Kia's electric strategy is more ambitious than we thought.
Kia is undergoing a radical transformation right now. At the start of 2021, the Korean automaker revealed its new corporate logo, signifying the start of a new electric era for the brand. Last month, Kia teased nine new electric models launching over the next few years, starting with an electric crossover codenamed the CV debuting this month with bold styling inspired by the stunning Imagine Concept.
Kia's new electric family will adopt a simplified naming convention from EV 1 to EV 9. During its 2021 CEO Investor Day held in Seoul, Kia's CEO, Ho Sung Song, has outlined an ambitious update to the company's "Plan S" business strategy transitioning from combustion engines to electrification.
"Kia is being reborn in 2021 with a new logo, new design, and new corporate name," said President Song. "Kia will transform into a brand that excites and inspires customers with innovative mobility experiences." Kia says its new strategy is underpinned by three core pillars: advancing electric vehicle (EV) transition, strengthening purpose-built vehicle (PBV) business, and expanding future mobility services.
By 2030, Kia wants EVs, HEVs and PHEVs to make up 40 percent of all sales, with an annual sales target of 1.6 million units. Out of these, Kia aims to increase EV sales to 880,000 units in 2030 and become one of the leading electric car makers. Kia's first dedicated EV will launch later this year. By 2026, the Korean automaker will launch 11 new fully electric models. This has changed from Kia's original plan to launch seven new EVs by 2027, which was already an ambitious target.
Seven of these new models launching by 2026 will be dedicated EVs built on the Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) platform, while the other four will be based on existing models like the Soul EV. Kia claims the EVs built on E-GMP will set new benchmarks in electric driving range, performance, interior space, and technology. Kia's first EV will feature Level 2 semi-autonomous driving technology, which will be upgraded to Level 3 in Kia EVs from 2023.
In addition, Kia will unveil its first purpose-built vehicle in 2022, with further PBVs to be launched "according to market needs". To become a world leader in PBVs, the Korean automaker aims to sell one million units by 2030 and will develop a "variety of specialized vehicles" based on PBV-dedicated skateboard platforms.
As for mobility solutions, Kia will expand its current car-sharing services in Europe and launch a global version of the 'Kia Flex' subscription service later this year under the new name 'Kia Subscription.' Kia will also launch a new EV-based service operated by Sixt Leasing combining subscription and car-sharing, enabling vehicles to be used for business on weekdays and rented by individuals on weekends, but didn't specify when the service will launch.
Factoring in the increased demand for EVs, Kia is confident it can increase its 2021 global sales to 2,922,000 units, an increase of 12.1 percent compared to 2020.