Electric Vehicles

Kia is now promising 11 new EVs by 2026; here's what's coming

Kia has plans to bring 11 new models to its lineup by 2026.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

In an Investor Day update, Kia recently updated the status of its Plan S product plan. The gist is that the company's pace for electrification has quickened with the automaker set to deliver 11 new electric vehicles by 2026.

"Kia is being reborn in 2021 with a new logo, new design, and new corporate name," said President Song. "Kia will transform into a brand that excites and inspires customers with innovative mobility experiences."

By 2030, Kia projects that electric vehicles (EVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) will make up 40 percent of all sales. The company is targeting around 1.6 million of these types of vehicles sold annual. Within that figure is the expectation that Kia will grow EV sales to 880,000 units by 2030 and become a "top global seller".

Kia fireworks new logo Kia revealed a new logo and slogan while setting a Guinness World Record for fireworks earlier this year. Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia expected their RV (recreational vehicle) sales share to rise from 56 percent in 2020 to 65 percent in 2025.

Seven of the new models will be built on the new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) architecture. Four will be based on existing internal combustion engine (ICE) derivatives. Models build on the E-GMP platform are expected to set new benchmarks for all-electric range, driving performance, interior space, and technology, according to the company. They will also function as smart devices, with audio video navigation telematics, over-the-air tech, and feature on demand (FoD) services.

According to the presentation, one of the models will roll out this year and another will come in 2022. Plan on three in 2023, two in 2024, and two or three in 2025-2026.

Kia "CV"

The first dedicated EV Kia will bring to market is codenamed "CV". It will have Highway Driving Assist Level 2 (HDA2) technology. Level 2 technology encompasses advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) technology. ADAS is advanced enough that the vehicle can perform steering and acceleration functions, but requires a driver to monitor the tech at all times and intervene when necessary. General Motors' Super Cruise is just one of the brand name technologies that qualifies for this designation.

Starting in 2023, Kia EVs will be equipped with Highway Driving Pilot (HDP), a step further toward Level 3 development.

The first dedicated EV from Kia, codenamed CV, will be featured with HDA2 (Highway Driving Assist Level 2) technology. Starting in 2023, Kia EVs will be equipped with Highway Driving Pilot (HDP), a crucial autonomous driving Level 3 development.

Further details on the CV will be made public in March 2021.

Purpose-built vehicles

Kia's first purpose-built vehicle (PBV) will be revealed by 2022. The automaker recently announced that it is working on next-generation military vehicles. That development program will replace the Korean military's current 2.5- and 5.0-ton vehicles.

The new vehicles will be created on the company's new PBV platform. Kia plans to cooperate with other companies to develop micro/large board platforms for unmanned delivery and e-commerce sectors. The company will also advance its own highly scalable small board platforms and technologies. Kia is targeting annual sales of 1 million PBV units by 2030.

Mobility services

In the coming years, Kia will expand existing services. In Spain, the company's flagship car-sharing service Wible will be expanded with Wible Más and Wible Empresas (tentatively named). KiaMobility, which was launched in September in Italy and Russia as a pilot program, will soon launch in additional markets in Europe.

Additional mobility initiatives include business-to-government and business-to-business services. This EV-centric program combines the benefits of subscription and car-sharing allowing vehicles to be used for business on weekdays and rented by individuals on the weekends.

The Kia Flex subscription program was introduced in Korea in 2019 and will launch globally later this year under the "Kia Subscription" name. The service will be operated by Sixt Leasing, which was acquired by Hyundai Motor Group last year, and the vehicles will be provided by the company's regional affiliates and dealers.

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Discontinued sedan

Volkswagen nixing Passat after 2022 model year

Racing Green Metallic is one of four exclusive colors for the car.

Volkswagen

After five decades on sale in the U.S., Volkswagen is pulling the plug on the midsize Passat. The explosion of SUVs' popularity and the need to shift production power to electric vehicles are behind the decision, which will take place after the 2022 model year. The cars have been built at the automaker's Chattanooga, TN plant since 2011, but the facility is being repurposed as VW's North American hub for electric vehicle assembly.

Volkswagen is giving the car one last hurrah, however, in the form of the Passat Limited Edition. The car features 18-inch wheels, LED headlights with an Advanced Front Lighting System, and an easy-open trunk. Inside, the cars come with sport seats wrapped in Vienna leather, memory seating, a Fender Premium Audio System, parking assistance, and parking sensors.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition Each car gets a special model tag with its limited production number.Volkswagen


Only 1,973 of the cars will be built, and it will only be sold in four colors, each with its own limited production numbers that have special meaning for the Passat:

  • Aurora Red Metallic with Titan Black interior: 411 units to represent the original vehicle production code
  • Racing Green Metallic with Mauro Brown interior: 423 units to commemorate the Chattanooga 423 area code
  • Pure white with Mauro Brown interior: 524 units to signify the Chattanooga plant's May 24 opening date
  • Platinum Great Metallic with Titan Black interior: 615 units to signify six generations of imported Passats, one generation assembled in Chattanooga, and five decades of U.S. sales

Pricing for the 2022 Passat starts at $31,290, which includes a $995 destination fee. Adding Aurora Red Metallic drives the price up by an additional $395. Each car will receive a special number plate to designate its place in the limited production run.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition The Passat Limited Edition gets several upscale features. Volkswagen

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Electric vehicle features

The VW ID.4 sounds futuristic

The ID.4 is VW's first electric crossover in the U.S.

VW

The Volkswagen ID.4 is finally here. The electric crossover offers compelling features, decent all-electric range, and a reasonable price. On top of all that, Volkswagen focused heavily on the electric experience with the ID.4, down to the sounds it makes in everyday operation.

Where many automakers seek to humanize electric vehicles with familiar gas engine sounds, Volkswagen hasn't bothered with any of that. Instead, the automaker's ID.4 electric crossover features several sounds that embrace the EV's place in the future of transportation.

On startup, drivers are greeted with a sound that Volkswagen says will alert them that the vehicle is ready to go. It's not at all unlike the flying saucer sounds heard in sci-fi movies decades ago, but it's a nice reminder of the ID.4's future-forward drivetrain.



In motion, VW gave the ID.4 what is known as an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System, which helps alert people to the presence of a moving electric vehicle. Since the drivetrain doesn't make the same noises that a gas engine does, EVs can move almost silently at low speeds, so it's important to have some kind of warning sound.

Even the turn signal sounds received scrutiny in the ID.4's design, and while they're still fairly traditional, the sounds are subtle and pleasing overall. Beyond that, VW says it developed a library of sounds for typical vehicle control buttons and other functions that are exclusive to its electric vehicles. The goal, according to the automaker, is that the sound aligns with the vehicles' character, visual design, and features, and that people will be able to recognize a VW EV by its unique sound.

The ID.4 is just the first of several EVs that Volkswagen plans to release here in the United States. Larger family vehicles are on the horizon, and we may even see an electric revival of the legendary VW bus.

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