Kia EV9 Offers Special Feature for NBA Fans

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Someone at Kia is apparently a big NBA fan. The award-winning EV9 is getting an update that allows those with exceptional amounts of team spirit to show what NBA team they support — just in time for the playoffs. Unfortunately, the sample images include a big error — they support the wrong team!

Yes, they chose the New York Knicks over the Miami Heat. Shameful. In all seriousness, though, it looks like Kia’s PR team chose the bigger city instead of the #1 team in the Eastern Conference, or in the league as a whole. It seems that it would have been more appropriate to feature the Boston Celtics. Anyway, though, I’ll stop ranting and move on to the details.

As you can see, on your car’s driving display, the car basically turns into a virtual team billboard, the logo of your team appears in the top left, and the colors of your team feature in a couple of spots. You can buy your preferred Display Theme in the Kia Connect Store. (I know, I thought this would be free, and it’s quite lame to charge for something like this. Furthermore, instead of costing something sensible like $3.99, the price is $39.99 for this! Some people will surely pay that, but frankly, I think that’s absurd.)

Initially, this option is only available for the Kia EV9, Kia’s midsize electric crossover/SUV, but it is coming to other Kia models in the future. However, those other models must include Kia’s Connected Car Navigation Cockpit (ccNC) infotainment system with Digital Features and Services OTA capability.

“Whether it’s the iconic blue and golden yellow for the Golden State Warriors, or red, black and white for the Chicago Bulls, diehard fans can proudly showcase their unwavering loyalty to their favorite NBA team with a customized instrument cluster and infotainment screens, along with unique welcome and goodbye videos for select EV9 trims,” Kia states, adding insult to injury by excluding the Miami Heat yet again! And don’t tell me it’s about current standings — the Golden State Warriors are 10th in the Western Conference!

The good news is that Kia is planning more fun features for basketball fans in the future. So, the company still has an opportunity to highlight the hottest of all NBA ballers. “As avid basketball enthusiasts, we’re thrilled to introduce our latest available OTA update which combines the thrill of the NBA with the opportunity to personalize your Kia vehicle,” said Steven Center, COO and EVP, Kia America. “This is just the tip-off, as we’re committed to enhancing the ownership and driving experience with more exciting themes, collaborations, and digital features to be introduced in the future.”

I imagine Kia will also do this for NFL teams, NHL teams, MLB teams, and maybe even MLS teams. We’ll see. But, apparently, this is one way Kia (and probably other automakers) are looking to make money on connected cars and OTA updates. What do you think? Companies gotta make money and pay for the tech development? Or robbery and a slight on the people who bought their cars?


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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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