Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Confirmed

SEP 30 2015 BY MARK KANE 22

2016 Kia Optima (ICE)

2016 Kia Optima (ICE)

More good stuff coming from Kia, as the Korean company announced its intention to bring to market a plug-in hybrid Optima.

The PHEV would be introduced “sometime next year” in both sedan and new wagon version, also scheduled for 2016 release.

Obviously, this car would make a lot of sense for the company, with the Sonata PHEV close to arriving on dealer lots – leaving only some brand-engineering as the only hurdle left to jump for Kia.

There are no details on the drivetrain, not even type of engine (petrol/diesel).

The 2016 Optima looks sharp and we welcome it to the  plug-in  family.

We’ve been waiting on the Sonata plug-in hybrid the better part of this year – and promised by 2015’s end. Hopefully, the wait ends soon.

2016 Kia Optima (ICE)

2016 Kia Optima (ICE)


Categories: Kia


Leave a Reply

22 Comments on "Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid Confirmed"

newest oldest most voted

Hopefully they pull a rabbit out of the hat and surprise us all with more than 10-15 miles of range!

Indeed. Unfortunately, I’m expecting to hear 15 miles of range. If they can do 30 or more, then it will be a serious contender.


I expect that if another car company other than GM comes out with a PHEV with a 30 mile range they will still make use of a wimpy 100 hp or less electric motor.

Seriously why won’t any of the other automakers drop a 150-180 hp electric motor in with a slightly larger battery like the Volt has? I mean the Volt is well engineered and everything but it’s not made of magic.

Because that is not nearly as profitable as ICE. :-/

We are still very much at the beginning of this. Everything you describe relates to an engineering pay off of some description. If you put a small battery in you don’t have to redesign the whole chassis, if you have a small battery you have to have a small motor or your battery life will be next to nothing. If you want a big battery then you need a big car or you need to water cool to get the volumetric density up. This will let you get more cells in a smaller space and let you get more power out of them but makes things more complex to build and makes the car more expensive. There are also choices to be made at the cell level, I believe that Mistu use LTO batteries instead of NMC batteries. LTO can charge / discharge at a much faster rate and operate at higher temperature so you can get more power out of a smaller (kWh) battery but that battery will be much more expensive (per kWh), physically bigger (meters cubed) and heavier (kg). Tesla are making bigger, heavier, faster cars that can charge faster because the engineering choices that they have… Read more »

Expected AER is 24-27 miles for the Sonata plugin, I expect the Optima will be similar.

Unfortunately, like other plugins from Ford / BMW / MB etc, the Sonata is a gas-first system with a small (67 hp) electric motor. Optima will again likely be similar.

This is what I don’t get. The Accord PHEV has a 166 hp electric motor but then it has a tiny 6.7 kWh pack and limits the EV top speed to 65 mph.

So it’s either decent motor, tiny battery or tiny motor, decent battery.

If the Accord can fit in a 166 electric motor in to an existing platform then so can the Sonata or Optima. If the Sonata can fit in a 9.8 kWh battery then so can the Accord.

No new platform is needed to put in a 150-200 hp electric motor and a 10 kWh battery. That still wouldn’t be as good as the Volt due to the smaller range but at least its performance would be as good and they could boast that they offer this in a midsized package.

The Accord Hybrid (non-plugin) also shares the design, ie large motor tiny battery pack and a gas range extender. The gas motor can operate either locked to the drive wheels (like the Volt) or as a serial generator for range extension.

It’s a neat design, the hybrid gets very good gas mileage and I’d love to see similar designs for EV-heavy plugins (instead of gas-heavy). A plugin only needs enough gas motor to carry a fully loaded car up the steepest interstate grade in the US, anything more is a waste (or can be accommodated by a Mountain Mode a la Volt).

So I guess that fuel cell Tucson is not selling so well.

or there isn’t as much money to be made in the Soul EV as you think.

First Kia should expand the sale of Soul-EV to all 50 states instead of selling it in just 5 states.

I hope they will do this at least when Volt-2 goes on sale.

Indeed they should do that. Look at Germany: the Soul EV was the best-selling plug-in last month. And Germany has nearly no incentives. Meaning: it’s a good car that sells even without incentives. So let it come to all US states!

And majority of those German Soul EV August sales goes to Norway…

This is the part that peaked my interest:

“The PHEV would be introduced .. in both sedan and new wagon version”

If the cargo area is similar in size to a Passat wagon this could be an interesting vehicle.

The more plug-in choices the better.

The more WAGON choices the better. If they’re PHEV, even better.

+1 with a familiy a WAGON version is so much better. I love my Skoda Fabia wagon, perfect for finding a parking spot and still decent storage room.

If it only was available with 20 electric miles, that would rock!

still didnt fix the ugly rear window connectivity to the black roof

It’s still an ICE! ? Stop burning fossil fuels!! Go totally BEV. If Tesla plans to increase range too 600 mile by 2017 ?, or anything in the same zip code of range, then why continue to keep oil companies RICH??

600 miles for hypermiler. That is only 50 (hyper-)miles more than today.

So around 300 miles EPA!

…that is 600 hypermiles. And that is only ~50 (hyper-)miles more than today.

So only around 300 miles EPA in 2017. Not that big of a difference…

In 2015 a plug=in hybrid should have 100 miles of EV range not 30.