Motor and Electric Cars

Kia’s EV3 Concept scales back the boxy goodness of the EV5 and EV9

Kia’s EV3 Concept scales back the boxy goodness of the EV5 and EV9

Kia EV3 conceptEV4 concept car The simultaneous launch marks the next step in the automaker’s plan to launch electric vehicles across various segments and price ranges. Most of what we’ve seen so far have been on the longer side of the window sticker range, so that’s what Kia was thinking when it started shrinking these stickers down.

When we say “downsize,” we mean it. The EV3 borrows a lot of design cues Electric car 5 Its special design depends heavily on the larger size Electric car 9. Normally, this self-pollination between generations would make the entire design language a bit dated, but the general softening of the hard edges of Nos. 5 and 7 helps mitigate that. The EV5 featured some clever design changes from the EV9, the EV3 does the same, and we’re not just talking about those stylish four-spoke wheels, but they’re groundbreaking, too.

Kia clearly believes that the new generation of rugged-looking electric vehicles represents a design success. Despite its compact dimensions, Kia has found all kinds of room for interesting design elements. The square trim around the wheel wells provides a bit of an edge and works well with some of the equally robust body panels. At the back, the “floating” C-pillar draws your attention to the taillights, which almost follow the shape of the body all the way to the wheels. The raised tailgate bumper keeps that chaotic atmosphere at bay.

It all looks pretty nice by concept car standards – and it should, since it won’t take long for the EV3 to go from concept to production – but thankfully the interior brings back some of the traditional pie-in-the-sky ideas of high elegance entering the fray. Just like the Magic Seats found in the old Honda Fit, the back seat can be folded to accommodate a bike or scooter. Thanks to Kia’s vehicle charging technology, your bike or scooter can get some power while you’re riding.

Between the front seats is a console table made of mycelium, a fungal-based material that has become increasingly popular in interior research as automakers search for greener materials. The rest of the cabin remains light and airy, with slim seats and a pair of screens rising from the dashboard. Like the EV4 concept, the EV3 has the strangest climate system known to man, which replaces traditional vents with multiple small nozzles that move individually to regulate airflow. Yes, the entire bottom half of the cabin is illuminated, so why not?

Since this is just a concept, Kia has not revealed any powertrain specifications. Given that its design appears production-ready, and Kia’s determination to rapidly expand its EV market share between now and the end of the decade, we can’t imagine we’ll have to wait long. We’ll likely find out soon what drives the EV3 and whether it will eventually make its way stateside.


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