Kia Corp.’s latest electric vehicle is the tiny Ray, with seating for just one person in its smallest configuration, and it has a price in South Korea to match.
(Bloomberg) — Kia Corp.’s latest electric vehicle is the tiny Ray, with seating for just one person in its smallest configuration, and it has a price in South Korea to match.
Starting at about $20,000, the Ray is Kia’s least expensive battery-powered light passenger vehicle. It’s also the latest offering in the growing price war for EVs in Korea, where startups and online buying provide even cheaper options.
It’s already being embraced. More than 6,000 customers pre-ordered the cars in the past 20 business days since Kia said it was coming, surpassing its own goal of 4,000 for all of 2023, Kia says.
The single-seat version can be bought for about 27 million won ($20,500). It’s even less expensive in Seoul, where subsidies would cut the cost to $16,000. The four-seat model is priced slightly higher, going for as much as 29.55 million won.
With about 200 kilometers of driving range on a single charge, it’s designed for consumers living in cities with established charging infrastructure. It takes about 40 minutes with a fast charger to go from 10% charged to 80%, Kia said.
The Ray has a 35.2 kilowatt-hour lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) battery, which is cheaper than the nickel-based cells that provide longer driving range. Kia didn’t disclose the name of the battery supplier.
Kia is joining the competition for cheaper clean cars as inflation and higher interest rates hurt consumer sentiment. An increasing number of startups have introduced cheaper EVs and electric trucks in the country, threatening Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia – which hold 80% the market share at home. Korean consumers can also purchase Chinese EVs by ordering them online and paying taxes, another less expensive option.
More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.