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Kia to launch dedicated EV, electric versions of more cars

Date: 19 May 2020   |   Author: Illya Verpraet

Kia has announced it will launch a standalone pure-electric SUV next year, with more electric versions of standard cars to follow.

Unlike the existing Kia e-Niro and Soul EV, which are electric versions of standard cars (a petrol-powered Soul is only sold outside Europe), the upcoming car will be a standalone design using a unique platform, much like the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Jaguar i-Pace and upcoming VW ID.3.

Kia says the car will have a range of over 500km (310 miles) and will be able to be recharged in under 20 minutes.

To make the faster charging possible, Kia is investing in the development of an 800-Volt architecture, which allows for faster charging speeds than the 400V systems normally found in EVs. The only car currently using 800V is the Porsche Taycan.

Pablo Martinez Masip, director product planning and pricing for Kia Motors Europe, commented: "We want to provide European customers with the best possible value for their money, something that we are committed to with every new car.

"This means that certain models, particularly those aimed at more cost-conscious buyers, will offer 400V charging capability. 800V charging won't simply be reserved for Kia's flagship models, however, but where it most closely matches the usage profile of a particular model line. 

"Both systems can be charged at home or in public, with 800V rapid charging enhancing usability in models driven by customers who may rely on high-voltage rapid charging more often or drive higher mileages."

The Korean brand plans to offer 11 EVs in 2025 globally and across vehicle segments, although it doesn't say how many of those will be destined for Europe or the UK.

Kia is already one of the front runners for EV adoption, with sizeable waiting lists in 2019 for the e-Niro. It says that in the first quarter of 2020, 6% of its European sales were EVs, up from 2.9%.