Kia EV6 Wins European Car of the Year In April 2022

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The world is now zooming towards the electrification of vehicles of all forms and segments – private and commercial, both. Over the past decade or so, more and more buyers are being drawn into the EV (Electric Vehicle) ecosystem, and deservedly so. Electric vehicles have continued to become better and better, whilst the world’s car market has allowed for a deeper penetration of EVs as the infrastructure is continually being modernized as well. One of the biggest names coming out of the EV evolution of today is that of Kia. The South Korean automaker has made great efforts in bringing forth new sustainable mobility solutions, which also includes electric vehicles.

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In the recently held 2022 European Car of the Year last month, the name that came out on top as the clear winner was that of the all-new Kia EV6. The EV6 is Kia’s first fully-dedicated electric vehicle and is set to lead the brand’s continuous expansion of its future electrified model lineup. When it comes to its win at the recent European awards, the jurors were most impressed by the EV6’s sustainability efforts, which we will come to in a second. As for the car itself, the Kia EV6 is built around the Korean brand’s new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) – designed specifically for its first-ever dedicated electric vehicle.

One of the primary goals for the Kia Design team, when it comes to the EV6, was to reduce the environmental impact as much as possible from the get-go. This takes into account the vehicle’s entire lifespan, starting from its initial design all the way through to its end-of-life disposal. In order to reduce the EV6’s overall carbon footprint, the Kia Design team worked closely with the manufacturing division to identify and work on the raw materials that go into making an automobile that you and I see at the dealership. The company then went about altering its manufacturing techniques to ensure seamless construction process, while creating custom 3D models to predict and simulate dismantling processes during the EV6’s whole lifespan. Kia also rolled out a test mule to study and evaluate the car’s end-of-life phase.

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Speaking about the all-new EV6 was Euichul Jeong, Vice President and Head of Strategic Business Planning Division at Kia. Jeong said, “Creating a sustainable vehicle goes way beyond just its powertrain. We know that zero-emission powertrains are the future of mobility, but what about the rest of the vehicle? With the EV6 we are taking steps to reduce the environmental impact of the vehicle’s structure, materials, use, and disposal.”

Pitching in about the EV6 was Marilia Biill, Team Leader of Kia's Color, Material and Finish division. Biill stated, “The work we have started with EV6 is a transformational phase in Kia’s sustainability journey. The learnings from EV6 have helped us develop next-generation products that will apply to future Kia models. Our new partnership with The Ocean Cleanup will remove plastic waste from the world's oceans and feed them into our resource circulation system for future vehicle production. This is an inspiring initiative that will make a real difference and help Kia increase the use of recycled plastic by 20 percent by 2030.”

As we know, working on the interior of a sustainable EV is just as important as working on the rest of the car. Thankfully, this is exactly what the Korean marque has done. Spearheading the developments on this front is Kia Hive, which is basically the nerdy green division that works at the automaker’s Sustainable Materials Research Institute. One of Kia Hive’s main objectives is to conduct research, whilst also sourcing, testing, and recommending materials that are both sustainable and safe for use in the company’s vehicles – something the EV6 clearly showcases. The all-new EV6 features many natural and recycled materials in its cabin. Interestingly, the EV6’s cabin makes use of the latest mushroom mycelium technology and completely any usage of harsh dyes.

Instead, the EV6’s interior makes generous use of natural and chemical-free alternatives such as recycled bottles and a vegan substitute instead of real leather. Moreover, boring recycled bottles are spun into yarn and repurposed, transforming them into a type of cloth and matting – these will initially only be seen in the Korean market. Thanks to these technologies, the Kia EV6 went on to become the first Korean vehicle to win the prestigious ‘product carbon footprint’ certification and 'Carbon Measured’ label from the Carbon Trust, which is quite noteworthy. As of now, Kia has successfully finished the EV6’s Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), an aspect that actively monitors emissions during a vehicle’s full lifecycle. Come 2023, the Kia EV9 is set to be introduced. The EV9 will be an all-electric SUV – something prospective EV buyers will be thrilled to learn about.

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kia | ev | ev9 electric

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