Kia will beat Rivian and Tesla into affordable mass-market EVs

Although Rivian and Tesla are making headlines with planned expansions into mass-market electric vehicles, Kia is set to launch two affordable EVs of its own. One of them, the Kia EV3, is expected to launch by the end of the year.

More affordable EVs are coming

Rivian unveiled its highly anticipated R2 electric SUV Thursday. The electric SUV will start at $45,000, with all trims boasting over 300 miles range.

At 4,715 mm long, 1,700 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,935, the R2 is smaller than Rivians current R1S electric SUV ( 5,100 mm x L, 1,873 mm x H, 3,075 x wheelbase). You can think of it more as the size of a Tesla Model Y.

Rivian’s CEO, RJ Scaringe, had a Steve Jobs moment, revealing “one last thing,” an even more affordable and compact R3. It will include a tri-motor R3X, Rivian’s first high-performance compact EV.

Scaringe announced the R2 was already generating strong interest,with over 68,000 reservations in under 24 hours.

To accelerate the launch, Rivian will build the R2 at its Normal, Illinois facility rather than its new plant in Georgia. The more affordable Rivian R2 is set to begin production in the first half of 2026,and Rivian’s R3 will follow.

Rivian isn’t the only EV maker making a push into cheaper, mass-market electric cars. Tesla is also planning to launch next-gen EVs. Although Tesla initially planned to build them at its new Gigafactory in Mexico, an excerpt from CEO Elon Musk’s biography said the next-gen EVs will be made in Texas.

Kia is launching cheaper mass-market EV

Although Rivian and Tesla are getting all the attention, Kia has big plans to enter the mass market with more affordable EVs.

Kia has found recent success with its first three-row EV9 electric SUV. In the first two months of 2024, Kia sold 2,726 EV9 models in the US, outpacing the EV6 crossover.

Kia EV9 Trim
(including $1,495
destination fee)
EPA Est. Range
Light RWD$56,395230
Light Long
Range RWD
Wind e-AWD$65,395280
Land e-AWD$71,395280
GT-Line e-AWD$73,900270

The EV9 starts at $54,900, but the sporty GT-Line will run you nearly $74,000. Meanwhile, Kia looks to get back to its roots with more affordable EVs, including the EV3 and EV4.

Kia revealed the EV3 and EV4 concepts during its first annual EV Day in October. The new EVs are part of Kia’s wide-ranging electric car lineup, priced between $30,000 and $80,000.

Kia will beat Rivian and Tesla into affordable mass-market EVs 2

The EV3 is expected to be the lowest-priced model, with starting prices around $30,000. Kia’s entry-level EV3 represents the brand’s vision of an all-electric compact crossover. It takes design, tech, and other features from the EV9 and puts it into a smaller, more affordable package.

Kia is expected to launch the EV3 later this year, if not by the end of 2024 or early 2025. If true, that will beat Rivian’s R2 (2026) and Tesla’s next-gen EVs, which are expected in late 2025.

The EV4, Kia’s entry-level electric sedan, is expected to start at around $35,000. Kia describes the EV4 as an “entirely new type of sedan that stands as a symbol of innovation.”

Although the EV4 was also expected to launch by the end of 2024, local media reports claimed Kia VP Woo-Jeong Joo said it would be pushed back to early 2025. Kia’s leader said the move was to launch the models sequentially for maximum success.

Kia has already launched its compact EV5 electric SUV in China with starting prices around $20,000 (149,800 yuan).

Source: electrek

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