Kia in a presentation held on Thursday outlined an ambitious electric-vehicle program for the coming decade.
The Korean automaker said it plans to have a EV lineup consisting of 14 vehicles by 2027 and annual sales of EVs totaling 1.2 million vehicles by 2030, or about 30% of its total estimated sales. There will be at least two EVs launched per year from 2023 through to the end of 2027, Kia said.
The announcement came a day after fellow Hyundai Motor Group brands Hyundai and Genesis outlined some of their EV plans, including a next-generation EV platform that will standardize batteries, motors and some chassis components. Hyundai will add 11 new EVs by 2030 while Genesis will add six by the same date.
Kia didn't confirm any specific models, apart from the EV9 SUV previewed in concept form at the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show. However, the automaker said that all of its battery-powered vehicles will have a GT performance option, like the EV6 GT which spits out a healthy 576 hp.
2022 Kia EV6
Kia also said it will launch two electric pickup trucks, one of which will be for emerging markets. And at least one of the pickups will be built in the U.S. There will also be an affordable vehicle, though no further details were provided. We're guessing a minicar or subcompact.
The EV9 will serve as Kia's flagship. As such, it will be first to feature new technologies for the brand like over-the-air updates and a new suite of self-driving features grouped under the label AutoMode. The features in AutoMode will be updated over time as Kia's self-driving systems improve. We're told one of the features will be a Highway Driving Pilot that will enable unsupervised travel on some highways. Kia also plans “feature-on-demand” functionality, where features and services can be downloaded to the vehicle after purchase.
The EV9 will stretch about 196.85 inches in length, making it the same size the mid-size Kia Telluride, and it will have the ability to sprint from 0-62 mph in five seconds.
Finally, Kia also said it will start introducing purpose-built vehicles from 2025, and aims to be the leading brand for such vehicles by 2030. These are specialized vehicles designed to meet a customer's specific needs, such as delivery vans or shuttles. Kia said one the vehicles will be a version of the Niro crossover designed for taxi services. There will also be dedicated purpose-built vehicles that Kia will develop using a skateboard-style EV platform.