Need A 7-Passenger Electric Car? Hyundai & Kia Have You Covered.

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If you are in the market for a large people mover these days — one with three rows of seats and space for 7 (or more) passengers, the Hyundai Palisade and the Kia Telluride will definitely be on your shopping list. Both offer lots of seats and lots of cargo space from a manufacturer with high customer satisfaction and reliability ratings.

But what if you are a treehugger who reads CleanTechnica and want a large-capacity vehicle that runs on electrons, not molecules? The truth is, almost no one is making such a vehicle today. But on November 17 at the LA Auto Show, Kia plans to take the wraps off its EV 9, a concept that looks for all the world like a battery-electric version of the Telluride. There’s a picture of the Telluride below. The EV 9 concept is pictured above. See the resemblance? A similar concept called the Hyundai Ioniq 7 is also scheduled to be unveiled next week in LA.

2022 Kia Telluride. Courtesy of Kia.

E-GMP Platform

According to Car and Driver, both the EV9 and Ioniq 7 will be built on the Hyundai Motor Group’s E-GMP electric car platform and should be available with either a single electric motor or a dual-motor setup set up that enables all-wheel drive. Specs and prices are unavailable at this time, but if you’re expecting such a large and not particularly aerodynamic vehicle to have a range of 350 miles in the winter while going uphill to a ski chalet, you are probably going to be disappointed.

If you think the EV9 and Ioniq 7 are years away from production, guess again. Car and Driver says to expect production versions to appear in 2022, with sales beginning shortly thereafter. Whether all those odd rhomboid shapes make it into production is anyone’s guess.

Courtesy of Kia

In a press announcement, Kia says, “The renderings illustrate a highly conceptual cabin that has been honed to give the driver and passengers a light, flexible, and adaptive interior space as the experience of the journey evolves. A stunning interactive ultra-wide display and a radical new take on the traditional steering wheel are just two of the standout interior features.”

Courtesy of Kia

“In particular, the shortened hood and intricate hood surfaces certainly mirror some aspects of the EV6,” says Autoweek, “and now that there isn’t an engine up front, the overall length of the hood can be shorter and feature more modest overhangs. Out back, the concept hints at maximizing cargo room and headroom for rear seat passengers, promising a versatile and usable interior in contrast to plenty of rakish electric SUVs we’ve recently seen from other automakers.”

We think Autoweek is referring to the Tesla Model Y when it talks about “rakish SUVs.” It’s true Elon Musk and his minions are fixated on the most aerodynamic shapes in order to give Teslas the longest range possible. But that means there are some tradeoffs for people who may prioritize headroom for rear-seat passengers and the ability to lug steamer trunks loaded with stuff when heading out on a road trip.

There’s a reason why they make chocolate and vanilla ice cream. People love choices. For some, the EV9 or Ioniq 7 will be exactly the electric vehicles they want and need. Good on Hyundai and Kia for focusing on this segment of the market.

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Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." You can follow him on Substack and LinkedIn but not on Fakebook or any social media platforms controlled by narcissistic yahoos.

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