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Kia began as a manufacturer of bicycle parts and steel tubing in 1944. The South Korean company now produces a remarkable range of passenger cars, including hybrids, PHEVs, and EVs. Here’s how the automaker got to this point and how the new Kia EV6 is ready to give the Tesla Model Y a run for its money.

The all-new 2022 Kia EV6 at a glance

2022 Kia EV6 EV Tesla
2022 Kia EV6 | Kia

Designed with drivers in mind, the high-tech, fully electric 2022 Kia EV6 can reach 60 mph faster than a Porsche Cayenne Coupe and looks good while doing it. This EV provides numerous safety features, including four-wheel anti-lock brakes, lane-keeping assist, and forward-collision avoidance assist.

The 2022 Kia EV6’s $40,000 starting price is approximately $21,000 less than the Tesla Model Y’s MSRP. In addition, the Kia EV6 qualifies for a $7,500 federal tax credit.

3 decades of Kia electric cars

Kia EV, electric concept car 2010
The Kia electric concept car, Pop, at the Paris Auto Show on September 30, 2010 | Eric Piermont/AFP via Getty Images

According to Kia, the company released its first no-emissions vehicle in 1952. It was also the first bicycle made in Korea. In 1988, the automaker debuted its first electric van — the Besta EV — and the company has been making EVs ever since.

When the Kia Sportage Fuel Cell EV made its first appearance in 2004, it became the EV all other Kia models emulated. Four years later, the company revealed its second FCEV — the Borrego — at the Los Angeles International Auto Show.

2011 saw the debut of the sleek and sporty Kia Optima Hybrid, with a full-parallel powertrain. Three years later, the Korean carmaker began U.S. production of the first all-electric, no-emissions vehicle: the Soul EV.

Then, in 2016, the first Optima Plug-In Hybrid came off the production line. And in 2017, the crossover Niro Plug-In Hybrid appeared on American roads. Next came the fully electric Niro EV, unveiled at the prestigious Paris Auto Show in 2018.

In 2020, engineers and designers looked to classic skateboard decks for inspiration for future Kia EVs.

Finally, in 2022, the all-new Kia EV6 debuted, giving the much pricier Tesla Model Y a run for its money. CarsDirect even says the EV6’s fast-charging capability and extensive range make this car a far better buy than the Model Y.

How the Kia EV6 could kill the Tesla Model Y

Now that the new EV is available for purchase in the United States, let’s count the ways the 2022 Kia EV6 could kill the Tesla Model Y. Here’s a brief rundown:

1. Price

When Tesla was the biggest EV game in town, a Model Y cost less than $40,000, and the company didn’t have much in the way of viable competition. Consumers today have many more affordable options, including the 2022 Kia EV6.

2. Comparable range

Affordability factors into the Kia EV6’s threat to the Tesla Model Y, but pricing is not the only aspect buyers consider when shopping for an EV. Range matters, too. Tesla offers an impressive 330 miles per full charge, but the EV6 can go 310 miles. Such a negligible difference might not be enough to sway buyers away from the money-saving Kia.

3. Superior build

Despite Tesla’s luxury-car price tag, the fit and finish of the Tesla Model Y aren’t as well-executed as those on the Kia EV6, CarsDirect explains. The Kia is sturdy, whereas the Tesla that CarsDirect tested had loose panels that gave reviewers a sense of lower quality than the 2022 EV6.

If you insist on buying a Tesla Model Y, go ahead and get one. Or choose a fast-charging Kia EV6 and save a ton of money. Either way, you’ll do the environment a favor when you switch from gas to electric power.


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