By now, we have already seen Volkswagen's plans for an electric future with the debut of the ID.3. It's a small five-door hatchback that produces zero emissions thanks to its electric powertrain. With other automakers also set to reveal an affordable electric vehicle, it might not be long before small EVs become the norm across the globe.
Kia appears to be planning something for their electric future as well, particularly the Picanto. According to Automotive News Europe, the Korean auto brand is looking to make an all-electric version of the hatchback.
But it will not be a matter of “if” but more of a question of “when”. Emilio Herrara, Chief Operating Officer at Kia Motors Europe, said that they will have to do it - eventually. One of the key reasons they have to make the switch is the fact that they have to adhere to stricter emission laws in Europe. Not only that, hatchbacks and other small cars are still the go-to vehicles in Europe, making them one of the most sought-after by car buyers.
With the European Union adamant in reducing carbon emissions, Kia is hard-pressed in offering a Picanto that comes with an electric motor instead of just an internal combustion engine. But they have to price it just right as well in order for it to be profitable for them, but still affordable for the market.
Currently, a Picanto with a gasoline engine starts at around EUR 11,000 (about Php 630,000). For Herrera, a Picanto EV may have to start at around EUR 20,000 (about Php 1.145 million) which will make it quite expensive. For the COO, they need to bring it down to EUR 16,000 – EUR 17,000 (around Php 917,000 – Php 973,000) in order for it to be priced competitively and still be able to turn a profit. One possible way of doing this is by working together with sister company Hyundai who makes the i10. By sharing development and costs, Kia and Hyundai might be able to sell a small, affordable electric hatch.
Locally, the Kia Picanto's price range spans from Php 590,000 to Php 745,000. Comparing it with Europe's pricing, it's not too far off from what we have. But if ever Kia Philippines thinks about bringing an EV version of the Picanto here, they could price it at around Php 900,000 to Php 950,000. In addition, they could become the pioneer brand to bring an A-segment electric hatchback to the country.
But with Kia not exactly revealing any prototypes of the Picanto EV yet, we'll just have to wait and see.