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Kia EV6
Kia EV6, image courtesy of Kia

Cars

Kia Unwraps The EV6

Kia has officially unveiled the EV6 built on the new E-GMP electric car platform. Pricing and range details are still missing, though.

Kia has officially unveiled its EV6 electric SUV, its first battery electric car built on the E-GMP platform developed for use by both Hyundai and Kia going forward. Up to this point, all electric cars from Hyundai Group — Hyundai Kona, Kia Niro, and Kia Soul — have used chassis that permitted hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or battery electric powertrains.

Are the Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 basically the same cars under the sheetmetal? Yup, they are. If automakers had a different chassis for every model they sell, they would go broke by next Tuesday. But the two cars look very different on the outside. The Ioniq 5 is rather angular while the EV6 has more flowing lines. The important part is the E-GMP platform, which operates on 800 volts most of the time but can switch to 400 volts to accommodate low power charging systems. In 800 volt mode, it can reach an 80% state of charge in about 18 minutes or add 60 miles of range in about 5 minutes. Range for the EV6 with its 77.4 kWh battery is projected to be around 300 miles.

Kia EV6

Kia EV6, image courtesy of Kia

The other significant feature of the E-GMP platform is that it is configured for vehicle-to-grid and vehicle-to-load capability. That allows the car to power your campsite or power tools in remote locations, a feature that appeals to lots of people. Yes, you will have to invest some money to get the electrical system in your home to interface with the battery pack. And yes, you will have to use that ability wisely so you don’t deplete the battery to the point where you can’t drive anywhere. But V2G is a thing now and Hyundai/Kia is one of the leaders in this emerging technology.

The wheelbase of the EV6 is 114.2 inches — the same as for the Kia Telluride and similar to the Tesla Model Y. With its flat floor design, room for 5 passengers and all their stuff shouldn’t be a problem. There are 27.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up and 53.5 cubic feet with them folded forward.

Rear-wheel drive versions of the car have a single 218 horsepower motor. An all-wheel drive GT version, available late next year, will add a second motor for the front wheels for a total of 313 horsepower. The sprint to 60 mph take 5.1 seconds for the single motor car and 3.5 seconds in the dual motor GT. KIA will offer the car with a smaller 58 kWh battery in some markets, but probably not for customers in the US. Orders for a limited run of 1,500 EV6 First Edition will be accepted beginning in June for delivery early next year.

Kia EV6

Image courtesy of Kia

Inside, the Kia EV6 has two 12″ wide display screens, one for driver information and one for navigation and infotainment. There is also an available heads-up display that projects route information onto the windshield in front of the driver. Apple Watch connectivity is a feature of the new model as well.

Electronic driver assistance comes in the form of Kia’s Highway Driving Assist 2 system that utilizes a forward facing camera, radar sensors, and navigation data to maintain a comfortable speed and distance from the vehicle ahead. It includes automatic lane change assistance activated by the turn signal. Also available is Kia’s blind spot view monitor that displays a live video feed from the right rear blind spot to a portion of the instrument panel. If you try to change lanes while an object is detected in the blind spot, the car will help return you to your previous course to avoid a collision.

Image courtesy of KIA

The one bit of information missing from the Kia EV6 reveal is pricing. We assume the company will announce the sticker price of the EV6 shortly, along with the official EPA range information for the car. Kia says the EV6 will be available in all 50 US states, a change from its current battery electric cars, which are only sold in states that subscribe to the California exhaust emissions standards.

Consumers like choices. That’s why the supermarket sells chocolate and vanilla. With the Ioniq 5 and the EV6, customers get to choose which styling treatment they prefer. Either way, they get a world class electric car with a cutting edge powertrain and a host of features like vehicle to grid and vehicle to load capability. Kia or Hyundai? Either way, you win!

 

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Written By

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his homes in Florida and Connecticut or anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. You can follow him on Twitter but not on any social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.

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