2024 Kia EV5 electric SUV confirmed for Australia, built in China

The Kia EV5 – an electric SUV similarly sized to the current Kia Sportage – will be the South Korean car giant's first model built in China for Australia.

South Korean car-maker Kia released further details on the 2024 Kia EV5, an electric SUV with dimensions on-par with the Kia Sportage – ahead of its Australian arrival sometime next year.

For the first time it will be manufactured in China for Australia – powered by batteries developed with DNA from Chinese electric-car specialist BYD.

The first official images of the Kia EV5 were shown earlier in 2023 for the Chinese market, but at a media event in South Korea today Kia has provided more details about the upcoming model.

It has confirmed the vehicle will be exported to Australia – among other worldwide markets – from 2024.

Production of right-hand-drive examples – for markets such as Australia – is due to commence simultaneously with left-hand-drive models at a factory in China.

Kia EV5 production is due to expand to South Korea in 2025.

It is Kia’s third fully-electric model based on the E-GMP electric-car platform already employed by the Kia EV6 and Kia EV9, and will be offered in standard-range front-wheel drive, long-range front-wheel drive, and long-range all-wheel-drive variations.

South Korean-built cars will use nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) batteries, while cars built in China will get lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery technology derived from Kia’s partnership with Chinese car and battery specialist BYD.

Local specifications are yet to be locked in, however Australian-bound Kia EV5s will come from the Chinese factory, meaning local EV5s could offer an 88kWh LFP battery in the long-range dual-motor variant.

This variant utilises a 160kW motor on the front axle and 70kW motor at the rear, for a combined system output of 230kW.

Lower down in the range, the Chinese-market Kia EV5 line-up includes a long-range, single-motor, front-wheel-drive version with an 88kWh battery – for a targeted WLTP lab-tested driving range of 530km – as well as a standard-range single-motor version powered by a 64kWh battery.

The Kia EV5’s tall, boxy body borrows heavily from the Kia EV9’s playbook – which is due in Australian showrooms this month – though in a smaller package which places its dimensions on par with the Kia Sportage.

Inside the cabin the EV5 gets a bench-like front seat, though this will only be made available to the Chinese market.

There is a pair of 12.3-inch displays running Hyundai and Kia's latest Connected Car Navigation Cockpit (ccNC) infotainment system, which supports over-the-air updates.

Fewer physical buttons are seen on the dashboard. To control the air-conditioning system, between the 12.3-inch displays is a 5.0-inch touchscreen for climate control functions, claimed to remove up to 17 buttons from the centre console array.

To help lower its price, the Kia EV5 uses a 400-volt electric architecture – rather than the 800-volt charging technology available in the more expensive Kia EV6 and EV9 on the same platform.

It is said to charge at speeds "in excess of 120kW" through a CCS charge port – for a 30 to 80 per cent charge in 27 minutes – compared to 230kW, and 10 to 80 per cent in 18 minutes for an EV6. Vehicle-to-grid and vehicle-to-load functionality will also be included.

Chinese-built Kia EV5s will launch for the Chinese market starting in 2024, followed by the start of South Korean production in 2025.

Export of the right-hand-drive Kia EV5 – cars bound for Australia – will begin simultaneously with China's left-hand-drive cars. Australian showroom arrivals are due sometime next year.

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Tom Fraser

Tom started out in the automotive industry by exploiting his photographic skills but quickly learned that journalists got the better end of the deal. He began with CarAdvice in 2014, left in 2017 to join Bauer Media titles including Wheels and WhichCar and subsequently returned to CarAdvice in early 2021 during its transition to Drive. As part of the Drive content team, Tom covers automotive news, car reviews, advice, and holds a special interest in long-form feature stories. He understands that every car buyer is unique and has varying requirements when it comes to buying a new car, but equally, there’s also a loyal subset of Drive audience that loves entertaining enthusiast content. Tom holds a deep respect for all things automotive no matter the model, priding himself on noticing the subtle things that make each car tick. Not a day goes by that he doesn’t learn something new in an everchanging industry, which is then imparted to the Drive reader base.

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