Kia Bongo 3 EV Is Part Pickup, Part Flatbed, All Adorable

2 years, 3 months ago - 7 March 2022, motor1
Kia Bongo
Kia Bongo
Kia's electric, commercial vehicle from South Korea goes 131 miles on a charge.

Electric pickups are a rapidly growing segment with entries like the Rivian R1T, Ford F-150 Lightning, GMC Hummer EV, and a whole lot more. You can add Kia to that list, assuming you're looking at the South Korean market. The Bongo 3 EV is a work truck with fold-down sides for the bed and a one-ton cargo capacity. Take a tour of the model with the Asian Petrolhead YouTube channel.

The Bongo 3 EV has an electric motor making 181 horsepower (135 kilowatts) and 291 pound-feet (395 Newton-meters). It has two batteries, which are visible from the outside of the truck, with a total capacity of 58.8 kilowatt-hours. The range in the South Korean evaluation is 131 miles (211 kilometers). Charging from 0 to 80 percent takes 54 minutes on a 100-kW fast charger.

Rather than driving the wheels directly, there's a drive shaft that sends the power to the rear wheels. At the back, there's a dual-wheel setup with a pair of tires that look tiny by American truck standards.

This is the higher trim version of the Bongo 3 EV, and it would have a base cost of around $36,000 in the US, according to the video's host. However, the South Korean government offers about $16,000 in incentives, which brings the actual purchase price down to around $20,000.

Inside, this Bongo 3 EV is brand new. In fact, there's still plastic covering the seats, steering wheel, and a lot more. The cabin isn't luxurious, which makes sense for a work vehicle, but it has modern tech like a touchscreen infotainment system.

An interesting quirk is that there's still the access area for engine underneath the passenger seat. With no powerplant, the only things easily visible down there are a coolant tank and radiator.

As you might guess by looking at the front overhang and passenger compartment, the Bongo 3 EV doesn't have a frunk. A small panel opens to reveal a storage spot for the jack and the windshield washer fluid reservoir.

Don't expect to see the Bongo 3 EV in the US anytime soon. However, a recent report indicates Kia is developing an electric pickup for this market, and it could arrive as soon as 2024.

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