Kia eyes more EVs
Kia is looking to widen its range of electrified vehicles in New Zealand to provide local motorists with greater options to save fuel and be more environmentally proactive.
The company was the first to launch a hybrid SUV in this market – the Kia Niro HEV – and followed that with both PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) and electric vehicle (EV) versions, to great success.
Now Kia New Zealand says it is also studying other EV and hybrid options available within the wider Kia family.
They could include the Kia Sportage Hybrid, the fully electric Kia Soul EV, along with hybrid versions of the Kia Optima four-door sedan and wagon, among others.
“Kia has been developing a number of advanced technology electrified options that have already gone into other markets around the world and we are currently looking to see how these could fit within our line up,” says Todd McDonald, managing director of Kia Motors New Zealand.
Kia Motors NZ already sees itself as a leader in electrified vehicles in the NZ market, with the Kia Niro HEV becoming one of the most sought-after hybrids following its local launch last year.
Demand for the fully electric Kia Niro EV, which went on sale only a few months ago, has also hit unprecedented levels, with a large bank of forward orders received for the vehicle.
The addition of electrified vehicles to the Kia Motors stable in New Zealand has seen a 25 per cent reduction in fuel consumption in the overall Kia range over the last five years and CO2 emissions have also come down correspondingly.
Increasing the number of Kia hybrids, plug-ins and fully electric vehicles will help to further accelerate that trend. Current limitations on the availability of special Lithium-Ion batteries for these vehicles, which has restricted sales of HEVs, PHEVs and EVs to date, are expected to ease as suppliers to Kia increase production capacity.
Importantly, those battery suppliers are also actively ensuring they comply with the company’s policy of not using unethically sourced cobalt – Kia requires suppliers to submit to a code of conduct that stipulates the use of ethically sourced products only.