Is Kia about to solve cheaper electric cars? New Indian manufacturing hub to deliver circa $40k electric vehicle

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Kia is aiming for an Indian EV manufacturing facility.

Kia’s EV rollout is about to step up a gear, with the brand targeting a new European production hub in order to deliver a slew of new electric vehicles, as well as an Indian EV manufacturing facility that should lower the cost of electric cars.

In exciting news for those waiting for an affordable electric vehicle, the brand’s EV rollout includes a small crossover that will arrive in 2024, as well as a vehicle that could well be one of the world’s cheapest electric vehicles – a city-friendly electric hatchback that will be built in India.

First, though, the brand’s Euro-built EV will arrive in a “compact hatchback” form set for launch in 2025.

All of which should lower the cost barrier into an electric vehicle, but none more so than the brand’s incoming Indian EV hub, which should be online in 2025, and which will produce “entry” EV models.

The plant is expected to produce a vehicle that will act as Kia’s entrant into the hotly contested entry-level EV space, with specifications similar to models like the BYD Atto 3 (60.4kWh battery and 420km driving range), and a starting price of around $40,000.

“We would like to deliver something south of $50,000,” Kia Motors Australia product planning general manager, Roland Rivero, told CarsGuide in June.

“It won’t happen next year, but maybe beyond 2023 we might be able to convince Korea to give us a green light on a B (as in B-sized, as per the Kia Rio supermini or its Stonic offshoot) CUV (crossover utility vehicle) or B SUV; there might be something in the B segment or even the (smaller Picanto-sized) A segment that might be able to achieve that.”

It feeds into Kia’s broader electric vision –confirmed by the brand’s global chief Ho-sung Song in March – that Kia will launch 14 new EVs by 2027, part of a bold target of 1.2 million annual EV vehicle sales globally in 2030.

Some of them we know already – like the Niro EV and the EV6 – and some of them we already know about – like the EV9 large SUV, or the now-confirmed electric ute that will be shared with sibling brand Hyundai.

But at an event in Italy this week, the brand shed more light on what’s coming and when, including a small crossover (or SUV) that will arrive in 2024, or the brand’s answer to an entry-level EV, which will arrive in 2025 and will be produced in India.

With electric vehicle prices seemingly only increasing – though Chinese brands are bucking that trend – news of more affordable EV options will come as welcome news to those considering an EV switch.

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