Kia just revealed the 2024 EV9 electric SUV in production-ready form, but the automaker on Monday revealed a smaller electric SUV concept.
Called the EV5, the concept previews a "production model destined initially for Chinese market later this year," according to Kia. Note the use of the word "initially," which hints that the EV5 is coming to other markets eventually.
The EV5 concept has a similar boxy design theme to the EV9, and also borrows the larger SUV's swivel seats, but in a smaller footprint than the three-row EV9, which is scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. later this year.
Kia EV5 concept
This new concept also adds a full-length panoramic sunroof with integrated solar panels. Kia also claims the interior was made with a significant amount of sustainable material, including the use of materials such as seaweed extract and recycled plastic bottles for the seat trim, headliner, and door and dashboard lining.
No technical details were provided. Kia's press materials don't even mention the E-GMP platform used by the EV9 and EV6, as well the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6, and Genesis GV60. That indicates the EV5 could be based on a new EV platform for smaller and more affordable vehicles previously hinted at by parent Hyundai.
Kia EV5 concept
The EV5 name indicates a model positioned below the EV6, perhaps as a fully electric alternative to the Sportage, which is offered as a hybrid and plug-in hybrid. There does seem to be room for such a model in Kia's current U.S. lineup.
The Niro EV is currently the smaller Kia EV offered for the U.S. market, but its pricing and positioning doesn't fit in well alongside either the much cheaper Chevy Bolt EV or slightly more expensive EV6 and that entire competitive set. Kia opted not to sell the second-generation Soul EV in the U.S.—a model that might have fit much more easily next to this EV5.