As we know, the mini city segment is in danger, due to harsher environmental standards which undermine their main asset: their price, often very low. To pass the hard step of the new CO2 limit without incident, a brand like Kia could be “forced” to switch to electric on its Picanto.
The main advantage of a mini city car, beyond being very comfortable in the city, is its price. But with the arrival of new strict limitations in terms of CO2 and nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions, city dwellers will have to follow suit and get up to date. Problem: this will undermine their main selling point, and their competitiveness, so that some may approach prices in the upper segment.
To avoid their extinction, manufacturers will therefore have no choice: it will go through electricity. Kia Europe’s operations manager recognizes that “sooner or later, we (Kia) will have to do it” (Source: Automotive News). Namely converting the Picanto, the Korean city car, to electric, even if it represents an “immense challenge” according to Kia for such a small car.
Kia would thus follow the Volkswagen group which now relies on exclusively electric city cars with the Volkswagen e-Up !, Seat Mii and Skoda Citigo e iV. Kia, for its part, however, believes that the ecological bonuses will not last long, and that they will jump as soon as the sales of electrics really start to weigh, that is within five years.
And there, manufacturers will no longer be able to count on large state discounts to sell cars that will have to be sold at their real profitability price.