Kia is strategically repositioning itself and wants to build an ecosystem of mobility services for everything related to electric vehicles.
Wolfgang Kalber (SPX)
For Kia, the future is electric. That is why the brand wants to strategically reposition itself. Basically, it is about developing an ecosystem of services related to mobility as well as cars. According to management, profit should be generated by acting as a “corporate citizen”. In addition, the increase in the use of sustainable materials in all areas should reduce CO2 emissions. For cars, this means in concrete terms that at least ten sustainable materials such as organic or recycled plastics or solvent-free paints are used in every new model such as the electric SUV EV9 announced at the end of 2023.
Even if it is not said, it is always about profit. And it should grow stronger. By 2027, the portfolio is expected to grow to 15 electric models worldwide. A number of them will also be released in Europe. Every third Kia sold is already electrified.
Kia wants to invest 22 billion euros
Europe plays an important role for the Koreans and is already their most important EV market. About 550,000 vehicles were produced in 2022, which is 7.9 percent from the previous year. And the first quarter of 2023 gave them another new sales record. Global sales are set to triple to 4.3 million vehicles a year by 2030. According to the plan, more than half of these will be electrified in some way. Because in many markets, combustion engines are still sold, which are increasingly powered by electricity.
Kia wants to invest 22 billion euros over the next four years, 45 percent in promising business areas such as robotics, electrification and autonomous driving. The plan is to create a comprehensive system of e-mobility solutions, from car deals and car sharing to car registration.
Over 500,000 Kia charging stations
The company is also investing in the payment network. With Kia Charge, drivers of EV models can now draw electricity from more than 500,000 charging stations in 28 countries. In addition, parent company Hyundai Motor Group joined Ionity some time ago. The company, which is run by a number of car manufacturers, has 450 fast charging parks across Europe with a total of more than 2,000 connectors. By 2025, the network is expected to grow to 1,000 parks and 7,000 quick payment points.
Electric vehicles can replace storage
In the future, however, electricity will also flow the other way, with Kia’s electric models providing a supercharged electrical grid as backup. The idea is not new. Why not put the extra energy into millions of batteries instead of shutting down the wind turbines? Japanese manufacturers have long been preparing their electric models with vehicle-to-grid technology. In areas where earthquakes and hurricanes often disable the electrical grid, they can be used as an emergency generator to run a refrigerator or heat a home. In our area, other solutions are conceivable. For example, an electric car can replace an expensive storage unit in your basement, which stores electricity that is otherwise produced by photovoltaics.
And anyone who wants to install a stationary storage unit in the basement should also be used in the future. The partnership with Encore DB is meant to breathe a second life into discarded batteries.