"We are embarking on the next-level Kia experience, by launching in India our most celebrated EV globally, the EV6," Tae-Jin Park, MD & CEO, Kia India, said. “We will open bookings for the EV6 on May 26 and launch it soon after that.”
In the South Korea, Europe and US markets, Kia sells two versions of the E6 - the 58 kWh which offers a range of 375 km and the 77 kWh pack which goes upto 485 km. From our sources at Hyundai, we got to know that the 77 kWh variant will be sold in India. But that remains to be seen. The price is expected to be Rs 60 Lakhs.
So how many units will be sold in India? Are you ready?
Kia are importing a paltry number of 100 units into India.
They will be sold via a single dealer in five metro cities. The dealer says - “There is no other EV in the Rs 55 lakh-60 lakh bracket and the EV6 will fill the gap”
Tae-Jin Park, managing director and CEO, Kia India, said, “We have right now got an allocation of only 100 EV6s for 2022. I am pushing the head office to give us more, but it is difficult because of the very high global demand.”
In March 2022, Kia reported sales of 7,667 units, including 2,689 in South Korea and 4,978 exported. The Kia EV6 is doing very well. In the previous quarter, Kia sold more than 20,000 units. So we can expect sales of close to a lakh in 2022 globally. As Hyundai group is the parent company of Kia, the EV6 shares the same architecture with the Ioniq 5 which is also coming to India this Diwali.
The platform has an 800 V architecture, supports 400 V and 800 V bidirectional charging. The platform can support fast charging upto 200 kW. If you want to learn more about the eGMP Platform - take a look at my Hyundai video. 200 kW DC fast charging sounds insane. Electric cars in India like Nexon EV charge at 25 kW whereas cars like MG can charge at 50 kW rate today. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV 6 will be using brand new 150 kW DC fast chargers that will be installed on highways near the 5 metro cities.
We spoke to our sources at Hyundai and they said that work has already started on installing these 150 kW chargers. That number sounds insane. I remember on our recent trip from Mumbai to Ahmedabad, we were lucky to even charge our Tigor EV at the rate of 20 kW!
For at-home charging, the EV6 has an 11 kW onboard charger. It’s quick enough for overnight charging at home. But good luck getting a 11 kW load if you live in an apartment. Kia India may give you a 7.2 kW AC slow charge solution. One of our EV community member has paid Rs 1 lakh booking fee at the Mumbai dealer. He hopes he is on the list. 100 units will fly just like that! We wish him good luck and if he gets it, we hopefully can do a ‘Delivery Day’ video with him. Stay tuned!
Hyundai also will import 100 units of the Ioniq 5 this Diwali. So the Hyundai groups obviously will prefer larger more profitable markets than the Indian one for such cars.
The Hyundai management keeps reminding us that Hyundai has committed 6 EV models by 2028 for India and are investing 4000 CR for EV development in India. We can expect those cars to be in production by 2024 at the earliest or even later.
I can safely say that the Indian launch of Hyundai group’s Kona, Kia EV6, Ioniq 5 are just PR exercises to show the government and competition that they are focussed on EVs. The reality is totally different.
Unless i see real EV’s made for India, with local dedicated EV support teams and local stock of parts, i wont take Hyundai and Kia seriously. We saw what happened with the Kona EV, where many customer’s battery pack had to be changed. There were no Indian service teams. All issues had to be diagnosed by Korean teams and this caused Kona owners to wait for months to get their car back.
My recommendation is to buy electric cars only if companies are serious about manufacturing in India and offering dedicated trained Indian service staff. You may be tempted by the looks of the Kia EV6 and you may love the specifications. But do consider this important point when booking one.
Another issue with the Hyundai group which includes Kia is that they are not interested in manufacturing a large number of Ioniq 5 or the Kia EV6 models. They have demand from all around the world. But the numbers being manufactured are limited. When BYD sells more than one lakh electric cars in a month, Hyundai and Kia are not even able to hit that number in one year.
This shows where the Korean companies are against the Chinese giants. The Korean car companies are not going at full speed with EV's. This is due to thehuge investment these companies are making with Hydrogen cars. We know the Korean government has been lobbied by the Oil/Car industry to spend billions of dollars in Hydrogen car research. This is such a waste. There is no demand for Hydrogen cars, no one buys them. Kia and Hyundai are not willing to accept that electric cars are the future. And this is the big reason these companies are not willing to make a large number of EV’s. There is a large sunk cost bias at play here and that is the big big problem with Hyundai and Kia.
These Korean companies have not shown a real EV long term vision. They will rapidly loose market share in China, India and other countries if they remain cautious with EVs.
The market is already changing rapidly. In Germany less than 50% of all cars sold were pollution cars. In Europe too, it’s the same story. In China, the growth of electric cars has skyrocketed. In few years no one will want a pollution car.
Kia and Hyundai - wake up before it's too late. You have made two fantastic cars. People want to buy them. But you don't want to make more of them. Ultimately the Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 are compliance/PR cars. When you buy one, you will buy into that half baked vision. I for one will stay away from Hyundai until they show me a real EV vision.
What about you? Do write in the comments below and I will see you soon.
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