Nearly a third of Kia’s overall sales in the UK this year will be electrified vehicles, rising from one in 10 in 2019.
Kia UK managing director Paul Philpott told Autocar that 27,000 units of its overall predicted volume of 92,000 cars would be electrified, incorporating electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid and hybrids, but not mild hybrids.
Kia’s goal, which is crucial to ensure it hits the 95g/km emissions targets, is significantly more ambitious than the industry as a whole. Most recent figures from The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show that electrified models accounted for 11.9% of market share in January, and that figure includes mild-hybrid vehicles.
Of those 27,000 units, electric vehicles will account for 9000 units - 7000 E-Niros and 2000 Soul EVs - while the rest will be hybrid and plug-in hybrid Niros, as well as the incoming Ceed SW and XCeed PHEVs.
Philpott said: “To achieve the 95g/km target in the UK we have to get electrified cars from one in 10 [sales] to three in 10. It is achievable.”
He added that the Niro which offers electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid variants becomes “a really important car,” adding that it will reach over 20,000 units in 2020, making it Kia’s second biggest selling model after the Sportage.
As well as its electrified push, Kia, much like most manufacturers, will be restricting supply of certain models, to achieve the latest emissions targets. For example, the V6-powered Stinger sports saloon will be limited to 500 units in 2020.
Talking about the possibility of the government’s plug-in car grant stopping, Philpott said: “If the incentive is removed, it will be challenging. Since removing the PHEV grant, demand has gone down. We have announced our plans for the next few years. The government needs to do the same."
Such is demand for the e-Niro and Soul EV, said Philpott, that presuming the government plug-in grant continues, Kia is likely to have hit its allocation of 9000 EVs by mid year.
Talking about the proposed ban of non-zero-emissions cars in 2035, Philpott said he was not concerned. “2035 doesn’t particularly worry me - but anything earlier than 2035 would be really challenging from an infrastructure point of view.”