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Leon Kaye headshot

While Tesla and the White House Tussle Over EVs, Kia Makes Headway on Its All-Electric Lineup

Kia has put its stake in the ground when it comes to how the automaker could influence the future of EVs; and its new EV6 is a relatively affordable option.
By Leon Kaye

Actually, as of press time the Oval Office has been silent about the insults that Tesla CEO Elon Musk has hurled at the Biden Administration over being excluded from recent White House events focused on all-electric cars. But no matter whose side one is on – and Tesla fans have made their opinions loud and clear to the point that Change.org is now involved – the Korea-based automaker Kia has put its stake in the ground when it comes to how it could influence the future of electric vehicles (EVs).

Last week, Kia America announced its pricing for its 2022 EV6, the automaker’s first all-electric model. For the most basic option with a range of 232 miles, the price after the $7,500 federal EV tax credit is $33,400. If drivers prefer a more powerful battery pack (77.4 kWh vs 58 kWh), that model starts at $39,000. The costlier trim options, which include an all-wheel drive version, top off at $55,900 before any tax credits settle in.

While just about every automobile reviewer shared their quibbles with the EV6, the overall feedback so far has been positive, and even gushing. “The Kia EV6 represents a bold pivot for Kia to electric vehicles,” wrote Bradley Berman for Autoweek. “Moreover, the EV6 demonstrates that the brand can deliver a highly competitive, stylish, long-range, fast-charging battery-powered vehicle in the most popular crossover segment.”

“Kia's EV6 is the new benchmark for affordable electric cars,” echoed Engadget.

“Priced to compete with Hyundai, tuned to compete with Tesla,” concluded John O’Dell for Forbes.

Other reviewed concluded the EV6 “goes straight to the head of the pack” and “simply the best,” checking off boxes, and in a good way, that included the car’s performance on the road, its various interior bells and whistles as well as applauding the time that the EV6 takes to reach a full charge.

The EV6 is one outcome of Kia’s “Plan S” strategy, the most recent version of which the automaker announced in early 2020. That plan included targets to roll out 11 models of EVs by 2025, sell 500,000 of them by mid-decade and at the same time, achieve a 6.6 percent market share in three short years.

The pandemic and rapid changes in the electric car space could have an impact on Kia reaching those goals. Nevertheless, Kia appears to be optimistic about its own long-term prospects. Part of the company’s bullishness shows in its announcement that the EV6 will be showcased in a Super Bowl LVI spot two Sundays from now. Incidentally, Kia isn’t ceding any ground to its competitors on the corporate responsibility front, and that includes Subaru: Part of the brand’s Super Bowl campaign will include an announcement that it will partner with the pet adoption nonprofit Petfinder Foundation.

So while Detroit’s legacy automakers insist they are doing everything they can to give Tesla a run for its money when it comes to leading on EVs, and Tesla’s supporters clap back in kind, Kia has made it known that it is very much a player in this decade’s electric car race.

Image credit: Kia media relations

Leon Kaye headshot

Leon Kaye has written for 3p since 2010 and become executive editor in 2018. His previous work includes writing for the Guardian as well as other online and print publications. In addition, he's worked in sales executive roles within technology and financial research companies, as well as for a public relations firm, for which he consulted with one of the globe’s leading sustainability initiatives. Currently living in Central California, he’s traveled to 70-plus countries and has lived and worked in South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.

Leon’s an alum of Fresno State, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the University of Southern California's Marshall Business School. He enjoys traveling abroad as well as exploring California’s Central Coast and the Sierra Nevadas.

Read more stories by Leon Kaye