Kia EV5 $40K electric SUV to be revealed next month in China, direct aim at Tesla Model Y


Kia is set to unveil its newest electric vehicle next month in China at the annual Chengdu Motor Show. The Kia EV5 will be a compact electric SUV aimed squarely at the Tesla Model Y with an expected starting price of around 50 million won (roughly $40,000).

Just a week after revealing its flagship EV9, Kia unveiled the new EV5 electric SUV concept in March as it expands into new segments.

Kia says the EV5 is influenced by the same “opposites united” design philosophy which you can begin to see emerge throughout its lineup.

Kia introduced the new design language alongside a new logo as part of a rebrand into the new electric era. Compared to previous generations, Kia’s unique design features sharper sculpted lines, a powerful stance, and modern upgrades.

The EV5 embodies this with a new Digital Tiger Face up front, replacing Kia’s signature Tiger Nose Grille.

On the inside, Kia designed the electric SUV concept to create a “space of coexistence” to enhance the interaction with people, nature, and technology.

Kia EV5 electric SUV concept (Source: Kia)

Karim Habib, executive vice president and head of Kia Global Design Center, said the EV5 “is designed to inspire our customers on every journey, while providing sustainable and environmentally responsible solutions.”

Although the production version will likely look different on the interior with a more realistic setup, we expect the exterior to remain very similar, as other concepts that have gone into production have shown.

Kia EV5 concept (Source: Kia)

Kia didn’t release further details other than the electric SUV will be available in China later this year.

According to a new report from The Korean Car Blog, the EV5 will be revealed next month at the annual Chengdu Motor Show in China. The report notes Kia confirmed that the electric SUV would start “within the standard 50 million won range,” or around $40,000.

The base version will have larger battery capacity than the current Kia EV6 (77.4kWh) and reach up to 82 kWh. The long-range model is expected to feature over 600 km (372 mi) range.

While overseas markets will use an NCM battery, the Chinese version will go with LFP. According to sources, the EV5 will be based on a 400V system rather than the 800V used for other Hyundai Motor Group EVs that ride on the E-GMP platform. As a result, Kia can offer the electric SUV at a lower price.

The EV5 will face stiff competition in the booming Chinese EV market, where EV makers like BYD and Tesla continue grabbing a bigger share of the pie.

With a starting price of around $40K, the EV5 is aimed directly at Tesla’s Model Y. The Model Y starts at $36.9K (263,900 yuan) in China, with 545 km (338 mi) CLTC range. Starting at $43.9K (313,900 yuan), the long-range version offers up to nearly 400 miles range.

Electrek’s Take

Kia expects the EV5 electric SUV to play an integral role in its push to win market share in the world’s largest EV market. It will be the automaker’s first model built in China that will also be shipped overseas.

At $40K, Kia’s new electric SUV looks like a good deal for those of us in the US, and it is. However, China’s market is extremely competitive, with drastic price cuts taking a toll on many automakers’ bottom lines.

Can the EV5 compete with Tesla’s Model Y? Not only that, but will it be able to keep up with domestic EV makers like BYD selling its Yuan Plus electric crossover for less than $20K?

Kia will try to prove to the world that it’s a legitimate competitor, and the EV5 is expected to highlight that. Stay tuned for the latest information on the Kia EV5 launch.

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