Kia Electric Car Lineup Unveils New Effort to Become Leading BEV Brand

Jack R. Nerad | Sep 16, 2020

Kia Motors Corporation has revealed an ambitious plan to make battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) account for a quarter of its global sales by 2030. A rendering depicting seven futuristic electric car and SUV models hints at what's to come as Kia executes on its future EV product strategy. Kia President and CEO Ho Sung Song presented the latest information about the automaker's bold effort to transform its business model and brand image during an event at its Hwasung plant in Korea. 

Kia Electric Vehicle Lineup

"Kia has sold more than 100,000 BEVs worldwide since the introduction of our first mass-produced BEV in 2011, the Kia Ray EV," said Song. "Since then, we have started to introduce a range of new BEVs for global markets and announced plans to accelerate this process in the years ahead. By refocusing our business on electrification, we are aiming for BEVs to account for 25% of our total worldwide sales by 2029."

Plan S Electric Vehicle Strategy

Earlier this year, Kia announced its "Plan S" strategy that includes the expansion of its BEV lineup to 11 models by 2025. In the next half-decade, Kia aims for BEVs to account for 20% of its total vehicle sales in mature markets that include Korea, North America, and Europe. All seven BEVs depicted in the just-revealed rendering will be launched by 2027.

Kia's BEV effort will likely dovetail with corporate partner Hyundai's recently announced Ioniq electric vehicle sub-brand. Hyundai is planning to introduce three new BEVs by 2025 to capture 10% of the global EV market share. There is a strong likelihood that the Kia and Hyundai BEVs will share platforms and technologies.

The first of the upcoming Kia BEVs, code-named CV, will be revealed next year and is destined for many markets worldwide. Kia says the new model will offer "the same competitive product quality and eye-catching design" as other Kia vehicles and claims the new model will provide high-performance driving and recharging capabilities.

Variety of EV Models

Kia has made it clear that it expects to launch BEV models with varied characteristics to serve the diverse needs of vehicle-buying consumers. Individual models designed for urban use, cross-country travel, and performance driving will be part of its BEV portfolio. Kia will adapt its new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) to create several separate models, and Hyundai is also expected to use this platform. 

Beyond the vehicles themselves, Kia also plans to change the BEV sales and ownership experience and to help develop EV infrastructure in a number of the world's markets. Among its initiatives on the ownership side is the exploration of subscription services to offer a new vehicle-acquisition option for customers, as well as EV battery leasing and rental programs. 

Kia is aware that BEVs require new infrastructure, most importantly charging stations at strategic locations and in sufficient numbers in the markets it serves. In addition to a significant effort in its home market of Korea, Kia says it will establish 500 charging stations in North America and more than 2,400 in Europe, partnering with its dealers in those regions.

The information in this article is from Kia. It was accurate on September 16, 2020, but may have changed since that date.

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