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EV6 and you shall find the value in electric?


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Ayala-led Kia PHL certainly thinks so, and points to the conglomerate’s aligned efforts to make the shift to electric easier

THE ELECTRIC VEHICLE (EV) floodgates have veritably opened locally. The trickle of EVs of models previously available in the Philippine market has swelled into a stream of releases across many brands. In some cases, new players are jumping straight to EV — foregoing the generally more accepted hybrid format that still employs the traditional internal combustion engine (ICE), albeit in a reduced capacity.

That’s the case with Kia Philippines, which now formally joins the ranks of the electrified marques here with the formal launch of the Kia EV6 last week. Motoring media got to test the good-looking crossover (yes, it’s actually billed as one) earlier in the year, and we also now know the cost of the electric vehicle.

The asking price of P3.788 million, which already factors in government relief in terms of duties and such, also comes with a five-year/160,000-km warranty for the vehicle, eight-year warranty on the battery system, five years of free preventive maintenance service, and five years of free 24/7 roadside assistance.

What you get is a 4.695-meter-long five-seater, motivated by a 77-kWh lithium-ion-battery-powered permanent magnet synchronous motor putting out 229ps and 350Nm. Kia reports that its range is an Environmental Protection-Agency-confirmed 528 kilometers per full charge for the rear-wheel-driven variant. You can use the supplied 11-kW AC charger to juice up the EV6 overnight via a Type 2 port — getting from 10% to 100% in seven hours, 20 minutes. Using DC, the 10%-80% job gets done in 73 minutes (via 50-kW charger), and a mere 18 minutes using a 350-kW charger. And Kia boasts that the EV6 has a V2L (vehicle-to-load) capability — allowing it supply up to 3.6kW of power. A huge coffee machine was incessantly serving up espresso-based drinks as it was hooked up to an EV6 at the Makati venue of the launch. You can put the vehicle to use as an auxiliary power supply during power outages or during camping trips.

In an exclusive interview with “Velocity,” AC Motors Automobile Group President Antonio “Toti” Zara III said that Kia Philippines opted to bring in the 4×2, and not the 4×4, precisely for its long range. “You’ll need to charge maybe only once a week. I live in Alabang and I hold office in BGC. I’d travel maybe 50 kilometers in a day. I charge it at home Saturdays using a 7-kW charger; I don’t have anxiety about the range,” he reported. “We know that there’s range anxiety (for people looking at EVs). Ayala is also building charging infrastructure, and that’s very strategic.”

Kia Philippines said that the battery system is situated low to the ground and on the floor, and is enclosed and “resistant to large water splashes.” Its casing also earns an IPP6 international rating — a rating usually used for “electrical enclosures with plastic hinges and waterproof gaskets.” To further assuage concerns amid flooding, the EV6 also gets a water-sensing system — which will automatically shut the system off “in the unlikely event of water intrusion.”

“It is truly our honor to introduce this latest innovation by Kia: A sustainable car with zero emissions, and a step toward Kia’s ambitious yet important transition into a future mobility solutions brand,” said Kia Philippines President Manny Aligada. “Our one true message to the public aims to open their eyes to the reality and potential of fully electric vehicles, and that Kia Philippines is here to make EV ownership convenient, worry-free, and enjoyable.”

To this point, Ayala Corp. President and CEO Bong Consing explained in his speech at the launch, “It’s consistent with everything we’re trying to achieve in the area of climate change and sustainability. We believe our ecosystem is built to launch and distribute electric cars. We manufacture the chargers (through) IMI (Integrated Micro-Electronics, Inc.), we place the charging stations in our commercial and residential estates around the country through Ayala Land. Then we sell electric vehicles via Kia, and we’re prepared to finance them via BPI. There are very few groups that can push electric vehicles the way we are pushing them.”

The executive emphasized, “We are committed to help decarbonize the Philippines.”

For Kia Philippines, the EV6 now encapsulates its part in the vision of the Ayala Group. It is the first car based on the Korean company’s “dedicated new platform for battery electric vehicles (BEVs),” and it comes with a portfolio of international recognitions including the 2022 iF Design Award, 2022 Red Dot Award, 2022 European Car of the Year, and US Car of the Year.

The commitment to being a “green” vehicle extends to the choice of materials used within. The EV6 seats are covered in vegan leather, while the interior panels are made from recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate). With a 2,900-mm wheelbase, the EV6 is said to approximate the cabin space of midsize SUVs.

Nonetheless, its squat profile suggests a sportier vehicle, akin to a fastback. It’s designed to be “modern, sleek, and aerodynamic,” said Kia, and lower coefficient of drag also ultimately aids in achieving the longer range. The EV6 can get from a standstill to 100kph in 7.3 seconds in Sport mode.

The EV6 has been given a five-star rating by the Euro NCAP, and its suite of safety features include Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Junction Turning Detection, Blind Spot Detection and Monitor, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, Lane Keeping and Following Assist Technology, Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go, Safe Exit Assist, and 360-View Monitor.

And just like other electric vehicles, the EV6 has fewer moving parts compared to its internal combustion engine (ICE)-powered counterparts. Owners don’t have to worry about changing oil, other lubricants, and oil filters. The result? Expect “to spend about P25,000 for five years in maintaining an EV6, versus P110,000 maintenance for a similar-sized ICE car over five years,” stated Kia.

The EV6 — available in five color options: Moonscape, Snow White Pearl, Runway Red, Yacht Blue, and Aurora Black Pearl — will roll out “eventually” to all 42 Kia dealers nationwide. If you’re looking to get yours now, head on over to Kia New Manila in Quezon City, Kia Alabang in Muntinlupa, Kia Sto. Tomas in Batangas, South Luzon, and Kia Pampanga in North Luzon.

For more information, visit kia.com, follow Kia Philippines on Facebook and Instagram, and subscribe to its YouTube channel.

“This is not going to be the last EV release. This is only the beginning. There’s going to be an EV race. We’re joining that race, and this is just the tip of the iceberg for Kia and Ayala,” concluded Mr. Zara with a smile.