Kia has confirmed it will release its first dedicated battery-electric vehicle (EV) next year, with the model to be a new crossover that “blurs the boundaries” between a traditional passenger car and a fashionable SUV.
The crossover will be followed by more new EV models from 2022, including passenger cars, SUVs and people movers, ultimately expanding Kia’s zero-emissions line-up to 11 vehicles by 2025.
The South Korean carmaker currently has two EV models on sale, the Soul EV wagon and e-Niro SUV, both of which are yet to launch in Australia due to high global demand prompting markets with strict emissions regulations already in place to be prioritised.
These so-called developed markets, including North America and Europe, will receive the full EV line-up, with zero-emissions vehicles to account for about 20 per cent of their combined sales by 2026.
Either way, Kia is promising the new crossover will have a driving range of more than 500 kilometres and a DC charging time of less than 20 minutes – marks the Soul EV and e-Niro don’t come close to matching.
The latter is no doubt enabled by the brand’s 800V EV architecture, which significantly reduces charging times in “high-performance dedicated models”.
That said, Kia is also developing a 400V EV architecture for “derivative models with reasonable pricing”, ensuring “diverse” customer requirements are met.
All of the new EV models will offer a “differentiated product appeal, such as an EV-specialised design, user experience and quality,” according to Kia.