Kia to have 11 EV models by 2026

Posted on : 2021-02-10 18:13 KST Modified on : 2021-02-10 18:15 KST
"Announcement includes no mention of Apple collaboration"
Kia President Song Ho-sung delivers a presentation at a “CEO Investor Day” event on Feb. 9. (courtesy of Kia)
Kia President Song Ho-sung delivers a presentation at a “CEO Investor Day” event on Feb. 9. (courtesy of Kia)

Kia plans to have 11 electric vehicle (EV) models by 2026, pushing back its target date by a year from what was announced in the automaker’s original plan last year.

On Feb. 9, Kia announced its “Plan S” at a “CEO Investor Day” event on YouTube. Plan S is an intermediate- to long-term strategy focusing on EVs and purpose-built vehicles (PBVs). The latest version has been amended from an initial announcement in Jan. 2020.

Kia’s EV transition is set to enter full swing this year. In July, it plans to launch the CV, its first new model based on the E-GMP dedicated EV platform. Its dedicated EVs are expected to considerably improve performance compared to existing ones using an internal combustion engine vehicle (ICEV) platform.

Kia has announced that the CV runs for over 500km on a single charge and can travel for 100km on a four-minute charge.

In the longer term, the company plans to market over 880,000 purely electric vehicles per year through 2030. It also plans to develop a line of 11 EV models — seven of them EV-only — through 2026.

In last year’s Plan S, Kia said it would have 11 EV models by 2025. While projected global EV demand has risen since the eruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kia has moved in the opposite direction by slowing its pace.

“The overall schedule has been delayed by one year amid adjustments to our dedicated EV release plan,” a Kia official explained. No mention was made on Feb. 9 of the original target sales of 500,000 EVs by 2026.

A PBV push is poised to begin next year. The focus will be on expanding beyond the existing standardized vehicle types to produce vehicles customized for different purposes, including distribution and taxi services. Kia’s aim is to rank first in the world with annual PBV sales of over one million vehicles by 2030.

Kia’s first PBV model is to be the PBV01 taxi, scheduled for launch next year.

Kia has announced the goal of selling over 2,292,000 vehicles this year — 12.0% more than last year and 3.6% more than in 2019. It has also set targets of 65.6 trillion won (US$59 billion) in sales and 3.5 trillion won (US$3.15 billion) in operating profits. These numbers are respectively 10.8% and 70.1% higher than the automaker’s performance last year.

The announcement did not include any mention of the Apple Car issue. Previously, Kia announced that it was “not going forward” with discussions with Apple on autonomous vehicle (AV) development.

Kia shares finished the day at 84,900 won (US$76.36), down 1.6% from the day before.

By Lee Jae-yeon, staff reporter

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