Kia has high hopes for the EV6 electric vehicle, but it won’t sit around and wait to see if it becomes successful. It intends to launch two additional electric high riders within the next two or three years and the first one, expected to be called EV4, will reportedly be revealed as early as next year and go on sale in 2023.
The Korean automaker has trademarked nameplates from EV1 to EV9, but AutoExpress says it has information that the EV4 name will be the next one to be used. The source article states that the EV4 will be a direct rival to models such as the Mercedes-Benz EQA or the Volvo XC40/C40 and that just like the larger EV6, it will ride on the E-GMP platform.
The EV4’s wheelbase will be slightly shorter than the EV6’s 2.9 meters (114.2 inches), but we’re not told exactly by how much, but apparently it should be similar in size to the new (and very striking looking) Sportage SUV.
Once the EV4 hits the market, Kia will focus on another electric high rider, a larger three-row model to sit above the EV6. We have no information on this model right now, but it could be branded EV7 or EV8, according to the source, and it should be shown in 2023, before hitting the market in 2024.
Both the smaller EV4 and the larger model will most likely share battery packs and powertrains with the EV6. This means both will be available with dual-motor all-wheel drive and battery capacities between 58 kWh and 77.4 kWh and a maximum range around the 300-mile mark. And since the E-GMP platform is capable of taking 800 volts, the impressive rapid charging rate of the EV6 should be maintained for new models as well (charing it from 10 to 80 percent takes just 18 minutes at maximum capacity).
Kia reportedly wants to have as many as 11 fully-electric models in its lineup by 2025, six of which will be EVs conceived as such from the ground up, while an additional five models will be ICE vehicles redesigned to become EVs.
This brings us to one of the statements made by Sjoerd Knipping, Kia’s European product boss, quoted in the source article. Knipping explained that even though Kia now has a bespoke EV platform,
Not all cars need 800V tech, so could we use our 400V tech in places? We need to see if the market segments we serve can be with derived platforms, or will there be a new platform?
We have to work out what is the priority; the sectors where to push EV, and where you can lean on ICE platforms.