Kia lays out EV plan; showcases two new EVs at 'EV day' in Korea

Gajanan Kashikar Published: October 13, 2023, 12:43 PM IST

South Korean automaker Kia Corporation recently held its first-ever Kia EV Day in Korea, where it previewed three new small- to medium-sized electric vehicles (EVs) as a part of its global strategy. At the event, the company presented its new vision, called "EVs for all" with a strategy to widen its battery electric offerings significantly and rapidly. Its aim is to achieve an annual sales target of one million EVs by 2026 and expand that to 1.6 million units per year by the end of this decade. Apart from the three new EV models, Kia laid out its plans to improve various customer services, including streamlining different functions into a single user-friendly smartphone app, introducing new services at their physical locations, and offering customers with in-car artificial intelligence (AI) services.

The global 'EV Day' of the brand showcased three new models, the all-new EV3 compact SUV concept and EV4 saloon along with the production spec EV5. Kia says that the EV3 concept promises to offer benefits of the EV9 in a smaller-sized compact SUV. On the other hand, the EV4 concept is an all-electric sedan with outlandish design. Unveiled in China as a concept, the EV5 was shown off in production form with a focus on millennial families.

New more affordable EVs line-up

In terms of its offerings, Kia has announced plans to develop a new EV line-up with prices ranging between $30,000 and $80,000, that consists of existing models, namely the EV6 and EV9, along with upcoming products specifically made for the B- and C-segments. Notably, it intends to introduce smaller EVs, such as the EV5, EV4, and EV3, with prices starting from $35,000 and going up to $50,000, in order to accelerate the adoption of EVs. For emerging electric vehicle markets with slower EV adoption rates, Kia will initially introduce the EV6 and EV9, followed by the EV5, EV4, and EV3.

The brand expects to have a total of eight global EV production plants by 2025. These facilities will oversee research, development, production, and supply, while Korea will serve as its hub. Kia will focus on making small and medium-sized EVs in Europe, whereas in China, the emphasis will be on mid to large-sized EVs. Above all, its specially developed electric cars for emerging markets will be manufactured in India. Not only that, it also plans to introduce a range of EVs in North America in response to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

Charging infrastructure

In North America, Kia will adopt the North American Charging Standard (NACS) for its EVs, starting from the fourth quarter of next year. As a result, Kia EV owners will gain access to around 12,000 Tesla Superchargers.

Further, with its coalition of six OEM groups, the carmaker aims to develop 30,000 fast-charging stations across North America by 2030, while in Europe, it has partnered with four OEM groups to form IONITY, setting up 2,800 fast-charging stations along key highways. It plans a total of 7,000 operational stations by 2025.

New Kia App

Besides that, the company will introduce the 'Kia App' in the first half of 2024 to offer customers a comprehensive and hassle-free experience, such as vehicle research and test drives, and contract finalisation, says Kia. Other features will include insurance premium discounts, 'E-routing' function that uses the current battery status to suggest the route accordingly, and location-based services, such as nearby restaurants.

Exclusive EV showrooms and AI

In addition, Kia plans to improve offline customer experiences to highlight the advantages of EV models. With its current 'Digital City Store' and 'EV Unplugged Ground' touchpoints in Korea, it aims to set up exclusive EV stores in the United States, Europe, China, and India. Kia will also adopt AI to offer services in the area of electric vehicle route optimisation, travel planning, entertainment, and emergency support. This AI tech will make its debut in the 2024 EV3, followed by the EV4 and EV5.

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