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New EV model

Kia debuts all-electric EV6; runs faster, longer than Tesla, IONIQ5

By Mar 30, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

▲ The Kia EV6 World Premier

Kia Corp. on Tuesday debuted the EV6, its first dedicated electric vehicle built on Hyundai Motor Group’s new EV platform, amid intensifying competition among global automakers to go eco-friendly.

The EV6, a mid-size crossover utility vehicle (CUV), is the second car of the group to sit on the group’s proprietary Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), following the recent debut of Hyundai Motor Co.’s IONIQ5. The E-GMP is an integrated platform that will underpin all forthcoming electric cars from both Hyundai Motor and Kia.

The unveiling comes as the top South Korean automaking group faces growing challenges on its home turf by the likes of Tesla Inc., which appeals to young drivers not just in Korea but globally with its sleek EV models.

"The EV6 is a symbolic model developed under Kia's mid- and long-term plan to increase the ratio of eco-friendly models to 40% of total sales by 2030," said Kia Chief Executive Song Ho-sung during an online media briefing on Mar. 30, while taking the wraps off the latest EV model.

Kia's EV6
Kia's EV6

Kia said it will launch three models – the standard, long-range and GT-line – from the second half of this year, while taking preorders from this Wednesday.

The EV6 will be priced between 45 million and 55 million won ($40,000-$48,500). With government subsidies, it can be purchased for less than 40 million won.

GROWING COMPETITION

In the domestic market, the EV6 will compete with Tesla’s Model Y, which was introduced to Korea in January with a price tag of 59.99 million won for the standard version and 69.99 million won for the long-range model.

Last year, Tesla’s EV Model 3 sold over 10,000 units in Korea, becoming the third bestselling imported car. German automaker Volkswagen also plans to launch its ID.4 electric SUV in the Korean market next year.

The EV6 is the first of seven all-electric vehicles Kia plans to launch by 2026. The company said it aims to sell 30,000 units of the EV6 globally, including 13,000 cars in Korea, this year and targets 100,000 units next year when a high-end trim is released.

Kia's EV6
Kia's EV6

RUNS LONGER, FASTER THAN TESLA MODEL Y, IONIQ5

Kia said the long-range model with an 800-volt system can travel more than 450 km on a single charge, farther than Tesla Model Y’s 448 km and Hyundai IONIQ5’s 429 km. The EV6 also runs at a maximum speed of 260 km per hour, compared with Model Y’s 250 km.

The latest model’s front exterior features the car’s newly designed Digital Tiger Face, an EV renovation of Kia’s representative Tiger Nose Grille used in its gasoline-powered K-series.

Charging up its battery will take less time than many of Kia’s rivals. Its ultra-fast charging capability enables it to drive at least 100 km on only a four-and-a-half-minute charge. The company said its E-GMP cars support fast charging, with an 80% charge from empty possible in just 18 minutes.

Kia's EV6
Kia's EV6

The vehicle-to-load (V2L) function will also allow customers to charge electric devices such as coffee machines and electric bicycles.

Hyundai Motor Group has said it plans to introduce 23 fully electric models and sell 1 million units a year globally by 2025.

Write to Il-Gue Kim at Black0419@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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