Hello and welcome to your daily Charge Smart blog! Today, we will be talking about the slightly insane Kia Imagine EV concept, it's got 21 screens and suicide doors.
Above: The Imagine EV looks unlike anything Kia sells today
Let's start by talking about the EU because they are cracking down on car manufacturers in the region. That’s why Honda have turned to selling EVs in Europe even though the company itself don’t believe that electric vehicles are the way of the future as we covered last week.
Kia’s European division are following a similar path as it seems because they have planned to release their sporty Imagine EV next year.
The whole idea is that the affordable Imagine EV will help Kia meet the EU emission regulations. Kia’s European COO has accepted that the biggest barrier with EV ownership is still the upfront cost involved with buying the car. The company said that they are not able to sell an EV for less than $50,000 NZD with the current state of affairs. However, Kia have a solution to this obstacle where they plan to start production of dedicated EV platforms that can be swapped into different models like sedans, small SUVs and the like. Something along the lines of what Toyota are doing with their e-TNGA project. Kia want the Imagine EV to become a mass-produced vehicle within 2 years after its European release which is set for 2021. The Imagine EV is almost a crossover like vehicle where it’s about the size of a Volkswagen Golf but it’s got a high ground clearance to capitalize on the current popularity of high riding cars. However, it’s high ride height won’t affect the driving experience of the car making sure that the Imagine continues with Kia’s sporty ethos. As far as competition goes, the Kia Imagine will be larger than VW’s ID3 EV and so its closest competition would have to be the Polestar 2.
The bold Imagine concept featured Rolls Royce style rear suicide doors and an insane number of screens, 21 to be exact. However, if Kia actually want to sell the Imagine as an affordable car then both of those will probably have to be dropped. Just imagine if an affordable hatch like car has rear suicide doors just like a Rolls Royce! Predictions are that Europe will become the centre of the EV revolution in the coming years as regulations from the EU keep tightening, car manufacturers need to keep adapting.
Above: This is as futuristic as it gets
Hence, Kia are not only pinning their hopes on the Imagine EV but they will also be retro-fitting their Picanto hatchback with a battery and electric motor to offer as a second pure EV in their line-up.
Kia’s European chief also offered a rebuttal to statements made by Renault who claimed that they would be able to sell an $11,000 USD or $16,600 NZD electric car within the next five years. Kia’s chief said that the smaller the EV, the more complicated it became and so he almost called Renault’s idea impossible as the car wouldn’t be profitable at all. Kia said that they wouldn’t even be able to sell their small hatch Picanto EV for less than 10,000 Euros. To offer the EV at that price, Kia would just have to sell you the bare shell of the car! Kia are committed to the EV cause and following the launch of their two cars, they will continue work on the project with the end goal being for Kia to offer an electric car in every segment that they compete in. What’s interesting is that their chief followed up his statement by saying that Kia had no choice when it came to not offering EVs, they would have to build electric cars to keep the company going.