Testing waters: Kia enters India’s EV market

The Korean carmaker will bring 100 units of the EV6 to India; bookings open on May 26.

Kia EV6 Front 3 Quarters

Kia India on Thursday said it will enter the Indian electric vehicle (EV) market with EV6, its first battery-electric vehicle (BEV) launched last year and currently available in South Korea, Europe and US markets. The Korean carmaker will ‘test waters’ in India by importing 100 units of the EV6, a top company official told FE. Bookings for the car will open on May 26.

“We are embarking on the next-level Kia experience, by launching in India our most celebrated EV globally, the EV6,” Tae-Jin Park, MD & CEO, Kia India, said. “We will open bookings for the EV6 on May 26 and launch it soon after that.” BEVs are a niche but growing segment in India. According to the FY22 retail sales data shared by the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA), BEVs formed 0.65% of the market (17,802 BEVs sold in the total market of 2.7 million passengers vehicles). But the sales share of BEVs also grew a hefty 257.18% in FY22 over 4,984 BEVs sold in FY21.

While Kia India hasn’t shared how much the EV6 will be priced, it depends on which model the carmaker brings to India. The EV6 is available in two battery pack options (58 kWh battery pack with a certified driving range of 373 km, and the 77.4 kWh battery pack with a driving range of 499 km). The former is priced at $40,900 in the US market (around `31 lakh) and the latter is priced at $47,000 (around `35.7 lakh).

Completely built-up (CBU) vehicle imports in India are taxed at 60% for those priced less than $40,000 in the global markets and 100% for more expensive ones, irrespective of the fuel type.

Considering that the EV6 will be a CBU and priced over $40,000, the effective pricing in India could be in the range of `62 lakh, at least.

All future Kia electric cars will have simplistic names — the first is the EV6. Smaller electric cars launched later will be likely called EV1 to EV5, and bigger ones are EV7, EV8, EV9, and so forth.

Kia India currently sells four models, and all are made in India — the Seltos, Sonet, Carnival and Carens.   

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