Kia begins the transition into EV and mobility specialist

15 January 2020

15 January 2020

Kia has unveiled ambitious plans to become a leader in electric vehicle (EV) technology, autonomous systems and mobility services.

Plan S, the carmaker’s mid-to-long-term strategy, outlines the company’s pre-emptive and enterprising ′shift’ from a business focused on internal combustion engines towards one centred on electric vehicles and customised mobility solutions.

New models

As a start to its transition into a company providing only electric vehicles, Kia says that it plans to offer a full line-up of 11 battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) by the end of 2025. With these models, Kia states it is looking to achieve a 6.6% share of the global EV market while also attaining a 25% share of sales from its eco-friendly cars.

This model expansion will begin next year, with the carmaker’s first dedicated BEV coming to market. The company will increase sales through innovation via a customised subscription model, battery rental and lease plans.

The new BEV will be built on a unique platform, specifically engineered to accommodate the car’s EV powertrain and technologies. Among other features, the carmaker says it will offer a crossover design, a future-oriented user experience, a single-charge driving range of over 500 kilometres with sub-20-minute high-speed charging time.

With the global EV market expected to gain strength by 2026, the carmaker is aiming for 500,000 annual EV sales and global sales of 1 million eco-friendly vehicles (excluding China).

Investment solutions

Plan S will see Kia Motors invest a total of 29 trillion won (€22.5 billion) by the end of 2025 to establish leadership in vehicle electrification and diversify its business. By the end of this period, Kia Motors is targeting a 6% operating profit margin and 10.6% return on equity (ROE) ratio to secure the necessary capital and maximise shareholder value.

′As the auto industry undergoes turbulent changes, today is also an opportune time for Kia Motors to radically transform itself into a global enterprise dedicated to spearheading customer value-led innovations,’ said Kia Motors President and CEO Han-woo Park. ′Kia Motors will actively innovate to take on the challenges ahead, identifying and capitalising on new opportunities to propel the company forward.’

′Plan S is a bold and enterprising roadmap for Kia’s future business transition, buttressed by the two pillars of electric vehicles and mobility solutions. Our approach is to put customers first, and Kia will reinvigorate its brand innovation by developing products and services that offer new experiences for customers.’

Mobility provider

In key global cities that are actively responding to climate change and supporting EV popularisation, Kia will collaborate with local partners to establish mobility hubs that house EV charging stations, vehicle maintenance centres and various convenience facilities.

These mobility hubs will be utilised as transfer stations between electric vehicles and internal combustion engine vehicles, the latter of which cannot enter certain urban areas due to environmental regulations. Using various infrastructures such as charging stations and convenience facilities inside the mobility hubs, Kia will explore new business models including small-scale logistics and vehicle maintenance.

In the long term, the company aims to operate self-driving robotaxis and on-demand roboshuttles in urban centres that also operate the mobility hubs.