Last year, Kia joined the chorus of other major automakers with its announcement of plans to shift to EVs over the next several years.
The Korean company has built a few EV models over the last few model years, and the new Kia EV6 just landed with great reviews. Now, Kia is saying it is accelerating plans to develop new electric cars, which will include a rapid release roadmap starting next year.
Kia says it will release two new EVs a year starting in 2023, and notes it will build a full line of 14 EVs by 2027. This statement marks a more ambitious plan for the Korean automaker, as it initially stated a goal of 11 EV models by 2026.
Though it's just a small statement buried in the Kia press release, a big piece of news is that Kia will build two electric pickup trucks in the coming years, with an entry-level model slated for emerging markets.
But first, the Kia EV9
The Kia EV6 is now hitting the streets and the new EV9 SUV isn't far off. The latter vehicle will debut in 2023, and will bring over-the-air updates to a Kia for the first time, as well as feature-on-demand services that will allow customers to purchase additional functionality for their vehicles.
Kia says the EV9 will also be its first vehicle equipped with an advanced driving system that offers limited autonomous driving capabilities.
It'll be stuffed to the rafters with tech as well, with features including an ultra-wide display up-front, a 'digital tiger face' grille and something it's calling 'Smart Glass' to name but a few.
Kia claims the the EV9 will offer an all-electric range of up to 540km (~335 miles), and a sub-six second 0-60mph time.
Kia's big EV play
Kia views the EV9 and EV6 as major drivers of its EV shift. The company's aim is to increase from 160,000 EV sales in 2022 to 807,000 units in 2026 and 1.2 million by 2030. That's a 36 percent increase from the original targets Kia laid out last year.
More than 80 percent of EV sales for the company will come from Korea, North America, Europe, and China, and Kia says it expects 45 percent of sales to come from those regions.
Kia's plans aren't out of line with the rest of the industry, and are in fact more ambitious than many.
The automaker has proven its mettle in the EV game with the EV6, which is surprisingly upscale and sharply styled. It's also competitively priced, especially compared to stalwart EVs like the Tesla Model 3, and the larger EV9 promises more of the same.
It's never been a better time to be an EV buyer and the situation will only get better as time goes on.
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After working in the technology and software industry for several years, Chris began writing as a way to help people outside of that world understand the sometimes very technical work that goes on behind the scenes. With a lifelong love of all things automotive, Chris turned his attention to writing new vehicle reviews, detailing industry trends, and breaking news. Along the way, he earned an MBA with a focus on data analysis that has helped him gain a strong understanding of why the auto industry’s biggest companies make the decisions they do.
- John McCannGlobal Managing Editor