commitment to sustainable mobility, accelerating the transition not only to clean transportation, but also products, materials and manufacturing.”
The new model is part of the company’s transition to becoming an all-electric brand, characterized by the slogan “Movement that inspires.” That transition begins with a move away from ICE-powered vehicles toward battery-electric vehicles as well as plug-in and conventional hybrid models. The goal is for those three to comprise 40% of Kia’s global sales by 2030: a total of 1.6 million vehicles annually.
As part of that, the company will offer 11 BEVs by 2026 with seven of those being on the new E-GMP architecture. The remainder will be electrified versions of existing nameplates.
New design flexibility
The E-GMP gives Kia what so many other EV makers also enjoy about using a skateboard-style platform for its EVs: flexibility. Karim Habib, the company’s design chief, hammered this point not only during the presentation last night, but in an earlier media webinar previewing the new EV6.
It allows a small vehicle to feel large because the architecture allows for the wheels to be pushed out to the corners, providing more interior room. Additionally, because everything that powers the vehicle vehicle is integrated into it, it means a flat floor offering more interior room and design flexibility.
“EV6, as the first dedicated Kia EV, is a showcase of human-centered, progressive design and electrified power,” he said. “We strongly believe EV6 is a compelling and relevant model for the new EV era. With EV6 we aimed to create a distinctive, impactful design by using a combination of sophisticated, high-tech features on pure and rich volumes while providing a dedicated EV aiming to define our future.”
This design pliability means that the new EV6 models don’t fit neatly in to one category. It allows potential buyers who may be looking for different characteristics to all find what they want in this one vehicle, even they aren’t certain what type of vehicle it is.
“You can think of it as a crossover,” he said. “A crossover between what is maybe less clear, and that’s a little bit of the point.”