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Electric vehicles

Kia to go EV-only in Europe by 2035, teases EV9 SUV concept

The automaker’s ambitious plan is five years ahead of schedule and in line with the group’s eco-friendly push

By Nov 11, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

▲ [LIVESTREAM] Kia Sustainability Movement: Innovation inspired by nature


Kia Corp., the automaking unit of South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group, said on Thursday it will only sell electric and fuel cell vehicles in Europe from 2035, five years ahead of schedule, in line with the group’s push to go green.


Kia, Korea’s second-largest automaker, also teased the EV9 concept, its next large-size electric SUV to debut at the AutoMobility trade show in Los Angeles on Nov. 17.

At the Kia Sustainability Movement online event, Chief Executive Song Ho-sung presented a corporate vision under which it aims to become a “sustainable mobility solution provider” by achieving carbon neutrality by 2045.

“For us, it is not only about setting goals and reaching targets. It is about setting a vision that will inspire others to join the movement to benefit humanity and protect the environment,” he said.

By 2045, he said Kia aims to slash its carbon emissions by 97% compared to the 2019 level.

As part of such efforts, all Kia vehicles sold in the European market will go electric, including hydrogen fuel cells, in 2035, with other key global markets to follow by 2040.

Kia’s decision to go green earlier than previously announced comes a few weeks after its sister firm Hyundai Motor Co. said it will move up the electrification of its cars in the US and Europe by five years to 2035.

Kia CEO Song Ho-sung unveils the company's carbon neutrality vision 2045
Kia CEO Song Ho-sung unveils the company's carbon neutrality vision 2045

BLUE CARBON PROJECT

Kia said it has already signed off on several initiatives that will help clean up the planet and realize its eco-friendly goals.

The first such project, called Blue Carbon, will see Kia help restore and preserve Korea’s coastal wetlands, promoting the growth of carbon-absorbing seaweed and protecting the marine life that inhabits the area in the process.

From next year, the company will also work with Ocean Cleanup, a Dutch non-profit organization, to rid the planet’s seas and waterways of plastic waste.

Kia also said it is exploring ways of using hydrogen to power its factories. It said all of its production plants will be powered by renewable energy by 2040. The company’s facility in Slovakia has already made the switch to green energy.

The Kia EV9 electric SUV concept
The Kia EV9 electric SUV concept

EV9 SUV CONCEPT

On Thursday, Kia teased its EV9 concept, a pure-electric seven-seat SUV prototype, ahead of its appearance at the 2021 LA motor show.

The concept is pitched as the future flagship model of Kia’s all-electric lineup.

Like the Kia EV6, a mid-size crossover utility vehicle (CUV) the company unveiled in March, the EV9 will also sit on the group’s proprietary Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP).

The E-GMP is an integrated platform that will underpin all forthcoming electric cars from both Hyundai Motor and Kia.

The Kia EV9 electric SUV concept
The Kia EV9 electric SUV concept

Hyundai Motor Group said last month its two automaking units saw their market share in Europe rise to a level never seen before in September.

The two companies' combined market share rose to their highest level of 11.1% in September, up 3.3 percentage points from the year-earlier period.

Write to Il-Gue Kim at Black0419@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.
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