Kia aims to sell 1.2 million electric vehicles globally in 2030 and is embarking on a ploy to drastically expand its EV line-up, usher in enhanced autonomous driving technology and introduce new digital revenue streams.
The targets build on those announced as part of the Korean brand’s ‘Plan S’ electrification strategy two years ago and are broadly in line with ambitions laid out yesterday by sibling brand Hyundai. Kia’s overarching goal is to become a “global sustainable mobility leader”.
The brand has four primary targets for 2030: sell 1.2 million battery-electric vehicles, sell four million vehicles overall, roll out advanced connectivity and autonomous driving functionality to all models and become the leading provider of ‘purpose-built’ (ie produced at scale for a specific purpose) vehicles for third-party fleet operators.
The first of these purpose-built vehicles (PBVs) will be derived from existing vehicles, including a larger Kia Niro Plus derivative it will launch later this year. After this first wave, the firm will introduce a new bespoke EV platform for PBVs in 2025, which will be fully scalable to suit different applications.
The overall sales target Kia is aiming for is up 27% from a planned 3.15m sales in 2022. So-called ‘eco-friendly’ vehicles – by which Kia means EVs, PHEVs and full-hybrids – will underpin this growth, rising from a 17% sales share to some 52% in 2030. In 2022, it plans to sell 160,000 pure-EVs, rising to 807,000 in 2026 and on to 1.2 million four years later - up 36% on the previously envisioned 2030 target.
In markets where demand for these vehicles is particularly strong (it cites Korea, North America, Europe and China), it aims for electrified vehicles to account for 78% of its global volume.
The marque’s pure-electric line-up will stand at 14 models come 2027, among which it will count two pick-up trucks and an entry-level BEV, presumably positioned as a zero-emission successor to today’s Kia Picanto city car.
Notably, the brand has confirmed that it plans for all future bespoke EVs to follow the Kia EV6 in gaining a GT-badged performance range-topper. It promises that these hot EVs will have “differentiated” designs from their standard counterparts.