South Korean car maker Kia has revealed its full plans to accelerate electric car sales growth in Europe, expanding on its “Plan S” first introduced in January.
January’s announcement included a target to sell 500,000 electric vehicles globally by 2026, by introducing 11 electric vehicles to gain a 6.6% global market share.
Today, Kia has officially announced that its 2026 goal for Europe is to sell more than 20% all-electric vehicles, starting with an ultra-fast charging, long-range crossover that Kia Motors Europe COO Emilio Herrera hinted at to Auto Express and which it will introduce to Europe in 2021.
With an optional 800 volt architecture for sub-20 minute charging time and a driving range now confirmed of more than 500km, this Taycan-rivalling EV, codenamed “Kia CV” and based on Kia’s Imagine concept, will not be the only electric car to enter the lucrative European market, Herrera has now also confirmed.
“Many of Kia’s new EVs will be offered in Europe, which is currently the focal point for EV sales growth worldwide,” said Herrera in a statement.
“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.”
A number of other electric vehicles will be offered from 2022 onwards, Kia says, and in addition to the the high-performance Kia CV, Kia will offer at least one other drivetrain for all its models, be it all-electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid.
The first of Kia’s next-generation electric cars will be constructed on a new platform that Kia says is “specifically engineered to accommodate the car’s world-leading EV powertrain and technologies.”
Kia already has two popular electric models, the e-Niro and e-Soul, which in Europe have gained Kia a 75% increase in electric car sales to 6,811 units in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.
Both were slated for Australia but a local release has now been put on hold due to demand and the need to meet CO2 regulations in Europe as well as other regions.
This is a shame, because Kia will in coming models offer both 400 volt and 800 volt architectures, giving drivers the choice between a cheaper electric vehicle that takes longer to charge or a more expensive one that can charge faster.
“We want to provide European customers with the best possible value for their money, something that we are committed to with every new car,” said Pablo Martinez Masip, director of product planning and pricing for Kia Motors Europe, in a statement.
“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.”
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Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.