Kia introduces EV6, with 500 km range, ultra-fast 800v charging

As a Kia Soul EV owner in the USA, it’s been depressing to see how little Kia did to sell this car in the USA. Today, Kia unveiled a purpose-built Crossover SUV, the EV6, that brings Kia fully into the market with up-to-date modern specifications. Namely, 500+ kilometer range, and an ultra fast charging system with which they promise 10-80% in just 18 minutes, and 100 kilometers of range in 4.5 minutes.

The Kia Soul EV is an excellent electric car that has seen very few issues among owners. But let’s talk a little history before getting to the EV6, since folks might think the Soul EV was an also-ran and Kia was only selling a compliance car. In the USA, Kia never sold more than 100-200 Soul EV’s per month, and only in a few states. Then starting in 2019 (IIRC), Kia basically stopped selling the Soul EV in the USA, while selling an upgraded model elsewhere. Low USA sales were partly due to battery supply constraints, and partly because Kia focused Soul EV sales in Europe.

But we’re here to talk about the EV6, so let’s get on with that. (The full press release is below)

The EV6 is Kia’s first BEV produced using their Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). What that means is, car companies like to create a base design from which they derive specific vehicles. The E-GMP appears to have been jointly developed by Hyundai and Kia – the two companies are closely associated, and share engineering expertise between them. The E-GMP architecture supports an 800 volt drive train, a scalable wheelbase length, and can utilize batteries from multiple manufacturers.

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That last point is important because of Kia’s previous dependency on a battery supplier that could not supply enough batteries.

The interior features two rows of seats, and 520 liters of cargo capacity with the rear seats still up. That’s a big contrast to the Soul EV with a tiny sliver of cargo. Additionally, there is a “front trunk” that has 50 liters of capacity in the 2WD model, and 20 liters of capacity in the AWD model.

The performance of the EV6 and EV6 GT should be excellent. The base model, the EV6, comes in either 2WD or AWD configurations. The 0-60 miles/hr time (0-100 km/hr) is in the range of 5-7 seconds. The EV6 GT however only comes in AWD configuration, and has a 0-60 miles/hr time of 3.5 seconds.

The EV6 allows for either 400 volt or 800 volt charging, for broad compatibility with all EV fast charging infrastructure. The base model can be purchased with either 58 kWh or 77 kWh battery packs, delivering up to 510+ kilometers of range. The 800v charging system also allows ultra-fast charging, as noted earlier.

It isn’t explicitly said in the press release, but this charging system flexibility requires the Combo Charging System (CCS). The Kia Soul EV was sold with CHAdeMO, but that system has largely been confined to the Nissan Leaf.

The system also includes a Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) capability which is described as capable of operating a 55-inch television and air conditioner simultaneously for more than 24 hours, and can even be used to charge another electric car. V2L is rated for 3.6 kiloWatts, which indeed is sufficient for the low-end of Level 2 AC charging.

The press release doesn’t make it clear whether this means the car has a power outlet, or if an external unit must be connected to the DC charging port. But, this level of power output would make the EV6 very attractive for camping trips.

Speaking of which, it has 1600 lbs of towing capacity.

For infotainment systems, the EV6 has two 12″ display screens, and a heads-up display system showing information on the wind screen.

The “Kia Connect” system is what Kia formerly called UVO, and offers information connectivity over the cell phone networks. This now includes over-the-air update capability.

The EV6 has three driver assist features. The first, Lane Following Assist, helps the driver to stay in their lane. The second, Highway Driving Assist, adds to that the ability to match speed with a car ahead while maintaining a safe following distance. This is better than old-school cruise control with which you set a fixed speed, because the car will increase or lower speed to match the car ahead. The last, Remote Smart Parking Assist, lets you remotely park or retrieve the EV6 from outside the vehicle.

When I drove the Hyundai Sonata back in 2015, it had a version of the Highway Driving Assist, and I found it to be excellent.

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As a Kia Soul EV owner, these specifications make me jealous of future EV6 owners. This looks to be everything we’d hoped an updated Soul EV would be, and even more.

Kia EV6 redefines boundaries of electric mobility with inspiring design, exhilarating performance and innovative space

  • EV6 is the symbol of Kia’s new brand and the first BEV built on new dedicated EV platform
  • Choice of multiple zero-emissions powertrain configurations; over 510 kilometers from a single charge
  • 800V ultra-fast charging from 10 to 80 percent in just 18 minutes; 100 kilometers in less than 4.5 minutes
  • EV6 GT accelerates from 0-to-100 km/h in 3.5 seconds with top speed of 260 km/h
  • New EV architecture delivers spacious interior and high-tech features for an intuitive user experience
  • Advanced Driver Assistance System includes Highway Driving Assist 2 and Remote Smart Parking Assist

(SEOUL) March 30, 2021 – The new Kia EV6 brings long-range, zero-emissions power, 800V ultra-fast charging and distinctive styling to the crossover SUV market. The EV6 is Kia’s first car to be based on the company’s dedicated new platform for battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

This pioneering crossover – the first dedicated BEV launched under the new Kia design philosophy ‘Opposites United’ – displays a future-oriented EV design characterized by high-tech details. It is powered exclusively by electric energy, with a choice of multiple long-range, zero-emissions powertrain configurations. The 800V charging capability means EV6 can go from 10 to 80 percent battery charge in just 18 minutes, while the GT version, engineered to inspire consumers with exciting driving performance, can accelerate from 0-to-100 km/h in 3.5 seconds with a top speed of 260 km/h.

The EV6 is the first dedicated BEV produced by Kia using the all-new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), and forms the first part of Kia’s transition to the new era of electrification under the new brand slogan, ‘Movement that inspires’. It also begins the mid-to-long term strategy for BEVs, plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hybrid electric (HEV) vehicles to make up 40 percent of Kia’s total sales by 2030, with an annual sales target of 1.6 million units for these eco-friendly models. As part of this, Kia aims to grow its BEV sales to 880,000 units in 2030 and become a top global seller. Kia plans to strengthen its EV lineup with 11 new BEV models by 2026 – seven built on E-GMP architecture, and four derivative EVs based on existing models.

“EV6 is the embodiment of the new Kia. It is born to inspire every journey, through bold design, progressive engineering, innovative technologies, and exciting electric performance,” Ho Sung Song, Kia’s President & CEO said. “EV6 also represents the beginning of Kia’s long-term commitment to sustainable mobility, accelerating the transition not only to clean transportation, but also products, materials and manufacturing.”

The EV6 will be produced in South Korea. It will go on-sale in select global markets starting from the second half of 2021, with online reservations beginning from March 30 in some markets. 

The EV6’s world premiere video can be viewed on the Kia Global YouTube channel.

New Kia design direction

New design language strikes a balance between contrasting forces

The EV6 was designed under the brand’s new design philosophy ‘Opposites United’, which takes inspiration from the contrasts found in nature and humanity. At the center of the design philosophy is a new visual identity evoking positive forces and natural energy, with contrasting combinations of sharp stylistic elements and sculptural shapes.

Karim Habib, Senior Vice President and Head of Kia Global Design Center, elaborated: “EV6, as the first dedicated Kia EV, is a showcase of human-centred, progressive design and electrified power. We strongly believe EV6 is a compelling and relevant model for the new EV era. With EV6 we aimed to create a distinctive, impactful design by using a combination of sophisticated, high-tech features on pure and rich volumes while providing a dedicated EV aiming to define our future.”

Designed to deliver something different in the crossover class, the GT version of the EV6 offers a distinctive, impactful exterior with high-tech features, as well as unprecedented levels of performance from a Kia electric vehicle.

At the front, Kia’s ‘tiger face’ has been re-interpreted for the digital era. Forming part of this ‘Digital Tiger Face’, daytime running lights display a sleek, modern appearance and include a ‘sequential’ dynamic light pattern. Below this, a low air intake visually widens the front of the car, accentuating its high-tech image.

The side profile displays a crossover-inspired silhouette, which is modern, sleek and aerodynamic. A character line runs along the bottom of the doors, curving upwards towards the rear wheel arches to visually elongate the profile of the car. Designed in part to realize ultimate aerodynamic performance, the rear displays a sloping C-pillar with an integrated black glossy insert which appears to extend the window glass. Above this sits a prominent wing-type roof spoiler that channels air downwards towards a raised lower spoiler, which sits atop the car’s unique rear light cluster.

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Inspiring space

Versatile and spacious inside thanks to the flat battery under the floor

A distinct product of the EV era, the interior design benefits greatly from the application of Kia’s dedicated E-GMP platform. Despite the EV6’s compact exterior dimensions, its 2,900mm wheelbase results in a cabin space similar to many mid-size SUVs.

Jochen Paesen, Vice President for Interior Design, commented: “People are first attracted by the exterior of cars, but they eventually fall in love with the interior – where they spend most of their time. So, designing an inspiring space for the EV6 was the most important thing for us. We believe EV6 can inspire customers by boosting their creativity.”


One of the most striking elements is a seamless high-tech curved infotainment screen. The simple form language of the wide screen and dashboard give the interior an open feel.

Relaxation seats are slim, lightweight and contemporary, and clad in modern, visually interesting and robust fabrics created using recycled plastics – equivalent to 111 plastic water bottles.

The EV6 offers intelligent and flexible interior packaging and an abundance of cabin storage areas, including 520 liters (VDA) of trunk space with the second-row seats in place. With the second-row seats folded down, stowage capacity increases to approximately 1,300 liters. The car also features a front trunk which provides up to an additional 52 liters of stowage space for 2WD models and 20 liters for AWD models.

Electric Power

Long-range, all-wheel drive and zero-emissions

The EV6 offers buyers a choice of multiple fully-electric, zero-emission powertrain configurations, including long-range (77.4 kWh) and standard-range (58.0 kWh) high-voltage battery packs. EV6 GT-line is available with both long-range and standard-range battery packs, while EV6 GT features the long-range battery pack only. This is Kia’s first electric vehicle to be available with two-wheel (2WD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) options – the latter offering enhanced dynamic capability in even the most challenging conditions.

The 2WD 77.4 kWh EV6 can travel over 510 kilometers (316 miles) on a single charge on the WLTP combined cycle. With a maximum 605 Nm torque available on the AWD version, the EV6 can accelerate from 0-to-100 km/h in just 5.2 seconds. The 77.4 kWh battery pack is paired with a 168 kW (229ps) electric motor powering the rear wheels, and for AWD models a 239 kW (325 ps) electric motor powers the front and rear wheels.

The 58.0 kWh EV6 can accelerate from 0-to-100 km/h in 6.2 seconds, with a maximum 605 Nm torque available on the AWD version. The 58.0 kWh battery pack is paired with a 125 kW electric motor powering the rear wheels, and for AWD models a 173 kW electric motor powers the front and rear wheels.

Platform flexibility for electric performance

Kia’s new dedicated E-GMP reduces complexity through modularization and standardization, allowing rapid and flexible development of products with varied attributes. This flexible development can satisfy various customer needs for vehicle performance within a single model line like EV6.

Equipped with 430kW dual motors, the EV6 GT takes electric performance to another level. With a maximum 740Nm torque, the AWD GT version accelerates from 0-to-100 km/h in an eye-watering 3.5 seconds and can reach a top speed of 260 km/h (preliminary development targets). With the addition of electronic-Limited Slip Differential software to the EV6 GT version only, drivers will enjoy confident control and dynamic ride and handling in all conditions. 

“The GT version of EV6 demonstrates our technological leadership through its combination of outstanding high-speed charging and acceleration performance like a super sports car. With our dedicated EV platform, there is no need for compromise between inspiring spaciousness and performance,” said Albert Biermann, President and Head of R&D Division for Hyundai Motor Group.

800V Ultra-Fast Charging

80 percent charge in just 18 minutes; new vehicle-to-load (V2L) function

The EV6 offers 800V and 400V charging capabilities, without the need for additional components or adapters. The car is capable of a high-speed charge from 10 to 80 percent in just 18 minutes on all variations or a top-up charge of 100km of driving range in less than four and a half minutes when pairing 2WD with the 77.4-kWh battery option.

The car’s charging system is more flexible than previous generation BEVs thanks to an Integrated Charging Control Unit (ICCU). The ICCU enables a new vehicle-to-load (V2L) function, which is capable of discharging energy from the vehicle battery. The V2L function can supply up to 3.6kW of power and is capable, as an example, of operating a 55-inch television and air conditioner simultaneously for more than 24 hours. The system is also able to charge another EV, if needed.

With more than 35% charge left in the battery, the EV6 can tow items weighing up to 1,600 kg. Together with the V2L function, EV6 owners can take everything they need on an outdoor adventure with friends and family and do it all with zero emissions.

Energy recuperation

Maximizing driving range and efficiency

The EV6 is fitted with energy-recuperation technologies to maximize driving range. This includes Kia’s latest-generation energy-efficient heat pump, which scavenges waste heat from the car’s coolant system. This ensures that at minus seven degrees Celsius the car can achieve 80% of the range that would be possible at 25 degrees Celsius.

Also featured is the latest generation of Kia’s smart regenerative braking system, which is operated by paddle shifters behind the steering wheel so drivers can quickly and easily slow the car and recuperate kinetic energy to maximize driving range and efficiency. Drivers can choose from six regenerative braking levels (none, 1 to 3, ‘i-PEDAL’, or auto mode), depending on the desired level of energy recuperation. The system’s ‘i-PEDAL’ driving mode also allows the car to harvest the maximum amount of energy from its brakes, and enables the driver to bring the car to a gentle halt without needing to push the brake pedal.

Technology

New connectivity and infotainment features for the EV age

EV6 introduces a suite of technologies that enhance safety, connectivity and infotainment. They are designed to make travelling safer, easier and less stressful.

The high-tech infotainment system includes 12-inch dual screens. Curved displays applied to EV6 have thin film panels that utilize new structure and advanced technology for reducing impact of light. The cluster and infotainment system are connected as if they were wrapped around one body with a reinforced glass. Extending from the steering wheel to the center of the car, it displays a digital cluster in front of the driver, and infotainment system above the center console.

The EV6 also features an augmented reality (AR) head-up display system, which projects driving information onto the base of the windscreen in the driver’s line of sight. The system displays alerts from the car’s Advanced Driver Assistance System, details of vehicle speed, and turn-by-turn navigation instructions.

The latest version of Kia’s innovative connected car system ‘Kia Connect’, previously named UVO, is included, featuring a range of Kia real time services and over-the-air (OTA) updates. Accessible through the touchscreen, Kia Connect allows users to find locations and pricing of EV charging points, view their vehicle’s charging status, plan smart charging schedules and check the range radius based on the remaining charge.

A powerful 14-speaker Meridian® surround audio system is also available, a first for a Kia BEV and delivering a truly immersive sound experience. The 14-speaker audio system has been engineered by the experts at Meridian and features several of the British audio pioneer’s proprietary digital signal processing (DSP) technologies. Meridian’s core sound philosophy has been integrated into the EV6 allowing customers to enjoy natural, lifelike and authentic audio on the move.

The speaker system also offers Active Sound Design (ASD), a newly-developed feature by Kia which provides drivers with audible feedback to the speed that the car is travelling and controlled via a user interface.

Safety and Convenience

Advanced Driver Assistance system with Remote Smart Parking Assist

The EV6 offers class-leading levels of safety and convenience thanks to its enhanced suite of driver assistance systems (ADAS). They help to reduce many of the inherent hazards and stresses of driving, protecting occupants and other road users on every journey.

Safe Exit Assist (SEA) helps people avoid collisions with a rear side vehicle when exiting EV6. When the occupant opens the door to exit the vehicle after a stop, the system provides a warning if an approaching vehicle from the rear side is detected. SEA also helps keep the rear door closed through operation of the electronic child lock.

Lane Following Assist (LFA) helps center the vehicle in the lane. When driving, LFA can be switched on and off with the press of a button.

Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA 2) helps maintain a set distance and speed from the vehicle ahead when driving on a highway and also helps center the vehicle in the lane, even through a curve. In case of an adjacent vehicle driving in close proximity, HDA 2 assists to adjust the EV6’s path, so to avoid any possible risk of collision. Also, with the driver’s hands on the steering wheel and above a certain speed, a click of the indicator stalk will move the car into the corresponding lane.

Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA) helps remotely park or exit a parking spot with the driver operating EV6 from outside the vehicle.

Notes to editors

*All technical information contained in this press release is correct at the time of writing (30 March 2021) and based on the expected figures to be homologated. Final confirmation is pending homologation.

*Application of EV6 features may vary depending on country/region.

EV6 Specifications:

Dimensions
(Europe model) EV6 EV6 GT-line EV6 GT
Wheelbase 2,900 mm 2,900 mm 2,900 mm
Length 4,680 mm 4,695 mm 4,695 mm
Width 1,880 mm 1,890 mm 1,890 mm
Height 1,550 mm 1,550 mm 1,545 mm
Cargo
Boot/trunk space*EV6 / EV6 GT-line 520 L1300 L (*when second-row seats are fully folded)
Front trunk  Non-NA model: 52 L (2WD) or 20 L (AWD)*North America model: 20 L (both AWD & 2WD)
Performance
Platform Electric-Global Modular Platform
EV6  Long Range77.4-kWh Battery AWD Power 239-kW (Front & Rear combined)
Torque 605-Nm (Front & Rear combined)
2WD Power 168-kW Rear
Torque 350-Nm Rear
EV6GT-line  Standard Range58.0-kWh Battery AWD Power 173 kW (Front & Rear combined)
Torque 605 Nm (Front & Rear combined)
2WD Power 125 kW Rear
Torque 350 Nm Rear
EV6GT Long Range77.4-kWh Battery AWD Power 430 Kw (Front & Rear combined)
Torque 740 Nm (Front & Rear combined)
Features
Supported Charging Infrastructure 400 V and 800 V (No need for additional adapters)
Ultra-fast Charging (800V) 10% to 80% in 18 minutes of charge100 km of range (WLTP) in 4.5 minutes of charge

 The vehicle specifications and features in this press release may vary depending on country/region.

Kia Corporation – about us

Kia (www.kia.com) is a global mobility brand with a vision to create sustainable mobility solutions for consumers, communities, and societies around the world. Founded in 1944, Kia has been providing mobility solutions for more than 75 years. With 52,000 employees worldwide, a presence in more than 190 markets, and manufacturing facilities in six countries, the company today sells around three million vehicles a year. Kia is spearheading the popularization of electrified and battery electric vehicles and developing a growing range of mobility services, encouraging millions of people around the world to explore the best ways of getting around. The company’s brand slogan – ‘Movement that inspires’ – reflects Kia’s commitment to inspire consumers through its products and services.

For more information, visit the Kia Global Media Center at www.kianewscenter.comPress Release Information Accuracy DisclaimerInformation posted in press releases on the Kia Media website was accurate at the time of posting but may be superseded by subsequent releases or other information.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

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