First Ev-only Kia model due 2019
KIA IS PLOTTING a new standalone electric model that will be shown next year and follow in the footsteps of the Soul EV and recently revealed Niro EV.
Until now, the Korean car maker has only introduced electric powertrains as variants of existing models but the brand is set to branch out with a stand-alone model in the vein of the Volkswagen ID family of electric cars.
Design boss Gregory Guillaume said: “There is definitely room for a standalone EV.” He also said we will “see it next year, perhaps”.
Guillaume said that it has been very difficult to justify the development costs of a separate electric model in the formative years of electric motoring, but he considers that the turning point has arrived for battery-powered vehicles.
The new Kia EV is most likely to be an SUV because of that bodystyle’s massive popularity with the buying public. “An SUV makes sense if that’s what people want,” said Guillaume.
The car will be recognisable as a Kia, he said, but also usher in a “new era of Kia vehicles”.
However, the car maker won’t create a separate brand for its zero-emissions models, such as Volkswagen has done with ID and Mercedes-benz with EQ. “A brand like Kia is still quite young, so I’d question whether it makes sense to do a spin-off brand,” he said.
Guillaume said he sees EVS as a “clean sheet of paper and an opportunity to do something you haven’t done before”.
Based on the Niro EV, which goes on sale in 2019, the planned stand-alone model will be capable of 298 miles of range on a single charge, the same range claimed by the Jaguar I-pace. This range also marginally outstrips the Kia’s smaller sibling, the Hyundai Kona EV, which promises 292 miles.
Kia plans to launch 31 electrified vehicles by 2020. Some will use a mild-hybrid diesel powertrain, which makes its debut on the new facelifted Sportage and will later be introduced on the Ceed.
New Kia will use tech of Niro EV (pictured) for a 298-mile range