Jun 14, 2023
The Kia EV6 Light Returns, but Only for Some U.S. Buyers
Related Video Given recent fluctuations (mostly downward) in EV pricing, it's
Given recent fluctuations (mostly downward) in EV pricing, it's perhaps no surprise that there's some pricing drama happening with the Kia EV6. But unlike most of its competitors that are dropping the price of their EVs across the range, Kia is adopting a different tactic.
It was only a few months ago that we were writing about how Kia's pricing strategy essentially pitted its Niro EV against the base EV6. Then we learned that the EV6 was getting more expensive just a few days later. And now comes the latest move: the reintroduction of the EV6 Light, a cheaper model with less range that was previously discontinued in 2022. While the lower price will be of interest to EV shoppers, the Light comes with several caveats—with its biggest one being who's able to buy one.
The original EV6 Light was the entry level model of the EV6 before Kia decided to drop the trim in favor of making its top shelf EV a premium purchase over the Niro EV. Before dropping the EV6 Light, it was only $1,950 more than the Niro EV Wind. The smaller Kia EV had more range, but the EV6 Light could charge faster thanks to its 800-volt battery architecture, which allowed for a 350-kW charge rate with DC fast charging while the Niro EV Wind could only manage an 85-kW rate. Less time at a charger versus more range is a trade-off some buyers might have been interested in, even for a nearly $2,000 upcharge. Then, in November of 2022, we learned that Kia was dropping the Light and the Kia pricing world made more sense again.
Jump to today and we learn that the EV6 Light is returning, with an 232-mile range estimate and a lower price tag. But if you want one, you'll have to be located on the West Coast, as the EV6 light will be limited to sales in the "Western Region" only. According to a Kia representative, the move is in response to market pressures and also competitors like the Volkswagen ID4, which "[offers] shorter range models in relatively limited volume." Buyers in those states who don't need the extra range will appreciate the value of a lower-priced model, Kia says.
Kia also didn't provide us with a price of the 2023 Kia EV6 Light, but CarsDirect.com contacted a dealer in Ontario, California and was able to get a window sticker. The new Light model is priced at $44,100, which qualifies it for California's Clean Vehicle Rebate that further reduces the price by $2,000. Which brings us to the Kia showroom battle scenario again, in which a prospective buyer must ask themselves: Which do I value more? Range at a cheaper price with the Niro EV or reduced charge time at a $3,355 premium with the EV6? Western Region Kia dealers are about to find out.