The Hyundai Motor Group has big plans to electrify its line-up during the coming decade, and officials with its Kia brand this week outlined an aggressive rollout schedule that will see it bring 11 EVs to market by 2025, including seven on electric-only platforms.
U.S. buyers already have access to two Kia EVs, versions of the Soul and Niro models – with a battery-electric Optima available elsewhere. The first dedicated EV will arrive next year, Kia Motors President and CEO Ho Sung Song revealed this week during a presentation at the company’s Hwasung plant in Korea.
Specific details were not announced but the CEO but the vehicle, codenamed CV, is expected to be a crossover and, according to various sources, will be strongly influenced by the coupe/crossover Kia Imagine concept that debuted at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.
(Kia caught testing flagship all-electric Imagine SUV.)
One of the more significant details is that the underlying platform is being developed jointly with Rimac, the Croatian EV manufacturer best known for its electric supercar, the C_Two.
According to several reports, the CV will emphasize performance as much as range – one of the key reasons parent Hyundai Motor Group partnered with Rimac in the first place.
But it is still expected to deliver around 300 miles and be able to recharge in as little as 20 minutes, suggesting that it will be using an 800-volt architecture, much like the Porsche Taycan, and be capable of plugging into the most advanced 350 kilowatt public charging stations.
The underlying platform, dubbed E-GMP, or Electric Global Modular Platform, will be used for a variety of products sold by Kia and sibling brands Hyundai and upscale Genesis, which will use it for its own crossover due out by 2023, sources told TheDetroitBureau.com earlier this year.
But Kia will use several different platforms for different products targeting different markets and market segments.
(Imagine that! Kia stretches its imagination with Geneva battery-car concept.)
“Kia is planning to respond to market demands by offering diversified product types, with a range of models suitable for urban centers, long-range journeys, and performance driving,” the automaker said in a statement.
Kia first entered the battery-car market in 2011 with a minicar dubbed the Ray EV. It has since sold more than 100,000, primarily the Soul and Niro models. Both are offered with different drivetrain options, Soul in both gas and all-electric configurations, the Niro as both a plug-in hybrid and an all-electric model. That approach offers buyers flexibility but also requires compromises in terms of packaging, among other things.
The Korean carmaker’s dedicated BEVs are all expected to rely on a skateboard-style platform like the E-GMP, with batteries, motors and other components mounted under the load floor. That will permit what Kia is describing as best-in-class interior space for the CV model.
All three of the Group brands expect to have a significant portion of their sales go all-electric in the years ahead. Kia, for one, wants BEVs to account for 20% of its global volume by 2025. Hyundai, meanwhile, last month announced it will launch the new, all-electric Ioniq sub-brand. That picks up the name of a current model that, like the Kia Niro, is offered with multiple powertrain options including a PHEV and BEV.
(Kia HabaNiro offers hint of brand’s future EV strategy.)
The Hyundai brand wants to be selling 1 million all-electric vehicles by 2025. By then, the Group is targeting having 23 pure electric vehicles on the road through its various brands.