Kia Tells Us Its Seven-Year-Plan for Electric Vehicles

·3 min read
Photo credit: Kia Motors
Photo credit: Kia Motors

From Car and Driver

  • Kia has released details of its plan to become a leader in electric vehicles, promising to launch seven dedicated EVs by 2027, with 11 total EVs by 2025.

  • The company promised its first dedicated EV by the end of 2021 (Kia has previously sold EVs as variants of existing models).

  • Kia will partner with as-yet-unnamed charging infrastructure partners to increase the availability of EV chargers.

UPDATE 1/15/21: At a live event, Kia announced much of the information C/D had previously reported, but also that the company has changed its official name from "Kia Motors," to "Kia." Kia also now has a new logo to reflect its push toward electrification, a logo which will first appear on Kia's first dedicated electric vehicle set to be revealed in the first quarter of this year.

Kia Motors' president and CEO, Ho Sung Song, outlined the next six years of Kia's EV strategy at an event at the company's Hwasung plant in Korea today, and the company is promising big things. Kia already offers three electric vehicles (the Niro, Optima, and Soul EVs) and two plug-in hybrids (variants of the Niro and Optima), but now they're promising seven dedicated battery-electric models by the end of 2027, with the first to debut in 2021.

Though Song didn't use this event to expound on the that promised EV, some details slipped out this spring. The project, code-named CV, is expected to be an electric crossover and will probably share some DNA with the Imagine concept that Kia debuted at the 2019 Geneva auto show. The production car will ride on a platform shared with Rimac and should have more than 300 miles of range on a single charge and a 20-minute fast-charging time.

Photo credit: Kia Motors
Photo credit: Kia Motors

If the company is to meet its goal of launching 11 all-electric vehicles by 2025, they're likely planning to continue the practice of building EV variants of existing gas-powered vehicles. But keep in mind that not all those vehicles will necessarily make their way to the United States. Kia says they're focusing on building a range of EVs suitable to different purposes, some of which will likely be city cars without the long cruising ranges Americans prioritize.

Along with increasing the number of EVs in its product portfolio, Kia also intends for EV sales to grow to 25 percent of global sales by 2029. The company has sold 100,000 EVs to date, and expects consumer demand for electric vehicles to continue to rise over the next decade. EVs still make up only a small percentage of overall U.S. vehicle sales, and Kia won't tell how many of the Niros, Optimas, and Souls they sell are EVs. But Tesla has proven that demand for certain kinds of EVs exists, and global regulatory pressures in China and Europe may also help push consumers towards electric vehicles.

To make the switch easier for customers, Kia is promising to increase EV servicing and charging infrastructure at its dealerships first in Korea, then around the world. The company has announced a partnership with European charging infrastructure company Ionity, and is actively searching for infrastructure partners in the United States and China.

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