Kia plugs the electric EV6 into Sacramento at the California Capitol

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A Kia EV6, Kia’s new electric vehicle released earlier this year, stands in front of the California State Capitol for publicity purposes.

Automakers are promoting electric vehicles as an alternative to paying high gas prices and as a way to cut emissions, with another popping up Tuesday in Sacramento.

Kia showed off its EV6 parked on the steps of the California State Capitol on Tuesday. It is one of two electric cars made by Hyundai Motor Group, Kia’s parent company, which joins more than 30 electric vehicles on the market. Last week, Ford rolled out its F-150 Lightning to show Sacramentans what an electric pickup truck can do.

“Remember this day,” said James Bell, Kia communications manager. “Because when the history books are written 50 years from now, they’ll say, ‘Here’s a chapter on the year 2022 because of electric cars. “”

Kia officials said they were here to meet with lawmakers to talk emissions and production, and to take the opportunity to spotlight the compact crossover it introduced in 2021. It was named European car of the year 2022.

Bell said established car brands such as Kia are entering the electric car market, competing with companies such as Tesla and presenting a sign for the future of the auto industry. Electric cars are gaining popularity in California and the United States with growing concern over climate change and the cost of gasoline.

Until May this year, Hyundai has sold more than 20,000 of its two new electric models, the Ioniq 5 and EV6.

The EV6 can charge up to 80% in 18 minutes at public fast-charging stations and can travel 310 miles on a single charge. Bell said that’s a lot of mileage for the average American, who drives less than 40 miles a day according to the Federal Highway Administration.

At around $40,000, the car falls below the average electric vehicle cost of $54,000 and should save owners around $10,000 over five years in maintenance and gas costs compared to Kia’s non-electric car, the Sorento, according to Kia’s website. .

Bell said maintenance costs would be low because “electric cars don’t require a lot of work.” He said Kia will have a network of franchise dealerships to fix what little will need to be done, as “a lot of it connects to a computer system.”

Bell stressed that Kia’s goal was to design an innovative and interesting car rather than just an “electrified version of a basic sedan or something like that”.

“It runs without gas, like any electric car, but this one runs as good as it looks,” Bell said. “That’s the big difference.”

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Dante Motley is a summer reporting intern for The Sacramento Bee originally from Texas. He is a student at Yale University where he studies anthropology and writes for the Yale Daily News.

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