This Rising Star of a Brand Is Planning an Onslaught of Electric Cars

Kia has just rebranded, and has several all-new electric cars in the pipeline.

kia imagine concept

With potential combustion bans in Europe and more eco-minded U.S. states being a matter of when not if, but "when," —and in many cases happening in the next 10 years —automakers are quickly converting their fleets to electric vehicles quickly. The latest contender: Kia, which is planning a wide range of electric vehicles for the next six years.

Kia has a name for the strategy: "Plan S." The brand will launch seven all-new Kia EVs, to join the two already on the market by 2027. (Perhaps not surprisingly, that's not so dissimilar from sister brand Hyundai's plans for its own Ioniq EV sub-brand.)

The first new EV, debuting in the next few months, will be a crossover influenced by Kia's 2019 Imagine concept; that'll be followed by the likes of a compact car, a boxy SUV, a sedan and an "agile and dynamic machine," as the brand put it. It's all part of a master plan to sell 500,000 EVs per year by 2025.

Kia will reportedly use Hyundai's E-GMP platform for the midsize and larger vehicles, and is working with boxy van-building EV startup Canoo on a low-cost skateboard platform for smaller vehicles. Kia will use either 400-volt or 800-volt electrical systems, depending on the vehicle.

The company's plans for Europe and the U.S. won't completely overlap. After all, Kia notably opted not to bring the new, World Urban Car of the Year-winning Soul EV to the United States. Much of the brand's success stateside has been with combustion SUVs like the Telluride three-row SUV. However, changes are happening in the U.S. too; Kia just launched the new Sorento SUV, with a 37-mpg hybrid version and an upcoming plug-in hybrid option.

Kia also rebranded this month, changing its official motto to "movement that inspires" and excising "Motors" from its corporate name. So expect to see some exciting new electric news on the American front. Here's hoping the future will bring a more efficient Telluride.


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