Bank of America’s research department last week published a first analysis on the price cut announced by Tesla, and on its expected competitive impact in Europe. “European car manufacturers have not yet responded to Tesla’s move,” the analysts wrote. “But he may force them to lower the prices of their electric models. On the other hand, the price of the raw materials for the production of batteries has risen again recently, which means that the manufacturers must raise the prices. Tesla’s move is a shock to all European car manufacturers.”
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Behind the “shock” referred to in BOA, there is quite a bit of self-righteousness. In the last year and a half, the competing car manufacturers welcomed the series of sharp price increases made by Tesla, and rushed to line up with them. Therefore, they should have expected that if and when Tesla decides to change direction – they too will have to lower prices.
The main problem is currently faced by brands that have chosen to attach to their electric vehicles a particularly ambitious pricing that is close to Tesla, and now find themselves in a gap above it. One of these models is Kia’s new EV6 which was launched as “the sporty and expensive brother of the Hyundai Ioniq 5”.
Emotional added value
As far as the design is concerned, there is no doubt that the vehicle offers an “emotional added value” that is difficult to find in the segment today. The car has a futuristic design with huge muscular bulges at the front, bold wheel arches that house massive rims and a long and dynamic profile, reminiscent of a cross between a GT car and a crossover, ending in a dramatic tail with impressive lighting units.
All this in addition to respectable external indicators, which do not allow the viewers to be indifferent. In fact, since the drive in the Stinger sports car, we don’t remember another Kia model that attracted so much attention on the Israeli street.
The design of the passenger cabin is in line with what is accepted in the segment. The convex digital control array includes two large screens in the style of the latest generation Kia Sportage, and the most distinctive design element in the cabin is the “floating” central console, under which there is a huge storage space. The command array includes physical control switches and a somewhat annoying strip of touch switches to control the climate system. There is also a rotary switch for gear control.
The front seats are designed in a sporty spirit, and hug the body well. The seating position is relatively high compared to the Tesla, but less than that of the Ionik 5.
As you would expect from a vehicle with a huge 2.9m wheelbase, the interior space is impressive. The legroom in the back is like in a limousine, and there is no problem to place three tall and wide adults there. However, the Tesla Y offers more headroom. The trunk is not very deep, but it is wide and easy to load.
As usual with Kia, the quality of the materials and assembly is high, the upholstery feels well-invested and the noise isolation is impressive for a car that does not come from a premium brand. The level of equipment in the base version we drove is quite standard and includes all the latest safety equipment.
However, at a price of a quarter of a million shekels, we would also expect an electric passenger seat and perhaps a panoramic roof instead of the standard roof.
Super fast charging
As mentioned, Kia positions the vehicle as a “sports streetcar”, and even the base version, with a single rear engine and 229 hp, provides the required sense of performance. In the “relaxed” programming modes, the initial reaction to pressing the pedal feels a bit lazy. But pressing More decisively gives the car a respectable “power kick.” The sport programming mode sharpens the pedal response and requires extra attention to the speedometer.
The base version boasts an impressive range of 528 km between charges, but as is customary in the segment, these are laboratory data. At optimal outside temperatures, without operating the air conditioner or the heating system, a realistic range of approximately 420 km to 450 km can be achieved Activating the climate system or maximizing the performance potential will cut the range by 30%.
The bonus is an advanced electrical architecture that supports super fast charging that will save you a lot of time.
You will find an address in Israel
As a backup for the vigorous exterior design and sporty positioning, Kia engineers gave the EV6 a more dynamic chassis calibration than the sister Ioniq 5. This means a low center of gravity, a wide wheel arch and slightly stiffer suspensions. The feeling is indeed different from that of the Hyundai sister. The car “floats” less over the road, although it is still definitely comfortable, in vigorous driving on winding roads the tendency of the body is more restrained and the car maintains the reference line more precisely.
The default steering response is light and rather vague, but in the sport programming mode the steering is more precise and balanced. Of course, this is not a light and energetic sports car, and with a length of almost 4.7 m and a weight of two tons, it is impossible to play with it across the asphalt. The long wheelbase also increases the turning diameter and makes tight maneuvers in the city difficult. But overall it’s a car that you can definitely enjoy driving.
The single-engine base version of the EV6 costs NIS 249,000 in Israel, and the more powerful version with two engines costs NIS 299,000. The price reflects the purchase tax increase in January, but it puts the car uncomfortably close to the speedy, dual-engine Tesla Y, which is the benchmark in the segment. The price even touches the powerful performance version of the Tesla Model 3. Nevertheless, with an impressive road presence and a minimal inventory, it seems that every EV6 will find a customer in Israel.
Some of the competitions
Tesla Model 3 and Model Y
At a price of NIS 252,000, Tesla offers a dual-drive Model 3 with two engines, a respectable power of 252 hp and a declared range of up to 602 km. The Y model includes two engines, a range of 533 km and a spacious passenger cabin.
Tesla Model 3 and Model Y / Photo: Yeh”c
The single-engine version of the electric Skoda Aniac costs 250 to 286 thousand shekels. The car produces 204 hp and is equipped with an 82 kWh battery with a range of up to 517 km. It is very spacious, and the level of equipment in the top versions is impressive.
Skoda Aniac / Photo: Yeh’ach
Toyota’s first streetcar costs NIS 240,000 to 260,000. The design is modern. The dual drive version, with two engines with a combined power of 217 hp and an 80 kWh battery, provides a range of up to 459 hp. The passenger cabin is spacious and innovative.
Toyota bz4x / Photo: Yeh’ach