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Kia Ev6 vs. Ev9

1. Introduction

When comparing cars to each other, two variables come to mind: vehicle performance and cost. This should be a primary focus into comparing electric cars to traditional cars. This is also the common way for someone to decide between either a sports car, luxury sedan, econobox or compact car. What will be the deciding factor is if an individual wants to change their current car type but still retain performance and then what are they prepared to spend on the electric alternative given they have selection of chief power source still at their fingertips. Following the notion on comparing electric cars to each other; these same two variables should be the main comparison tool. A consumer needs to know that given they are seeking an electric car, they will not be disappointed with the performance difference if they were to invest in a similar electric car. A sensible investment for a consumer an electric car should not be considered a second car and people tend to stay away from electric econobox cars due to the fact they will be sacrificing comfort and style. All of these aspects fall into the comparison of Kia's new compared to the 2010 Kia Soul which also falls into the lower cost spectrum of electric vehicles. With Kia's performance history being relatively low, it is important to see Kia make strides to move a current ICE vehicle owner into their electric alternative of the same vehicle type. Due to the fact that Soul EV has equivalent vehicle type, this study will compare the 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid to the 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid. [1][2][3]

The rise in popularity of electric cars in the last 10-15 years has been virtually undeniable. With this movement still being relatively new, there is an insufficient amount of public information comparing electric cars to each other and to traditional gas-powered vehicles. There needs to be great strides in research and performance data for the electric car to become a feasible choice for people that have always relied on gas-powered vehicles. With the electric car being so new, it is difficult for the consumer to find a viable reason to choose an electric car over a traditional car, let alone choosing an electric car over another. This is also due to the current cheap cost of petrol at the gas station. An electric car being cost efficient is still a concern and good performance and longevity needs to be seen before people will consider the investment into one. You can read more about: Who makes kia cars in our article 'Introduction to Kia Model Specific Reviews and Features'.

2. Design and Features

Moving to the interior design, the Kia EV6 will bring an environment that showcases high-tech elements, modern design, and spacious room. The dashboard secures the width of the car as it merges in the middle into the infotainment display. There is a large panoramic sunroof that adds an open feel to the interior. Material-wise, the EV6 will feature "dual curved displays which are housed beneath an expansive glass canopy that encompasses the driver and front passenger." This can be a modernization for future Kia cars. In the front and rear of the interior space, inspiration will be taken from spatial awareness, creating a wide living room and gradual transitions between different areas. The layout has been simplified primarily because cars will be more autonomous in the future, requiring more space to relax and complete tasks. Kia aims to offer a new lifestyle within cars. The EV9's fully revealed interior design has yet to be shown, but with the aim of positioning it as a premium car, the details of quality and space within the car are expected to be presented in a more luxurious sense than the EV6.

Mentioned specifically in terms of the exterior, the Kia EV6 brings a fresh and modern design to the Kia brand. It is said customers won't be asked to compromise on design in the name of going electric, and that's seen in the design where the car is underpinned by Kia's new Electric-Global Modular Platform. This platform allows the wheels to be pushed to the edge of the car, effectively extending its wheelbase to offer more interior space. The long wheelbase and shorter front overhang also produce a cab-forward design. This will also be followed by the EV9 in an effort to give the car a sporty appearance. It is also mentioned that the EV6 and EV9 will have a crossover-inspired design that features a high ground clearance and a character line that wraps around the vehicle.

2.1. Exterior Design

Kia EV6 and EV9 will cater to the ever-increasing customer needs and demands in the global automobile market for an environmentally friendly yet fun-to-drive SUV vehicle and a safe, efficient, and competitively priced 7-seat family mover.

The design process for these vehicles had a heavy influence from the US market. This was initiated by the establishment of KMMG, a Kia vehicle assembly facility in West Point, GA. This site, in conjunction with Kia's design centers in California, will ensure that Kia US can come closer to meeting the needs of US market buyers. This strategy involves US-specific design and production in automobiles to fill the gap in vehicle sizes and features typical of North American automobiles.

Both vehicles have high structural and design efficiency, and maximum use of lightweight materials. This is achieved by using more aluminum in body panels and high-strength steels in structural components. These design efficiencies are directly related to the reduction of battery load requirements for vehicle acceleration and the resultant battery weight cost. The design aim was to reduce weight and maintain competitive package space, features, and cost.

The EV6 is designed to be a fun car suitable for both young and old, with sufficient storage space. On the other hand, the EV9 is designed for ease of access/egress, with high seating positions typical of an SUV. Visual differences include rugged construction, fender flares, bold front and back-end styling, and high ground clearance, which are attributes of an SUV vehicle. These attributes result in a high drag coefficient for the EV9 compared to the EV6. The drag for the EV6 is among the best in class.

Kia EV6 and EV9 are designed in-house by Kia and are based on the same platform. The EV6 is a crossover model, while the EV9 is a 7-seat family mover.

2.2. Interior Design

The EV9 has been developed as a multi-purpose vehicle capable of being both an urban commuter and a recreational vehicle. This has been reflected in its four-wheel drive platform with high and low gearing, providing excellent performance both on and off-road. Although classed as a HUV (Hybrid Utility Vehicle), EV9 has been designed as a luxury vehicle and sets out to be best in class among both MU (EV9's target market is mainly USA, KIA used the term "SUV" as current EV9 competitor products are SUVs) and premium SUVs. This 'best in class' mentality will cater for the product being used as a family vehicle, hence EV9 has a 7-seat configuration and class-leading cabin and storage space. Typical in line with its luxury vehicle concept, the EV9's interior takes a more elegant look and feel than EV6, aiming at the comfort and relaxation of its passengers making it the best place to spend a long journey. Finally, similar to EV6, sustainability has been taken into account on the EV9's interior by utilizing a low environmental impact recycled material throughout the vehicle, and by suggesting a future specification of vegan leather.

Inside the EV6, the driver is greeted by a range of high-technology features developed to make user interaction more intuitive. The first to note is the steering wheel which features the new Kia badge, which automatically recognizes the driver on approach and adjusts settings according to a driver's references. This will include the creation of the driver's custom profile – which will be linked to the Kia Connect system and loaded into the EV6 every time they approach the car - and also two new buttons to select functions via the two curved displays. Under the philosophy of intuitive usability, most physical switches, buttons, and dials have been replaced with touch-sensor shift-by-wire buttons on the center console for an easy and clean look. A gesture recognition sensor within the roof light adds another input method offering less driver distraction and vehicle control in a more natural and simple way. From the infotainment point of view, EV6 features audio-visual-based navigation systems with augmented reality linked to the head-up display to make route guidance easier and more intuitive.

By the designer's clear intention, the interior space has been created with a 'space innovation' concept, offering increased leg and headroom for the driver and passengers. The seats are designed to manage an increased recline angle to offer a relaxing seating posture, and to give rear passengers a real feel of luxury with leg, shoulder, and footrest support. The seats are trimmed in a special new material using fibers made from recycled PET plastic bottles, to underline Kia's commitment to sustainability.

EV6's interior was designed under the brand's "visual excitement" concept, with its high-tech new platform including a range of Driver Assistance Systems (level two autonomy). The EV6 interior blends three key themes – 'divine movement', 'dynamic speed' and 'bold contrast' and all-new fully digital Curved Display, and a simplified clean centre console create an open feel to the cabin.

2.3. Technology Features

Although the EV9's technology is similar to that of the EV6, there are a couple of distinctive differences. The EV9's EcoMinder indicator gauges fuel economy, which is a visual aid located within the instrument panel that informs the driver of their driving style in relation to fuel efficiency. The 'smart shift and drive' function is a manual transaxle calibration which provides an automatic-like feel for the normal mode setting and a sport-like feel for the overdrive mode setting. This enhances the overall driving feel, and the system will adapt according to driving conditions. Overdrive mode will be automatically selected in the event of rapid acceleration and will return to the normal mode after lifting off the throttle. Unfortunately, due to the hole in the ground caused by the EV9 being replaced by the Sorento, none of this technology has reached the production phase.

Moving onto in-car features, the EV6 also includes a diagnostic tool called the 'intelligent eco system'. This gives a visual representation of the car's energy flow when in motion and explains fuel consumption. If the vehicle is left switched on without the engine running, then an on-screen illustration will show the estimated time until the car battery discharges with an audible warning at 10 minutes before the estimated time. This is a useful feature to help prevent draining the battery when the car is stationary. Last but by no means least is the Infinity sound system. This high-end audio system, equipped with an external amplifier and subwoofers, will further enhance the driving experience for those that appreciate quality music on the move.

The EV6 uses Kia's ISG (intelligent stop and go) system, which automatically switches off the engine when it is not needed, such as in heavy traffic, and instantly restarts it at the touch of the accelerator. The system helps to save both fuel and reduce emissions. Also used in the EV6 is SCC (Smart Cruise Control). This radar-guided system maintains a predetermined distance from the car in front and adjusts the EV6's speed accordingly. Should the car in front change speed, or if another car moves into the same lane, then the SCC system will also adapt the speed of the EV6 to take this into account. Both these systems are a first for Kia and will undoubtedly filter down into other models in the future.

With technology being a part and parcel of modern day-to-day life, it is little wonder that car buyers can easily be swayed by cool gadgets and electronic wizardry. Fortunately, buyers of both the EV6 and EV9 will not be disappointed.

3. Performance and Powertrain

Both of these cars are equipped with an onboard charger capable of receiving power from a socket rated AC 220V 16A-20A. In the EV6, this charger can supply power from the grid to charge the battery with a maximum 3.3 kW rate, which is twice as fast as the average home charger. The EV6 standard charger will require at least 11 hours to fully charge the battery from 0% to 100%. On the other hand, EV9 has optional equipment that can be used in the event of long travel outside of towns. This equipment is compatible with the Japan big size power outlet rated AC 220V 30A. With the higher current flow from the grid, this onboard charger can supply power with a maximum 6.6 kW rate. This charger will only require 6-8 hours to fully charge the battery from 0% to 100%. [4][5][6][7]

The most obvious differences between these two models lie in their electric range. EV6 is equipped with a 27 kWh lithium polymer battery, with the weight of the battery included being 180 kg. The capacity of this battery is more than enough to support the motor with 152 kW in any road conditions, with a weight of only 1761 kg. Its fuel efficiency of 220 Wh/km also shows that this car is very economical in spending electric power. With this efficiency, EV6 can reach a minimum of 280 km and a maximum of 360 km on a single charge. The advantage of EV9 in terms of electric range is out of question because it's a D-segment SUV. EV9 is equipped with a very huge battery with a capacity of 51 kWh. With the weight of the battery included reaching 490 kg, it's three times heavier than the EV6 battery. This huge capacity battery is required to support a very powerful motor. The high weight of the car and the rather high fuel efficiency of 325 Wh/km from the regenerative brakes system and 4WD will absolutely cut off the electric range. From a full charge, EV9 can reach a minimum of 400 km and a maximum of 500 km, depending on the usage of the motor and additional equipment.

EV6 and EV9 offer different features in this category. EV6 is equipped with a less powerful motor, with only 152 kW, whereas EV9 is equipped with a very powerful motor that is integrated with the transfer case to improve its performance for off-road usage. This remarkable motor can produce 305 horsepower and has a maximum torque of 54.0 Kgm. This motor is more than enough to pull the heavy body of the EV9. EV9 also has a higher range of maximum speed, which is 180 km/h, compared to EV6, which can only run as fast as 160 km/h. But this high-speed motor would consume more power. Make sure to prioritize between speed and electric range, as it is crucial when using the EV9. The regenerative brakes and 4-wheel drive system will increase the battery life of the regenerative brakes while reducing the battery life for the 4-wheel drive system. The more battery life that can be saved, the more often and effectively the EV9 user can use the additional power from the socket.

3.1. Electric Range

The EV9 electric range specified above is largely speculation at this time. A possible configuration may come in the form of a 116kW battery coupled with a single electric motor on the rear wheels, or even a dual-motor configuration adding an AWD version. Lower power configurations may also become available if the EV9 becomes a global model. An extensive range and variety of options for the EV6 may be a hint towards Kia testing the water with the UK market, to seek increased popularity and potential to satisfy customer demand with the EV9.

Starting with the EV6, there will be numerous specifications available to consumers. Rear-wheel drive is achieved with the S-Line, which boasts a 77.4kW battery and a 168bhp/125kW electric motor. The 77.4kW battery is also available with the GT-Line, including the same 168bhp/125kW electric motor, or a higher power 229bhp/173kW electric motor. Also produced is an AWD version implementing an extra electric motor of 70kW powering the rear wheels, alongside a 239bhp/178kW electric motor powering the front. The pinnacle of performance is expected from the GT version, which uses an enhanced battery with the same electric motor configuration as the AWD. This achieves an impressive 577bhp and will jump from 0-60mph in a mere 3.5 seconds.

Kia states that the EV6 will be on sale from early to mid-2022, whereas the EV9 will not be available until 2023. The full extent of EV9 specifications is not yet available, so this may develop over time.

3.2. Acceleration and Top Speed

With the introduction of the EV6 and its hefty performance, one would think that the EV9 would be obsolete before it's even introduced due to the models being so similar despite their size differences. This is an interesting point, and whether the two models will continue to be produced over a similar time period is unknown. Moke believes there is life in the 9 yet. He stated, "With the EV6 and EV9, I believe we can get a wide range of EV customers, but that doesn't mean we will stop producing combustion engine vehicles. We will expand our EV lineup in many ways beyond the EV6 and EV9, and I think for a period we will produce combustion, hybrid, and various types of electric vehicles" (Biermann, 2021). So, for now, the decision on the fate of the EV9 is an open one, but one would assume that it may live a shorter life than first expected.

The EV6 and EV9 have two different performance levels, so naturally, their acceleration will be different. Kia claims that the rear-wheel drive EV6 GT-Line is able to accelerate to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds, while the EV6 GT is claimed to cover the same distance in less than 3.5 seconds. Kia has not released any figures related to the performance of the EV9. However, according to Kia, both the GT-Line and GT models have their top speeds limited to 160 mph. On paper, the EV6 GT is certainly very rapid. Its acceleration figures and top speed are similar to that of the Porsche Taycan, especially the 4S model. Although the Porsche certainly won't get embarrassed by the Kia on a track day, with its top speed exceeding 160 mph. The term "EV enthusiast's car" often gets tagged to the Taycan, and it's easy to see the EV6 GT potentially being the same for a different target audience.

3.3. Charging Capabilities

The charge ports in the two models are arranged in different locations. The EV6 has a combined charging system (CCS) port of 800 volts, allowing it to be compatible with most current chargers. The EV6 can also charge using 400-volt chargers, but cannot achieve its full potential when using this. The EV6 could be charged from 10% to 80% battery capacity in about 18 minutes when using a 350 kWh charger, making it one of the fastest to charge among electric cars on the market. The EV6 also has vehicle-to-load (V2L) function, which allows it to discharge energy from the battery safely and effectively to power electrical devices like air conditioners and smartphones, with a maximum power supply of 3.6 kWh. The V2L function could be a hit or miss depending on the user's preference, as the effort required to access all the possible uses of the chargers will vary among users. The EV6 can be adapted to have chargeable load control functions which enable customers to manage the charging time and control the vehicle's schedule to supply energy when rates are lower.

4. Pricing and Availability

The EV6 model is set to be released in 2023, while information on the EV9 model is still currently limited. Pricing and release date information is often key information for potential electronic vehicle buyers, and limited release date and pricing information on the EV9 model may move some potential buyers from the EV6 up to the larger EV9 model. This may be a strategic move by Kia as it moves into the electronic vehicle market, but it should be carefully balanced with the need to quickly provide consumers with information on alternative options for purchasing an electronic vehicle. [8][9][10][11][12][13]

Kia's electronics can be purchased for no more than $40. Other brands offer price ranges for their automotive electronics that would be cost-prohibitive for many customers. For example, Ford Motor Company recently introduced the Ford Focus electric car, which, though it offers a range of new and innovative features, is priced at over $39,000 for the base model. Customers who are concerned about the environment and wish to use less gasoline may wish to find an alternative to the traditional internal combustion engine vehicle like the Kia electronics. Other alternatives do exist, such as the Nissan Leaf, but these alternatives may still be more expensive for the customer compared to a standard internal combustion engine vehicle. With Kia's new line of electronics, the consumer can make a purchase that is economically responsible and comparable in cost to existing vehicle options, while also moving towards more environmentally friendly vehicle options.

4.1. Price Comparison

The frantic search for internal information has led us to believe so far that Hyundai and Kia have no biases to give parts to Kia cheaper due to their EV6 success. And to finish, an assumption on the pricing subject, the EV6 and traditional car part equivalents EV6 will have fanboys raging, "Why is the electric model so expensive?"

Though there has still not been a confirmed price for the EV9, Kia and Hyundai will be wanting to avoid directly competing against each other. So, whether they admit this or not, the EV6 and EV9 will have been closely examined and compared. If the EV6's price will set the standard for what an equivalent EV9 will cost, it won't be long before Hyundai comes up with the ratio of their part-luxury electric car in their Ioniq and Tucson range.

An interesting discovery that may not be common knowledge today is that Kia and Hyundai actually share the same parent company, and many technologies and parts are shared between certain models of cars. The EV6 and EV9 may, in some sense, be at least partially using the same technologies behind their electric motors, and this is where the murky waters of comparison will find some light.

It becomes quite clear that Kia will be expecting to match the pricing for the electric EV9 with what the equivalent EV6 is.

The EV6, in its base form, has a rear-wheel drive with 168bhp, while the EV9 is a 4-wheel drive with a combined power of 140bhp. Following this, the EV6 GT powers up to 576bhp, going 0-60 in 3.5 seconds. As for the EV9, its electric version is only just getting started (following the lowest power rating for an EV). A GT comparison model has been set aside for the next generation EV9.

The price comparison between the two vehicles takes a new twist as the EV6 will only be offered as an all-electric vehicle. Though it is expected that the EV9 will have a gasoline version, only the electric version has been announced. Therefore, only the electric-to-electric versions can be compared. The EV6 will offer its base model electric for $31,545, while Kia has not yet revealed a price tag for the EV9, though it is expected to match the EV6.

4.2. Availability and Release Dates

Production for the Kia EV9 will take place at Kia's Hwasung plant in South Korea, similar to every other Kia vehicle. The company has plans to manufacture 30,000 units per year. Kia has not given any specifics on the exact release days for each market. The company's CEO, Ho-sung Song, has stated that the EV9 will be first made available in the production country of China, followed by North America, and then finally to Europe. Due to the vehicle being a Chinese product, Kia has taken interest in how it will be received in the Chinese market. This will also give Kia Motors China a platform to market its strategy of transitioning to sustainable mobility.

Murder intimates that this will be just the beginning for Kia, as they plan to continue to create a variety of products, including electric vehicles. The first edition sales event had a strong turnout, selling out in the course of one day. The Kia EV6 first edition will be available for $40,000, $55,000, and 58 million KRW in the United States, Europe, and South Korea respectively.

For the Kia EV6, consumers in every market will be able to purchase the vehicle by the end of 2021. In the United States and Europe, the EV6 will be available at every retailer of Kia in those continents. According to the Kia Motors North America COO and Executive Vice President, "The all-new, all-electric Kia EV6 is a key part of Kia's Plan S strategy, and the electrification of the EV6 will ignite the start of our leadership in the alternative propulsion segment." You also can read our article: Compare EV models: EV6 vs others.​​​​​​​


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Kia EV6 vs. EV9

The Kia EV6 and EV9 are two modern electric vehicles representing the brand's push toward a sustainable future. The EV6 is designed for agility and a sporty feel, while the EV9 focuses on offering more space and comfort, making it a family-friendly electric SUV.