Kia is making a significant shift towards electric vehicles (EVs) with a new electrification strategy that includes the launch of an all-new model in Europe next year.
The Korean brand is planning to introduce 11 new EVs globally by 2025, with dedicated models for the European market.
The first of Kia’s next-generation EVs will be introduced to Europe in 2021, constructed on a platform specifically engineered to accommodate an EV powertrain.
It will offer a sporty crossover design, a range of more than 300 miles and a sub-20 minute charging time.
Kia showcased the Imagine concept at the 2019 Geneva motor show, it is likely the new model will share a similar design.
The car is being billed as a Porsche Taycan rival, taking the place as the brand’s halo model and setting the scene for a whole range of affordable EVs.
Currently, the brand offers the e-Niro, which was named Best Zero Emission Car at the 2020 Fleet News Awards, and the Kia Soul EV which is due to arrive in the UK this Summer.
Emilio Herrera, chief operating officer for Kia Motors Europe, said: “Many of Kia’s new EVs will be offered in Europe, which is currently the focal point for EV sales growth worldwide. We are encouraged by the early sales success of our current generation of EVs, the new e-Niro and Soul EV, which have been well-received by buyers across the continent. In every one of the last five years, we have reported growing sales of Kia EVs, and our next-generation models will accelerate this trend further.”
Every new model line due to launch in Europe from now on will offer at least one variety of electrified (mild-hybrid, full-hybrid, plug-in hybrid or electric) powertrain, according to Kia.
Its EV focus is already achieving strong results in Europe. In the first quarter of 2020, sales of new EVs grew by 75% compared with the first quarter of 2019, to 6,811 units.
Zero emission vehicles now account for 6% of Kia’s total European sales.
By 2026, the brand hope 26% of its European sales will be electric vehicles.
Several zero-emission vehicles will be introduced from 2022 onwards, with their own EV-specific designs and a new user experience designed to make them easier to live with day-to-day.
Kia said its new EVs will offer either 400V or 800V charging capacity, enabling fast or rapid charging depending on the different types of buyer for individual model lines.
Pablo Martinez Masip, director product planning and pricing for Kia Motors Europe, said: “We want to provide European customers with the best possible value for their money, something that we are committed to with every new car. This means that certain models, particularly those aimed at more cost-conscious buyers, will offer 400V charging capability. 800V charging won’t simply be reserved for Kia’s flagship models, however, but where it most closely matches the usage profile of a particular model line.
“Both systems can be charged at home or in public, with 800V rapid charging enhancing usability in models driven by customers who may rely on high-voltage rapid charging more often or drive higher mileages. 400V charging, as already found in the award-winning e-Niro and Soul EV, also enables rapid charging and will remain relevant for many customers who have greater flexibility about where and when they recharge. We will cater for all needs.”