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$19,000 Kia EV1 and Hyundai IONIQ 1 are great EVs that you can finally afford!

As great as the IONIQ 5 and EV6 are, do you find that these premium EVs are just too much for your budget and your needs? Well, the Korean maker that's now making a name for itself as an excellent EV maker hasn't forgotten about you.


Back in late 2021, there was a car that made one of the biggest splashes in Korean automotive history. And it wasn’t the Kia EV6 or the Genesis GV60, that received all the attention around the world, but it was a little car called Hyundai Casper. A very friendly sounding Casper stirred up Korea, not only because of its very friendly starting price of just over $10,000 US but because it was the first Hyundai city car to make introduction in Korea in 20 years since its Atos city car was last produced in 2002.

As soon as the reservation site was up, the tiny Casper astoundingly took in nearly 20,000 units of order, far exceeding the company’s production plan of 12,000 units for 2022. This overwhelming success is indicative of how much people are thirsty for simple transportation, in a world filled with large vehicles with price tags that most people aren’t really able to afford.

The price of the lowest priced dedicated EVs in the lineup could dropped to as low as $19,000 with the battery-leasing option, which removes the price of the battery from the full price of an EV.

Although Casper currently only comes as an ICE version, there looks to be a similar kind of sensation that could rock the EV world as well. We will proceed to look deeper into the small car fever that’s sweeping Korea and expect it to flow over into EVs in the near future.

The Hyundai Motor Group is one of the most awarded car companies in the world (For More Info:

As discussed in our prior episodes, we talked about the remarkable progress that Korean brand has been making in the past decade, where all 3 brands of the Hyundai Motor Group, placing in their respective top spots as far as the JD Power dependability rating is concerned, as well as sweeping the car of the year awards year after year. The explosion of the accolades has not been more apparent with the introduction of the outstanding electric vehicles that have transformed the once cheap Korean brands, into a few of the most desirable brands in the automotive industry. However, with the increase in the stature as a brand, also increased were the prices. Korean cars now command prices that are now higher than most Japanese competitors and are exceeding German brands in some cases. Although the famous Korean value for money proposition is still well alive and kicking, as witnessed in the recent price unveiling of the award-winning IONIQ 5 and the EV6, that undercuts the competition not only with the lower starting price but with better features and technology. For example, there is a difference of more than $13,000 separating the equivalent IONIQ 5 long-range all-wheel-drive version, compared to $60,990 Tesla Model Y, while offering faster-charging speed with its state of the art 800V charging speed and similar performance, albeit with a shorter EPA range of 303 miles, which is still outstanding for its price.

It’s a tremendous value considering Americans paid an average of $46,036 for a new car as of the end of 2021, an increase of $5,266 from just one year ago. The price surge is driven by many factors, but mainly due to the supply-chain crisis making new cars scarce on dealership lots, and higher sales of luxury cars.

As spectacular as the IONIQ 5 and the EV6, they might not be everyone's fit (For Mor Info:

However, even at the $40,000 starting price, it’s really too much money for many, as the average new car price was less than $35,000 just 5 years ago, and that average transaction price for Hyundai Kia still hovers around low $30,000.

And to that end, Hyundai is not turning blind eye to the customer base that has helped the company grow and prosper. The Korean auto giant is planning for a myriad of affordable EVs to not only hold on to its current customer base but to gain new customers that would not have considered an electric vehicle, with the EVs as expensive as they are currently.

At the price of $35,000, the EV4 will be an affordable alternative to the EV6 (For More Info:

We have already discussed Hyundai’s plan to introduce EVs that would cost around $35,000, known as the EV4 and IONIQ 3 that are expected to hit the showrooms in 2023. Both are based on the EV6 and IONIQ 5, making them essentially a smaller version of the bigger brothers, featuring the same 800-volt architecture, and the EGMP dedicated EV platform that offers innovative features such as V2L and V2G bidirectional charging capability. Estimated to have a range of up to 250 miles or 400 km, the compact crossovers with the size similar to Kia Seltos will hit the sweet spot for the vast majority of the people that desire practical electric daily commuter, as well as a weekend travel mate that offers seating for five, and sufficient cargo space. With the expected long wheelbase of 2800 mm that’s characteristic of the EGMP based EV, the compact dedicated EVs will offer sufficient room for 5 passengers as well as cargo space, which would be similar to Niro EV. Niro EV is another outstanding electric vehicle that has won JD Power’s highest customer satisfaction award for the mass market EV 2 years in a row.

The latest 2nd generation all-new Niro EV, which is slated for launch in mid-2022, features a fresh new body based on the new 3rd generation platform, and the concept car inspired styling while maintaining the excellent 201 hp power electric system, paired with 64 kWh battery that boasts up to 300 miles real range, Kia may have another winner on its hands. To be released at the end of the year 2022, Hyundai will have its own version of Niro EV as well, which will be the next generation Kona EV. To be sharing the same platform and the same drivetrain as Kia’s version, it will be a bigger and more competitive crossover than before. However, the biggest drawback to the fantastic Niro EV and Kona EV is their charging speeds.

IONIQ 3 will be the smaller version of the IONIQ 5 (For More Info:

While EGMP exclusive EV platform based EVs such as EV4 and IONIQ 3, feature blazingly fast charging speed of less than 20 minutes 10 to 80%, owing to the 800-volt charging system, the derivative EVs Niro and Kona will still feature 400-volt charging system, which takes up to about 40 minutes to 80%. However, considering that such speed is the norm for just about every other EVs on the market, like the VW ID.3, ID.4, and Mustang Mach E, the pair of new compact EVs from Korea promise to be the consumers’ favorite and the best sellers, as it’s the case for the Niro EV, becoming the best selling EV in all of Europe recently. Kia outsold other EVs like Renault Zoe and Fiat 500 EV, which are smaller in comparison to Niro EV, but it won’t be long before Kia and Hyundai will have their own small electric vehicles to gain complete dominance in the EV marketplace.

Kia’s next plan after the compact EV4 will be in the form of an A-segment vehicle. The A-segment by definition is the smallest vehicle size classification and is also known as a city car in Europe. This class of cars includes models like Fiat 500 and Chevy Spark in North America. Mainly developed for the European market, however, the smallest EVs to come from Kia will be called the EV1.

EV1 will be approximately 150-inches in length similar to Fiat 500 in size. (For More Info:

Recently, a test mule of the much-rumored A-segment electric car was finally caught testing in Korea wearing the guise of Kia Ray, which is Kia’s current city car that has been in the market since 2011, long overdue for replacement. And that replacement will be the EV1, expected to make introduction in 2023, the smallest EV in the lineup will be utilizing a brand new power electric system that shares the same lineage as the Ford Mustang Mach E’s drivetrain. BorgWarner, an American multinational company out of Auburn Hills Michigan is to provide Hyundai with the iDM or integrated drive module, similar to the unit that was supplied to Mach E. iDM is an integrated unit that puts together an electric motor, gearbox, and integrated power electronics to offer weight savings, and size reduction ideal for such a small car. In the case of iDM for the EV1, BorgWarner is supplying the iDM 1-4-6-model built for the 400-volt charging system, to offer a similar charging speed as Mach E, which will support 150kW charging for 80% charge in about 40 minutes, and gain 60 miles in 10 minutes.

BorgWarner announces that it will provide it's Integrated Drive Module for Hyundai A-segment EVs (For More Info:

As with Mach-e, the electric motor uses High Voltage Hairpin technology that produces the highest efficiency and power density. The peak output of this compact yet highly sophisticated electric power system Is up to an astounding 135 kW or 181-hp. That’s tremendous power for a small car. To draw a comparison, similarly powered and sized Fiat 500 Abarth 595 Competizione blazed 0 to 60 mph in just 6.6-seconds.

As for the range, the EV1 is expected to be powered by a 39-kWh battery lifted from the European Kona EV standard range, and attain up to 200 miles or 320 km, which will be more than sufficient to fulfill its role as an urban commuter car.

As for the size, the EV1’s overall length is anticipated to be 150-inches or 3800 mm. With the size similar to the Hyundai Grand i-10 city car, the extended version of the standard European i10 that has limited availability in countries like India, the EV1 will be even smaller than currently the smallest crossover in Kia’s lineup Stonic, with the length of 161-inches or 4090 mm, but is bigger than the Fiat 500 with 142-inches or 3600 mm in length, being similar to Honda e’s 153-inches or 3900 mm. The exterior design has not been exposed as of yet, but it’s reported that it would be an evolution of Kia Ray’s boxy miniaturized MPV, with Soul’s funky vibe mixed in, which would work out really nicely for a fun city car.

BorgWarner sourced iDM is a perfect power electric system solution for tiny IONIQ1 and EV1 (For More Info:

At the expected price to start from less than $25,000, the first electric city car from Kia will be cheaper, faster, and drive a longer distance, charges faster, and bigger compared to another A-segment electric car Fiat 500, which has a US dollar equivalent price tag of $28,000 for the standard 24 kWh battery version, that only renders 115 miles of claimed range while offering only 94 hp. The much more expensive 42 kWh battery version offers a similar 200-mile range, but the price is equivalent to $46,500, which falls in the EV6 territory.

The B-segment Zoe is a bigger car with a length of 161 inches or 4087 mm with a 52 kWh battery good for 234 miles claimed range but comes with a price tag of £27,600 or $37,000. However, this price can be reduced to £20,000 if you choose to purchase the car without the battery. For about £50 a month you can choose to lease the battery instead, to reduce the vehicle price significantly, which is not surprising as battery cost can account for up to 40% of the entire car.

IONIQ 1 will be the smallest of the IONIQ series of dedicated EVs from Hyundai (For More Info:

And also not surprisingly, Hyundai is considering adopting such a pricing structure for its EVs, especially for its entry-level models. And if implemented, the price of the EV1 would be reduced to a sub $20,000 level, which would be how much the car would be worth if it was an I-C-E car. With the likely starting price of $19,000 for the daily commuter with style, performance, and functionality, Kia would be selling as many EV1’s as it pleases.

For those of you who are loyal to the Hyundai brand, you needn’t worry as Hyundai would have its own version known as IONIQ 1, with the same specifications and size, but based on the design of the Casper mini SUV.



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