Cut-price Kia EV2 electric car unlikely for Australia - SUV VEHICLE

Cut-price Kia EV2 electric car unlikely for Australia


Kia’s new smallest electric car in Europe – the Slovakian-built EV2, which could be a city hatch or SUV – is off the cards for Australia as it would be too expensive by the time it reaches local showrooms.

What a Kia electric hatchback could look like, imagined by Theottle.

The Kia EV2 – the South Korean car giant’s upcoming entry-level electric car, due in 2025 – is unlikely to come to Australia to compete with Chinese giants MG, BYD and GWM.

The EV2 will sit at the bottom of Kia’s electric-vehicle line-up in terms of size and price, with dimensions close to the likes of a Kia Stonic or Rio – and either a hatchback or SUV influence like the larger EV3.

However it is not expected to come to Australia as it is built in Slovakia – which would make it prohibitively expensive to bring to local showrooms.

“EV2, we would like, but sourcing out of the Slovakian factory is pretty tough for a couple of reasons,” Kia Australia’s product boss Roland Rivero told Drive at the local launch of the updated Kia Sorento seven-seater.

“One, we don’t have a free trade agreement with Slovakia and two, just the logistics of vehicle movement.”

What a Kia electric hatchback could look like, imagined by Theottle.

Slovakia is a landlocked country, so EV2s for Australia would need to be put on alternative transport for long distances to reach a port, where they could be shipped to Australia.

Compounding the price pressure is a 5 per cent import tariff – compared to Kias sourced from South Korea and China, with which Australia has a free trade agreement.

“From our experience in the past when we had ProCeed and Sportage built in Slovakia, it wasn’t a very pleasant experience. So, I think the Slovakian sourcing is going to be a barrier for us.”

The Slovakian factory – which currently produces the Ceed hatchback, the European counterpart to Australia’s Cerato – will switch to building electric cars only come 2025, manufacturing the EV2, EV3, and EV4.

What a Kia electric hatchback could look like, imagined by Theottle.

Concepts of the EV3 and EV4 have already been unveiled, but little is known about the EV2.

It is expected the EV2’s body style will be hatchback-like, however it may adopt SUV-inspired styling cues similar to the EV4 sedan concept. Kia’s global CEO referenced “European” styling at the announcement of the EV2 in October 2023.

However, Mr Rivero suggested another budget-priced Kia electric car is due at a later date in place of the EV2 in Australia.

“We will be looking at something hopefully down the track that can fill that void. But it may not be that of an [EV2].”

It’s unclear what that stand-in would be, and if would be smaller than the EV2. Kia has previously trademarked the EV1 nameplate.

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Tom started out in the automotive industry by exploiting his photographic skills but quickly learned journalists got the better end of the deal. With tenures at CarAdvice, Wheels Media, and now Drive, Tom’s breadth of experience and industry knowledge informs a strong opinion on all things automotive. At Drive, Tom covers automotive news, car reviews, advice, and holds a special interest in long-form feature stories.

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