Kia updated us on the brand's future product planning and sustainable vision in March. The new plan expands on the previous Plan S strategy, calling for Kia to launch at least two new battery-electric vehicles per year, increasing the total to 14 EVs on sale by 2027 — not all available in the American market. Here's what we know so far.
Is Kia planning to go all-electric?
Not in the short or intermediate term. The brand has a product plan for 2030. But unlike luxury manufacturers like Mercedes and Lexus, it's not a plan to go all-electric. Kia wants 52% of its global sales to be eco-friendly (electric, PHEV or hybrid) by 2030. Kia expects that number to be about 78% in major markets like North America, Europe, China and Korea.
Does Kia have an EV sub-brand?
Yes. Many of Kia's new electric cars, particularly those running on Hyundai's new E-GMP platform, will carry straightforward "EV" alphanumeric branding. The number, EV6 or EV9 for example, will represent the vehicle's relative position in the lineup rather than a chronological release date.
Why would you buy a Kia EV instead of a Tesla?
Besides Kia producing better-looking cars? Charging. Hyundai's E-GMP platform vehicles are capable of both 800V and 400V fast-charging. Teslas only use 400V. The Kia EV6 can charge from 10-80% on a fast charger in only 18 minutes. Unlike Teslas, Kia's E-GMP EVs also have Ford F-150 Lightning-like vehicle-to-load functionality (V2L), allowing them to send power back out to devices, campsites, other EVs or even the home in the event of a blackout.
Current Kia Electric Cars for Sale in America
The Kia EV6 is Kia's first vehicle on the Hyundai group's electric-only E-GMP platform, also used for the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Genesis GV60. Kia calls it a "sports crossover." We'd also accept "station wagon." The EV6 reads like a smaller car with its sports car styling cues, but it's deceptively large with the same wheelbase as a Kia Telluride. It will carry a lot of water in the Kia EV lineup, serving as a 167-hp entry-level model, a 577-hp Porsche-killer and everything in between. Sporty and fun to drive, the Kia EV6 is our best electric car to buy in 2022.
Range: up to 310 miles
All 50 States: Yes
Starting Price: $40,900
Kia Niro EV
The Niro is a Kia compact crossover that slots between the Seltos and the Sportage. As you would anticipate, the Niro EV is an electric version — hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants are also available. It's all new for 2023 with styling cues from the HabaNiro concept. It offers front-wheel drive and 201 horsepower. It can charge from 10-80% in 45 minutes and does have V2L charging capability.
Range: up to 253 miles
All 50 States: Yes
Starting Price: $39,990
Future Kia Electric Cars
Kia has previewed the EV9 in concept form as a boxy flagship electric vehicle that will arrive in 2023. It should be the electric equivalent of the Telluride. It will accelerate from 0-60 mph in about five seconds, have a range of around 335 miles and add about 62 miles of range in six minutes when fast charging. Kia says it will feature over-the-air software updates and feature-on-demand services.
Kia Electric Pickups
Kia confirmed plans to build two electric pickups. The brand is calling one a "dedicated electric pickup," which should arrive sometime in 2024 or later and be built and available in the United States. The other will be a "strategic model for emerging markets."
Other Kia EVs
Kia mentioned that an entry-level battery-electric vehicle will be one of the 14 electric vehicles by 2027. There's no word yet about what that means or whether Kia will bring it to the American market.