Following not that long after the announcement that there will an all-electric and a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the Niro, Kia has now announced that there will also be an all-electric version of the Stonic.
What that means is that Kia will be offering 3 different all-electric models by the end of 2018 (well, 2018 or so — we’ll have to wait and see if the targeted launch dates are met). That’s pretty impressive (given the industry effort as a whole). How many other companies are taking electric vehicles that seriously?
What’s perhaps more interesting, though, is the type of vehicles that Kia is choosing to electrify — SUVs and CUVs. The first choice as far as vehicle class goes for many.
That really makes me wonder why GM/Chevy and Nissan haven’t bothered to at least offer a PHEV version of their popular SUVs (I’m going to ignore the overpriced non-plug-in hybrid options on offer by these companies). They have been offering the Volt and the LEAF (respectively) for quite a while now and have had ample time to stick a battery and at least partially electric drivetrain. So, what’s been stopping them from electrifying more of their lineups?
Anyway … back to Kia. The reason for targeting the SUV and CUV segments, rather than the sedan segment like sister company Hyundai, according to a company rep, is because: “Last year, Niro sold more cars than Ioniq, and the small SUVs trend continues to be in the eco-friendly car market, so we decided to concentrate on the electric car in the form of CUV. The small SUV has a large interior space and gained popularity not only in Korea but also in global markets.”
So, because there is seemingly more demand for electric SUVs and CUVs, Kia is focusing its electric efforts here. Very surprising…
A different company official apparently made this interesting statement, though (as quoted by Push EVs):
“The long-distance electric car ‘Bolt’, which General Motors released in the US last year, has succeeded, and the demand for long-distance electric cars is growing. Stonic is an urban SUV type long-distance electric car that aims to be the best in its class in terms of mileage and performance. …
“The Kia Stonic — that we see in the first image — will get an electric variant and is expected to share the 88 kW electric motor with the Hyundai IONIQ, while getting a bigger battery that pushes its range to 300 km (186 miles) — at least 44 kWh.”
“We already know that the Hyundai IONIQ EV will get a bigger battery capacity next year, this makes me think that the Hyundai IONIQ EV, Niro EV, and the Stonic EV will share the same 44/46 kWh battery in 2018 — that Hyundai says that will improve the IONIQ EV’s range to 200 EPA miles (322 km).”
Overall, that sounds pretty good, especially when you consider that Kia and Hyundai price their products pretty competitively. Also notable is that there will be substantial federal and state incentives on offer (in the US) for quite some time, as the company hasn’t sold many electric cars to date.
Is anyone reading this tempted to go with a Kia rather than wait for the Tesla Model Y?