Every automaker knows that one of the barriers to faster consumer EV adoption are their high prices.

Kia Concept EV3

The average price of a conventionally-powered mainstream vehicle in August 2023 was $44,827; for an EV, it was $53,376, according to Cox Automotive. While that’s down from more than $65,000 last year, it’s still a 17.4% premium to buy an EV over an internal combustion engine car.

Kia knows this, of course, and is looking to reduce the production price of EVs as its plans to bring them to market at prices a low $30,000.

While the company didn’t say how they hoped to reduce their manufacturing costs, the fact that they’re shared with Hyundai as part of Hyundai Motor Group certainly helps. 

But the company also revealed two concepts that tipped their hand at what we might be seeing stateside in the form of the Concept EV3 and Concept EV4. The two should join the forthcoming Kia EV5, as the company looks to offer a variety of vehicles in the $30,000-$50,000 range.

The first of these is the EV4, which takes some of its looks from the Kia EV6, but with a droopier, shorter snout.

“We’re trying to transform the sedan,” said Karim Habib, head of Kia global design at the vehicle’s reveal this week. “A sedan has intrinsically a lot of advantages right in terms of size and safety, in terms of efficiency.”

Kia Concept EV3

Perhaps. But it pushes the envelope in terms of exterior design, although its long, gently sloping silhouette endows it with a large, roomy cabin. Being a concept, it has some really cool features that probably won’t reach production, such as climate controls that slide out of the way when not in use. More intriguingly, its pin-style air vents change patterns as you open or close them, adding a unique design touch. The EV4’s interior employs 100% recycled cotton and natural dyes and seat covers derived from hemp fibers. Kia also employs bioplastic, which is produced from biomass.

Not to be outdone, the EV3 is more of a tall, square subcompact SUV. In fact, the square guides its exterior design, as boxy facets are seen throughout its design, including its wheel arches and body-side cladding. Like the EV4, the EV3’s center console doesn’t connect to the instrument panel, allowing for a wide flat floor that not only accentuates the vehicle’s width, but provides space to stow a briefcase or handbag. The top of the center console is deigned to be used as a table, and it slides back and forth for eating or for use as a desktop.

Kia didn’t reveal any performance parameters about the Concept EV3 or Concept EV4, or when they might even reach production form. But the company is intent on bringing affordable EVs to America, with vehicles likely to closely resemble the Concept EV3 and Concept EV4.