Skip to main content

EVs won’t truly go mainstream until there’s a Kia Seltos of EVs

EVs are finally growing in popularity. There are now plenty of models available, and they’re quite good — from the Kia EV6 to the Rivian R1S, to the Ford Mustang Mach-E. But there’s one thing that almost every practical EV has in common — they cost at least $35,000. And, there are really only a few models that dip to that price.

That’s kind of a problem. Of course, it’s completely to be expected. In the grand scheme of things, electric vehicles are still relatively new, and carmakers have invested billions into making them happen in the first place.

But that doesn’t really matter to the end consumer. The majority of buyers simply can’t drop $40,000 on a new car — and the result is that they won’t truly go mainstream until there are cars in the sub-$30,000 price range. We need a Kia Seltos of EVs.

The Seltos’ compromises

I get it, the Seltos is a bit of a niche reference. Why doesn’t this piece refer to the “Honda CR-V of EVs,” or the “Ford Escape of EVs?” The answer is that I’ve been driving the Seltos for the last week, and I find it to be an excellent compromise to Kia’s more expensive options, while still retaining what drivers know and love about the modern Kia. A Seltos EV would embody those principles — compromising where necessary, while still delivering an excellent driver experience.

A silver 2021 Kia Seltos in front of a stone wall.
Stephen Edelstein/Digital Trends

There are plenty of ways in which the Seltos doesn’t compromise. The car still offers the great dual-screen infotainment system, with one screen for the digital instrument cluster that allows you to show keep track of the adaptive driver assist features. The interior is still spacious and relatively comfortable, and the car still supports systems like CarPlay and Android Auto.

So what are the compromises? Well, they’re to be expected. The materials inside the car are slightly less premium, and it’s not as powerful or as smooth as some of Kia’s higher-end cars, like the EV6.

A lower-end EV would be similar. It might not be as premium-feeling, or as premium-looking, as a car like the EV6, but it would retain some of what makes the EV6 a great car. You’d still get some of the tech, and a reasonably spacious interior. What you won’t get is quite as much of that electric zip. It would probably be single-motor, and wouldn’t offer higher-end tech features like a heads-up display and blind spot cameras.

What about the Bolt EV (RIP)?

Of course, some companies have done their best to launch low-cost electric vehicles. The best example of this is the Chevrolet Bolt EV, which, of course, has been discontinued.

A Chevy Volt parked on the beach.

Only one problem though. While the Bolt EV isn’t a bad car, it’s relatively small — and far too small for a large portion of U.S. car buyers. The Bolt EUV fixed some of the issues around size — but like the Bolt EV, it has been discontinued, without a replacement on offer just yet.

Kia, and other carmakers, have an opportunity to take a big bite out of the EV market right now, in the absence of the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV. Whether they do so or not remains to be seen — but regardless, EVs won’t truly go mainstream until there are more low-cost options that aren’t tiny or impractical.

Editors' Recommendations

Christian de Looper
Christian’s interest in technology began as a child in Australia, when he stumbled upon a computer at a garage sale that he…
2022 Kia EV6 first drive review: An EV defying expectations
Kia EV6 next to vineyard

“Whoa.” That’s the actual word that escaped my lips when I first engaged Sport mode on the EV6. It could be used to describe most of my experience with the vehicle during a first drive event, though.

Kia’s move from entry-level car maker to mid-market darling with the help of the Telluride SUV continues with its latest offering. The EV6 showcases the evolution of not only the brand, but its EV offerings. The EV6 is a larger-than-you-expect vehicle that Kia calls a CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle) with the space of an SUV and the driving stance of a sedan. Everything about it is more than you anticipate.

Read more
Elon Musk confirms Cybertruck won’t arrive until 2023 at the earliest
Tesla chief Elon Musk unveiling the Cybertruck in 2019.

Tesla’s Cybertruck pickup won’t hit the road until 2023 at the earliest, CEO Elon Musk said on Wednesday, January 26.

His comments came during an earnings call with investors following the release of Tesla’s fourth quarter results for 2021, and confirm recent rumors that Cybertruck production had been delayed until next year.

Read more
Tesla Cybertruck delay means it won’t hit the road until next year
Tesla's Cybertruck.

Tesla’s all-electric Cybertruck -- yes, the one with the unspeakably wacky design -- has suffered a production delay that means it won’t start shipping until 2022.

The original plan had been for large-scale production to begin by the end of this year, but a recent change to the Cybertruck’s listing on Tesla’s website, spotted by Electrek, reveals a new launch schedule.

Read more