Kia plans to expand its lineup of all-electric vehicles over the next few years as it pushes toward becoming a sustainable mobility leader. Despite releasing its first three-row electric SUV, Kia plans to downsize with smaller models, including an entry-level EV and an electric crossover.
Kia steps into the electric era
After what many consider a successful introduction to the EV market with its first dedicated electric car, the EV6, Kia recently revealed it was planning to accelerate its strategy.
Kia revealed the EV6 crossover, based on the Hyundai Motor Group’s E-GMP architecture (the same used for the IONIQ 5 and IONIQ 6), last May and has continued to receive praise from buyers and auto journalists. Steven Center, COO and EVP of Kia America, said:
The all-electric EV6 delivers on the matters that make an EV rise to the top of the class, such as a starting MSRP under $50,000, an EPA estimated range of 310 miles of all electric range, in its Wind and GT-Line RWD trims as well as numerous other characteristics that make it desirable to own.
The South Korean automaker unveiled its flagship EV9, its first three-row electric SUV, in March in a push to grab its share of the booming premium SUV market.
Kia began deliveries of the new electric SUV Monday in South Korea with plans for it to go on sale in the US by the end of the year.
However, this is just the beginning for Kia. David Hilbert, marketing director for Kia Europe, told Autocar the brand would “have coverage in all major segments,” hinting at models between the EV1 and EV9.
Kia plans new entry-level EV and electric crossover
We have already seen a glimpse of some of the smaller electric models Kia plans to offer. Earlier this year, Kia revealed its EV5 SUV concept, which will sit between the Niro EV and EV6 in the automaker’s lineup.
Kia says the production version will be launched later this year in China and will later be available in Europe. It’s expected to play a key role alongside the EV6 to drive market share in China.
Meanwhile, Kia is looking even smaller, something such as a Jeep Avenger rival that could be called the EV3. Hilbert mentioned the B-segment SUV market is “the largest segment in Europe,” making it a key area of focus.
The Hyundai Motor Group, Kia’s parent company, is already developing a successor for the E-GMP platform, which could house smaller EV models.
The first EV to ride on Hyundai’s next-gen “eM” platform is reportedly a Kia electric sports car, codenamed GT1. Hyundai has previously said the platform is being “specifically developed for EVs across all segments” while enhancing range by up to 50%.
With plans to build “small and mid-size EVs” from 2025 at its Slovakia factory (where the Kia Creed and Sportage are made), the EV5 could be a match.
Hilbert claims the brand plans to offer hatches and sedans in the future, claiming “all the major segments will be covered in some form [by 2027].” Kia is also committed to the A-segment, suggesting an entry-level EV is in the works that could rival Volkswagen’s upcoming ID 2all affordable EV.
There’s been a wave of automakers targeting the entry-level affordable EV segment. Volkswagen teased the idea, releasing the ID2 all-concept earlier this year with nearly 300 miles (450 km) of range.
CEO of Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Thomas Shafer, explained, “The ID 2all shows where we want to take the brand,” adding, “We are implementing the transformation at pace to bring electric mobility to the masses.”
Stellantis also recently revealed it would release an entry-level EV starting at around $27,000 (€25,000), the Citroën e-C3 city car.
Kia seems to be the next in line as the need for affordable EV options continues rising in key markets globally.
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.