The Korean carmaker is investing heavily in EVs with 11 models planned by 2025.
At the start of the new decade, the Hyundai Motor Group revealed its plans for an electric onslaught, increasing its current portfolio of 24 electrified vehicles (either hybrid or fully electric) to 44 hybrid and electric vehicles by 2025. Of course, that figure also includes Kia vehicles, as both South Korean brands fall under the Hyundai umbrella; but we now know when we can expect the first dedicated EV from Kia.
According to Kia, its Plan S portfolio will include 11 electric vehicles by the year 2025, with the manufacturer targeting a 6.6% global EV market share. In order to do this, the brand's first dedicated EV model will be launched to the world in 2021. Unlike the Kia Niro EV and Kia Soul EV, the new model will not just be an electric variant with other hybrid and non-electric models as part of the same model range.
At present, Kia offers several battery electric vehicles, including the Niro EV and the forthcoming Kia Soul EV - despite the latter's arrival being pushed back to 2021. However, the Niro makes up a very small percentage of Kia's sales; in 2019 just 24,421 Niros were sold - and that includes the hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants too - compared to 89,278 Sportages and 98,033 Kia Souls over the same period.
The carmaker plans to change all this, though, and by the end of 2025 Kia wants 25% of its sales to be made up of eco-friendly vehicles with 20% of total sales made up of pure EVs. Globally (excluding the Chinese market), the brand is eyeing a sales target of half a million EVs by 2026 and 1 million eco-friendly vehicles at the same point in time.
Kia is likely to employ the use of newly developed platforms for the electric onslaught, but to ease the burden, the brand will simultaneously offer EV derivatives of non-electric models - as is the case with the recently confirmed Sorento EV - and hybrid vehicle ranges like the Niro.
To this end, Kia Motors will invest a total of US $25 billion in Plan S and the development of future EVs, with the hope that by the end of 2025, it'll see a sufficient return on investment to be running at a 6% profit margin.
CEO of Kia Motors, Han-woo Park claims that "Plan S is a bold and enterprising roadmap for Kia's future business transition, buttressed by the two pillars of electric vehicles and mobility solutions. Our approach is to put customers first, and Kia will reinvigorate its brand innovation by developing products and services that offer new experiences for customers."
Kia will target a specific group of buyers as the core clientele of its new brand direction to become "a brand beloved by the millennial generation (those with a good grasp of information technology born between the early 1980s and early 2000s)" and generation Z, targeting the age range that have now come to be known as digital natives. This means we're likely to get a production version of the recently unveiled Imagine by Kia concept, that had a distinctly futuristic design.