Do you have a plan for the next six years and what you want to accomplish professionally and personally? Song Ho-Sung, the president and CEO of Kia, certainly does. Song is planning an epic transformation of the brand that will position Kia to lead the EV segment and ultimately transition your local Kia dealer into a revolutionary electric car dealer that will be home to a new lineup of EVs. Kia’s future is electrified, and it starts right here, right now.
And So It Begins: Plan S
Selling over 100,000 EVs worldwide since 2011, Kia isn’t new to the EV segment and continues to offer a healthy selection of hybrids and EVs like the Niro Plug-In Hybrid, Niro EV, and Sorento Hybrid. However, the South Korean automaker is demanding and delivering more – more innovation and more ingenuity. This demand is outlined in Kia’s Plan S strategy that promises 11 new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) by 2025, positioning Kia to lead the global EV market.
Practically speaking, 11 new vehicles in the next six years seems drastic, and that leads many to suspect that a portion of these EVs will be variants of Kia’s most popular models, as we see with the Sorento Hybrid. This makes sense, especially when you consider the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Models like the Sportage and Telluride have already established themselves in Kia’s lineup, which means their BEV counterparts will likely fare just as well while offering greater efficiency and a suite of new, innovative technology.
Beyond building on its current lineup, Kia’s 11-vehicle promise isn’t limited to the American market. Kia’s plan is to lead the global EV market, which means the automaker has to focus on other regions as well. This means that Americans won’t see 11 new Kia EVs in the next six years; however, this isn’t to say that the EVs offered in Europe, China, and elsewhere won’t eventually make their way to American dealerships. So, what does this mean now for American drivers?
Planting Its Roots in America: The 2022 EV6
While Kia’s Plan S strategy is global, its roots start here in America with the 2022 EV6. Built on Kia’s revolutionary electric platform, the EV6 boasts a futuristic design that sets the stage for what we can expect from Kia’s future EV lineup. And, when you look at the EV6 and consider that Kia’s innovation will only get better with time, that future looks incredibly bright.
Kia’s new E-GMP platform is at the core of the EV6 and relies on a high-strength steel frame that’s stronger yet also lighter than ever before. This provides even better stability and handling, both of which are vital since the EV6 promises a 265-mile range, 320 horsepower, and 446 lb-ft of torque, with a launch from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds. This already makes it faster than the Porsche Cayenne, but that’s only the initial model! The upcoming EV6 GT variant is truly astonishing with its projected 576 horsepower and 3.5-second launch from 0 to 60 mph. Needless to say, if you have a need for speed, the EV6 can answer the call.
Beyond its capability and jaw-dropping power, the EV6 also reveals Kia’s commitment to revolutionize EV charging. Kia’s goal is simple – for drivers to spend more time behind the wheel and less time at the charging station. The EV6 certainly makes this possible and is equipped with the world’s first multi-charging system that readies it for both 400-volt and 800-volt ultra-fast charging. This means the EV6 can go from 10 percent to 80 percent battery (adding 210 miles of range) in less than 18 minutes. That’s more time for adventure.
The EV6’s ultra-fast charging capability will set a new standard in the industry, as will the ability to use the crossover as a power source. This isn’t a new concept and is actually one of the selling points of the 2022 Ford F-150 Lighting, which you can use to power your home for up to 96 hours. However, it is revolutionary in a crossover and extends the EV6’s practicality and versatility, both at home and on the road. You can also use the car’s 110-volt power outlet in the second row to power tools, computers, and camping gear or share the EV6’s battery power with another EV for vehicle-to-vehicle charging, the latter of which is something automakers like Jeep are only now considering for future EVs.
Kia’s Future in the EV Segment
The 2022 EV6 sets the stage for Kia’s future in the EV segment, and upcoming Kia models will share the same naming scheme (prototypes of the EV4 small SUV and EV8 large SUV have already been spotted). The EV6 also introduces the E-GMP platform and the capability that drivers can expect from future models. If the EV6 is faster than the Porsche Cayenne, then it can only get better from there, right?
Kia delivers even more than speed. The automaker promises that its EV lineup will meet a variety of demands, whether drivers are looking for an EV to navigate busy urban centers and their daily commutes, answer their need for speed and effortless performance, or efficiently fuel their need for adventure. Kia describes these future EV models as a “fun and practical commuter,” a “strong and bold SUV,” an “agile and dynamic machine” that could mimic the Stinger, and a “long and elegant sedan.” Kia’s plans for the future, however, don’t stop there as the automaker also teases concept vehicles dubbed “Purpose Built Vehicles” that include a micro-pod, a midsize commuter pod, and a drone-type module.
What does this mean for American drivers? It means more versatility in the EV segment and a future that’s marked by innovation that could easily transform how we travel from Point A to Point B. EVs are no longer limited to efficient sedans that are ideal for commuters. Instead, Kia is proving that EVs can be adventurous and performance-driven speed demons. They can also be autonomous modules that require little input from drivers, navigating roadways entirely on their own and forever changing how we travel.
Along with this diversity, Kia will pivot to meet a new set of demands from EV customers and mirror the growing popularity of subscription-based services that simplify life in America. EVs don’t require the same routine maintenance as gas-powered vehicles, which means EV drivers must focus on battery life and sustainability. Kia’s answer is to offer a diverse set of buying options that will include EV battery leasing, rental options, and subscription programs, all of which are designed to make owning an EV more convenient and more accessible.
This convenience extends even further worldwide as Kia will expand its electric charging infrastructure to support its expanding EV lineup and the hundreds of thousands of EV customers. This expansion will make it easier to charge Kia EVs and enable dealerships and service centers to better serve customers. To do this, Kia will supply thousands of EV chargers to dealerships and service centers worldwide, along with expanding its charging infrastructure and leveraging new charging technology with international leaders in EV technology.
The Future Is Here
When you close your eyes and imagine your life six years from now, can you picture yourself behind the wheel of a Kia EV? Instead of stopping to refuel on your journey out of town, you’ll spend a few minutes at an ultra-fast charging station where you’ll quickly top off your battery and then get back on the road. You’ll have more time, more money, and more possibilities for adventure.
Kia started laying the groundwork for this future in 2020 when it announced its six-year plan to debut 11 new EVs worldwide. This plan officially begins with the 2022 EV6, a stunning and sophisticated crossover that looks the part of a futuristic EV with its sleek lines and stunning capability. Faster than the Porsche Cayenne, the EV6 proves that the future is here in the Kia lineup, and it’s truly remarkable.