I Am Deeply in Love With the Kia Beach Ev and You Should Be Too

I like the ocean. A lot. I grew up watching underwater documentaries in the IMAX with my diver uncles. The idea of the place calms me, and I enjoy being near the water. I surf at every opportunity, despite being landlocked 99% of the time. It seems Kia has unintentionally found the perfect candidate to tell you about the new Kia Beach EV one-off they’ve just built for the Boardmasters surf festival in Cornwall, England.

Built for surfers: the Kia Beach EV

The Beach EV does donuts in the sand in Cornwall
The Beach EV gets more ground clearance and fat tires | Kia

I can tell you from personal experience that surfing is a pain in 99% of climates. Unfortunately, unless you’re in a beachfront house in Hawaii, sand is getting everywhere and there is nothing you can do about it. Thankfully, the Kia Beach EV is built for that, right on up from the three-inch lift and knobbly tires. The Korean brand has replaced the rear seats (who needs ’em) with a flat fold-out seat perfect for wetsuit dismantling.

Speaking of getting that wetsuit off, you can also hang it in the back thanks to a rack for drying said sand-filled item. The Kia Beach EV also takes into account the earth-consciousness shared by most surfers. As the name suggests, it is an EV, but those big tires eat into the original 280-odd miles of range. However, Kia dropped the ball there and saved it by making a nice bench in the back out of reclaimed wood.

Cars and surfing don’t always mix

Two surfboards ratchet-strapped to the roof of the Beach EV
Two boards can be fitted under the solar panel on the roof | Kia

Unfortunately, dropping the ball and saving it is something of a theme with the Kia Beach EV. While I went to Kia’s media site for images, I saw some, well, let’s call them issues. First of all, could Kia really not be bothered to come up with a more pro-looking surfboard rack? I mean, these ones are only a few hundred bucks. Surely, they could spare at least that? However, the brand says that the rack was custom built out of recyclable steel, so points for that.

Moving on, why is it that the solar panel looks like someone drew one onto some paper and affixed it to the roof? That said, the solar panel is there to help at the end of the day. Kia says that you can power other devices via the panel, though they don’t elaborate further. I’m thinking maybe a cell phone charger, but it would be great if a small camp stove were an option.

Eddie would go, and so did Kia

A man carries a surfboard on the beach, silhouetted by the sunset
In pursuit of the endless wave | Said Khatib via Getty Images

Forget the SUV and Take a Sports Car Camping Instead

Flaws aside, I’m happy the Kia Beach EV exists. I love the idea of a vehicle specifically tailored to one of the activities I enjoy the most. Some people have their SUVs with roof tents, and now I’ve got my specialty vehicle too. It’s good to see manufacturers having a little fun with things, and that’s why you should like the Beach EV. Kia has been hard at work rebuilding their brand image, and it’s great to see a little bit of that goofy hamster-in-a-car style back.