KIA, and also Hyundai, have been pioneers in introducing the 800 V architecture for the electrical system of their electric cars. And they can boast of having been avant-garde with their models, matching the technical proposal of the Porsche Taycan – in some aspects – before anyone else did. Now they are focused on growing their range with new, more accessible models – not all of them – and KIA has just surprised the world with the introduction of a new model for just 19,000 euros. And not because it falls short in performance, but because it offers up to 720 km of range according to homologation data.
The model we are talking about is the KIA EV5, which has just started to be sold in China for about 19,000 euros at direct currency exchange. This model will also arrive in Europe, although it was first released in South Korea and is now in China. Not only is it cheap, but it is also cheaper than initially planned because it was supposed to cost 10,000 yuan more, which is approximately 1,300 euros. And of course, it is much cheaper than the KIA EV6 and the KIA EV9, which are the models that were already sold previously and fit into higher categories.
The KIA EV5 arrives at a groundbreaking price
The KIA EV5, which was presented in October, is built on the E-GMP platform also used by models such as the KIA EV6 and KIA EV9, or the Hyundai IONIQ 5 and IONIQ 6 models, but with an important difference. This lower segment launch does not use an 800 V architecture for its electrical system. Instead, it uses a simpler 400 V architecture that, above all, has allowed the South Korean brand to reduce production costs to offer a more accessible sales price to its customers.
Another interesting feature of this recently launched KIA EV5 is that in its entry configuration, it uses a BYD Blade battery with LFP cells. On the other hand, it is based on a 160 kW electric motor, which is 215 HP of maximum power. This motor is combined with a battery with a 64 kWh energy storage capacity to provide 530 km of range based on the CLTC cycle on which they are based in China. Above this configuration, there is another, with the same electric motor and the same power, which uses an 88 kWh battery and reaches up to 720 km of range.
The third version of the KIA EV5 in China, the one with the highest performance, has an electric motor with 310 HP of maximum power that, together with the 88 kWh battery that we mentioned previously, reaches 650 km of maximum range. So, of course, despite its low price of 19,000 euros at direct currency exchange, it is not at all short in terms of performance. Now, what we can assume is that when it is launched in Europe, and there is not much time left for that to happen, it will not have prices as attractive as those that have been announced in South Korea and China.
On the other hand, reports indicate that Europe will not use the same batteries, but rather its range will be structured on an access configuration with a battery with 58 kWh of energy storage capacity. And they point out that the option with a higher capacity battery will use an 81 kWh battery. Come on, not only are we going to see a lower range in Europe due to the change from the CLTC cycle to the WLTP cycle data, but also because its energy storage capacity is going to be lower in any of the versions of its range.