A day with the Kia EV6

Electrifying the daily drive

The shift to electric vehicles may happen very soon, and possibly one of the most stylish and enjoyable ways to do so is with the upcoming Kia EV6 battery electric vehicle. Previewed at last year’s Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS), the EV6 GT Line Long Range is set to be launched on March 21, 2023. Its price will also be revealed at that time.

While its launch is still some weeks away, Kia Philippines was kind enough to allow us a preview and test drive of the vehicle. It provided a chance to experience the electric lifestyle as an executive would and enjoy its surprising practicality and also luxury.

Luxury without the guilt

Positioned as a modern crossover vehicle, the EV6 blends hallmarks of sports cars, luxury sedans, and SUVs into one form. Being a GT Line variant, it is fitted with the very best aesthetic touches and accents.

The sleek design cleverly hides its imposing size, occupying similar real estate to a Sorento three-row SUV but with the lower profile of a sedan. It may roll on massive 20-inch wheels, but there’s also considerable rubber wrapped around it, to take on rough surfaces and live up to its crossover positioning.

Thanks to its large footprint, the EV6 is able to offer a truly spacious cabin. Its wheelbase of 2,900 mm is longer than the Sorento SUV and just a hair under the Carnival van. This allows it to offer mounds of legroom and enjoy its guilt-free vegan leather seats with center armrests for both the front and rear passengers.

The driver will enjoy the two curved 12.3-inch monitors. One serves as the digital instrument cluster while the other is the touchscreen infotainment system. These provide the vital range, battery usage, and trip information in customizable displays. The entertainment system has Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and can connect via USB, and Bluetooth as standard. Audio is channeled through the 14-speaker Meridian sound system. Easily the greatest luxury it offers is its truly silent operation (both inside and out), thanks to a lack of an internal combustion engine.

Instant power

Providing this silent propulsion is a 77.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that drives a rear-mounted electric motor. It delivers 229-PS and 350-Nm of torque the moment you step on the pedal. Its transmission has no need for gears. It doesn’t need to shift-down or build up power, and so all of that comes instantly. Helping to smooth that power delivery are three driving modes; Eco, Normal, and Sport. Nonetheless, it still has wheel-mounted paddle-shifters to adjust the strength of regenerative braking (to practically drive with just throttle pedal pressure), or simulate gears if they’re ever missed.

Despite its heft, the EV6 can accelerate from a standstill to 100 km/h in just over seven seconds. It actually feels faster than that due to the lack of gears that break up that neck-snapping speed at which it does so.

Surprising practicality

Indeed moving to a fully-electric vehicle may seem like a daunting shift to undertake. However, the EV6’s astonishing battery range can make range anxieties melt away. On a full charge, the EV6 can travel 528-km. This can even increase or decrease depending on how smooth one drives. In fact, the more traffic one encounters, the farther it can go, thanks to the lower power it requires at slower speeds.

Many charging options

Our day with the EV6, much like any executive, entailed driving from home (Quezon City) to work (Intramuros) and back. And after two simulated round trips in both peak and off-peak traffic, there was still a surprising 85% battery charge left.

When it comes time to charge, each EV6 comes with a home charger that can be plugged into a wall socket. It can take overnight to charge a partially consumed battery up to 100%. Nonetheless, with the average daily commute estimated to be between, 8-12-km, it may take a fully-charged EV6 up to 2 weeks to use up its entire battery. Yet rather than worry about charging times, Kia recommends the vehicle simply be topped up (even just a little) whenever convenient to avoid range worries.

If the need ever arises, it uses a CCS Type II charging port. This makes it compatible with majority of charging stations that are already up and running in major malls (Ayala, SM, Robinsons, and Megaword), fuel stations (Shell and Unioil) and commercial areas around the country. These include charging sites in Laguna, Tagaytay, and Baguio.

Charging at these sites may take anywhere from a few hours to just 18 minutes (depending on battery level and charger power rating). The best part is that most of these sights are still free.

We don’t know the Kia EV6’s exact price, but it is definitely north of the top-of-the-line Carnival. With the recent signing of Executive Order No. 12, that price may still be reduced a little more. There's no better time to consider going electric than now.