Kia has outlined big ambitions regarding electrification at the company’s annual Kia CEO Investor Day presentation earlier today.
The Korean automaker has announced a fresh goal to get more than half its global sales from electrified vehicles in 2030 as it targets a 34-percent higher total global volume to 4.3 million units.
CEO Ho Sung Song said the company wants to sell 2.38 million full-electric and hybrid vehicles in 2030, a 300,000-unit increase over Kia’s target from last year.
Some 1.6 million of those vehicles – or 37 percent of anticipated global sales in 2030 – will be battery-electric models, he said. That’s a significant increase over the 1.2 million goal Kia had set for 2030 global EV sales just last year. It also looks very ambitious compared to Kia’s sales target of 258,000 BEVs worldwide for 2023 and 1 million for 2026.
Interestingly, Kia also wants EVs to make up 32 percent of its overall corporate profit in 2026 and 53 percent 2030. That’s also a huge increase compared to 2022, when EVs contributed just 5 percent to overall profit. The company expects better profitability to come partly by cutting the cost of batteries 55 percent by 2030 compared to 2018 prices.
Ho Sung Song added that Kia will be expanding its full-electric lineup to 15 models by 2027. Alongside the existing EV6 and recently launched Niro EV, Kia will release the EV9 three-row crossover in the second half of this year in Korea, followed by the smaller EV5 in the fourth quarter of 2023 in China.
This EV expansion will be supported by Kia’s first dedicated EV factory that will open next year in Gwangmyeong, outside Seoul. Kia will also produce key EV models in the US beginning in 2024 with the EV9, which will be made at the company’s West Point, Georgia facility, where the Telluride is also made.
Kia said it will also produce small and medium-sized EVs in Europe and China, as well as small EVs in India.
Kia CEO Ho Sung Song at 2023 Kia CEO Investor Day event
Song also said Kia will offer a high-performance GT trim on all future EV models, including the EV9. Speaking of which, the CEO noted that the flagship electric crossover will debut “hands-off” Highway Drive Pilot (HDP) conditional Level 3 automated driving this year, followed by HPD2 technology that will support “eyes-off” driving under certain conditions from 2026.
Kia’s so-called purpose-built vehicles, or PBVs, will also play an important role in electrification. The automaker will launch a mid-size PBV, a kind of dedicated fleet vehicle, in 2025. The model will be made at a dedicated PBV production facility in Hwaseong, South Korea.
The plant will gradually build a full lineup of PBVs, ranging from small to large, including a robotaxi with autonomous driving technology.