Kia launches EV5 for export – but not for Europe (yet)

Kia has started production of the EV5 for export in China. The new electric model based on the E-GMP platform was previously only available in China and is now also exported - as both a left-hand drive and right-hand drive model.

Image: Kia

The first export markets are Thailand and Australia. The model was presented at the Bangkok International Motor Show in Thailand in March when Kia announced initial prices. As expected, the EV5 is positioned slightly below the EV6 in Thailand. That makes the EV5 in Australia roughly as expensive as the Tesla Model Y, the country’s best-selling electric car. It is not yet clear when the EV5 will come to Europe.

Kia is also building the EV5, which was unveiled in October 2023, in South Korea, but primarily for the domestic market. The models for China and export will be produced at the plant in Yancheng, operated by Dongfeng Yueda Kia Motor Co. The electric SUV is visually similar to the large EV9, but with a length of 4.61 metres and a wheelbase of 2.75 metres, it is significantly smaller.

The EV5 is based on the E-GMP electric platform from Hyundai and Kia. Unlike the models such as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, the cheaper EV5 does not use the 800-volt version of the platform. Instead, it uses a 400-volt system voltage. As a result, the EV5 cannot achieve the high charging performance and short charging times of the EV6. Hyundai stated that the charging time for the Chinese version is 27 minutes, from 30 to 80 per cent.

The South Korean and Chinese versions differ slightly in terms of the drive system. While the South Korean version offers batteries with an energy content of 58 and 81 kWh, there is a 64 kWh and an 88 kWh version in China. In both cases, the batteries are BYD’s Blade battery, i.e. LFP cells. Both variants have a 160 kW front motor, while a second electric motor with 70 kW power on the rear axle is available as an option for the large battery.

As the export version comes from China, these vehicles will probably also have the LFP cells from BYD – as information from Australia indicates. There, Kia will also offer the 64 and 88 kWh variants. The final prices have yet to be disclosed. “It needs to be competitive up against Model Y. The aim is to target mainstream type of [sales] volumes,” Roland Rivero, General Manager for Product Planning at Kia Australia, told the portal Drive. “It’s important that we position it accordingly – at least at the entry-level – to even undercut the Model Y price on the road.” (export),, (both Australia)


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