The Affordable Kia EV3 Will Be Released This Year

By 5 Min Read

Despite the news that EV sales growth is continuing to soften, leading some automakers to reel in their future plans, Kia continues to press onward. During its recent CEO Investor Day event, the brand revealed plans to charge ahead with its EV plans. Most pertinently for those waiting on cheaper electric options, the production version of the small and reasonably affordable Kia EV3 Concept will go on sale before the end of the year.

Kia’s CEO and President Ho Sung Song calls the brand’s push forward into EVs and hybrids as a drive to become a “sustainable mobility solutions provider.” This drive has not changed despite growing concerns about EV demand. The Korean automaker still wants to grow to 4.3 million units by 2030 (up from 3.2 million units globally), and expects 58% of those cars sold, to be electrified in some form.

To do this, Kia has plans to continually beef up its EV and hybrid offerings to compete across the globe better, especially in China where competition is fierce.

Of course, some of those models we’ve already seen in some form or another—the EV3, and EV4 exist in concept form. The Kia EV5 is currently on sale in China and will make its way to Europe. Kia makes mention of an EV2 model we haven’t seen yet, as well as an electric version of the Kia Carens, a low-cost seven-seat vehicle meant for markets like India.

All of this starts this year. In 2024, the brand plans on introducing six hybrid models before the end of this year, eight more electrified models by 2026, and nine more models by 2028. Its full EV lineup will reach 15 models by 2027.

Six of those EV models will be launched by 2026. So far, Kia has done exactly what it has said it would for 2024. It already has revealed the ICE-powered Kia K4, a replacement for the Kia Forte sedan. It also plans to reveal updated versions of the EV6, Sportage, and South Korea-only K8; it’s not hard to assume that these models will likely be shown off alongside the all-new EV3. 

Kia has been somewhat hushed about exactly what the final EV3 will look like. Spy shots of the EV3 do show a somewhat toned-down vehicle appearance, but proportionally the car resembles the concept model fairly closely.

We do know it will use the same E-GMP platform that is used by the EV9 and EV6, but it won’t have the same 800-volt architecture as those cars. The EV3 will use a cheaper 400-volt architecture to keep costs down, which should hopefully get the EV3 to the $30,000 mark. 

(A Kia spokesperson told InsideEVs that the automaker has not confirmed whether the EV3 will come to the U.S. or not.) 

Kia EV3 Debut In South Korea

As the softer-than-expected EV demand rears its ugly head and strikes fear in the hearts of risk-averse automaker middle managers, I applaud Kia for sticking to its guns and attempting to meet the market where it is and future-proof its lineup. Sam Fiorani, Vice President of AutoForecast Solutions has noticed that as a whole, buyers are very much choice-limited when it comes to entry-level vehicles. On that front, EVs aren’t so different than traditional cars.

“On the EV side, [Kia’s] popular EV6 and EV9 will eventually require models positioned below them,” Fiorani said in an email. “Just as K4 buyers are likely to trade up to a K5 or a Sportage, an EV3 buyer will want to move up to a larger electric model.”

Kia EV3 Debut In South Korea

Kia’s strategy is long-term; it sees the very real EV growth slow down, but it’s courting customers in traditional ways, allowing them to grow with the brand. This is very different to than some of the high-dollar, luxury-only strategies from other brands. 

“By the end of the decade, Kia expects buyers demanding a range of electric vehicles and the automaker wants to be there for them,” Fiorani said. It looks like the EV3 will be the first step in Kia’s plan to meet buyers where they’re at. Hopefully, it’ll pay off. 

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