Kia to build $30,000 EV3 in Mexico, unlocking US EV tax credit


Kia to build ,000 EV3 in Mexico, unlocking US EV tax credit

A new low-cost EV is primed to hit the US market. Kia plans to build its new EV3 in Mexico as it looks to take advantage of the US electric vehicle tax credit.

Kia introduced the EV3 during its 2023 EV Day as part of a new line-up of affordable electric vehicles.

After opening orders in Korea earlier this month, we learned that the EV3’s starting price is roughly $30,700 (KRW 42.08 million). The EV3 is Kia’s third all-electric vehicle and the first of a new series.

Although it takes much of the design and tech from Kia’s three-row EV9 (in a smaller, more affordable package), the EV3 “carves out its own identity” to stand out in its segment. One of the first things you will see is Kia’s new “Tiger Face” grille, a modern take on its signature Tiger Nose design.

Kia is confident the EV3 will “elevate the perception of EV SUVs” with an advanced electric powertrain, bold design, and innovative tech.

Kia EV3 electric SUV (Source: Kia)

Built on Hyundai’s E-GMP platform (the same one underpinning the IONIQ 5 and Kia EV9) and Kia’s fourth-gen battery tech, the EV3 features up to 373 miles (600 km) WLTP driving range and fast charging capability (10% to 80% in 31 mins).

Kia to build affordable EV3 in Mexico for US EV tax credit

Kia’s new EV3 is built for buyers who may be on the fence about going electric with long-range and fast charging capabilities.

“It will reassure those who may have been hesitant to make the switch to electric mobility and will lead the mass adoption of EVs,” Kia’s president and CEO, Ho Sung Song, boasted.

Kia EV3 interior (Source: Kia)

The inside is loaded with the latest software and connectivity tech. It includes Kia’s next-gen Connected Car Navigation Cockpit (ccNc) with dual 12.3″ screens and Apple CarPlay/ Android Auto support.

Although the EV3 is much smaller than the EV9, it is also more affordable. Kia’s EV9 starts at $54,900 in the US, which is still low for a three-row electric SUV.

With expected starting prices around $30,000 to $35,000, the EV3 will be among the most affordable EVs in the US.

Place Most affordable EVs in Q1 2024 Average selling price with discounts % off average transaction price
1 Nissan LEAF $27,956 19%
2 Nissan Ariya $35,556 31%
3 Hyundai IONIQ 6 $36,506 22%
4 Tesla Model 3 $40,547 7%
5 Toyota bZ4X $40,646 15%
Top five most affordable EVs in Q1 2024 (Source: Cox Automotive)

Data from Cox Automotive, the cheapest EVs in the US in Q1 were the Nissan LEAF, with an average selling price of $27,956, followed by the Nissan Ariya ($35,556), Hyundai IONIQ 6 ($36,506), and Tesla Model 3 ($40,547).

Meanwhile, several new low-cost EVs are hitting the US market this year, including Volvo’s EX30 ($34,950) and Chevy Equinox EV ($34,995).

According to Korean auto media outlet The Korean Car Blog, Kia plans to build the EV3 in Mexico. With the potential $7,500 federal tax credit, EV3 prices could fall to as low as $22,500 to $27,500.

Kia’s Monterey plant in Mexico has a production capacity of up to 400,000 units. The K3 and Pride are currently built there. According to the report, Kia aims to build 110,000 EV3 models annually at the facility.

The Mexico-manufactured EV3 will be sold in North America, while the Korean-made model will be sold domestically and exported to Europe.

Would you buy the EV3 for $30,000? What about $23,000? Let us know in the comments below.

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