Kia EV9 at Very Large Array in New Mexico. Photo by Jennifer Sensiba | CleanTechnica

Kia EV Sales Soar To New Monthly Sales Record In USA — But Still So Far To Go

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Kia has some great electric vehicle news. It just reached a new monthly EV sales record for itself in the United States. In fact, the company’s US EV sales increased 61% compared to their previous monthly sales record, which was in April 2022 (yes, two years ago).

The Kia EV9 reached 1,572 sales in April, and increase of 144% year over year, while the EV6 reached 2,051 sales, up 65% year over year.

Clearly, this is great news. That’s strong growth and it’s always good to set new EV sales records. It’s also not surprising, as the EV9 and EV6 are superb electric vehicles — two of the best on the market, without a doubt.

However, at the same time, I think the enthusiasm has to be tempered a little bit, because we need to go a lot further, and Kia needs to go a lot further.

Combined, the EV6 and EV9 accounted for 3,623 sales in April. That’s out of 65,754 Kia sales in total, which means they accounted for just 5.5% of Kia’s sales. That’s about half of what several leading automakers in terms of EV share are getting in the US, it’s barely more than a third of what Mercedes achieved in the 4th quarter, and it’s far below leaders (or even the norm) in other markets of course. The good news is that it’s at least a big jump from the 2.9% Kia itself had in the 4th quarter.

Maybe it’s unfair to compare to Tesla, but this is the standard in the US, and the fact of the matter is that Kia is still far below Tesla’s level. Tesla sold about 660,000 electric cars in the US last year. If you multiplied that 3,623 April total from Kia by 12 (12 months in the year), you’d get 43,476 sales. Yes, just 43,476 sales. That’s about 6.6% of Tesla’s 2023 sales total in the country. Can Kia really only reach 6.6% of Tesla’s US sales total? Personally, I think it can do much better, and should do much better.

But maybe that’s unfair. At the April sales rate, Kia is on track for 789,048 total sales in the US in 2024. Can we really expect Kia to be getting close to 100% EV share in a country that is so far behind in EV market share? Well, one can dream, but that would indeed be a high bar.

In summary, I think it’s great news that Kia EV sales grew 61% over their previous monthly sales record, from two years ago, and rapidly climbed up from 2.9% of the company’s total auto sales to 5.5%. But I also expect much more from Kia at this point. It creates highly compelling, competitive, top-tier electric vehicles. These are great cars and SUVs, hands down! Surely, the company can do better to make more of its sales EV sales rather than gas vehicle sales. Surely, it could be more competitive with the Tesla Model Y and other Tesla vehicles. Right?

Am I being unfair? Should we just celebrate each big leap in a brand’s EV sales and EV share of sales? Or should we expect more from companies like Kia at this point?

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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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