Just like the Ami, it will be very basic tailpipe emissions-free urban transportation.
There is definitely a growing market for tiny two-seater electric city cars in Europe, as more and more large cities are restricting access for ICE vehicles. This, combined with people’s newfound aversion to using public transport (for fears of catching COVID-19) will certainly drive demand for such vehicles and it looks like Kia wants a piece of this pie.
Citroen just launched its new electric Ami model in France, where it will undeniably be very popular in cities thanks to its very low acquisition price of €6,000 ($6,600) and genuinely usable specs. It’s not really the first, though, if you count the Renault Twizy that debuted years ago, but that vehicle didn’t really shield its occupants from the elements, so it was less practical than the Ami (in which you can stay warm and dry).
According to AutoExpress, Kia’s plan to enter the segment and it plans to build a vehicle that will be similar to the Ami. It quotes Kia’s European COO, Emilio Herrera, who said
‘ People want to feel safe today. We saw that very clearly from a survey that was done after coronavirus in China, which showed people had moved from public transportation to private transportation. That was very clear – 34 per cent of private use before the crisis to 65 per cent. ‘
He suggests people no longer feel safe on public transport and the same shift that the aforementioned study discovered in China will take place in Europe as well. The source article also points to a partnership that Kia’s sister brand, Hyundai, signed earlier in 2020 with a company called Canoo to develop a platform for small electric vehicles.
There is a very high likelihood that the vehicle mentioned in this article will be built on that platform, even though it wasn’t explicitly confirmed. And since it’s not a fully-fledged car that takes many years to develop, we could expect to see this new small electric Kia (and its Hyundai equivalent) as early as next year or 2022; it may only be available through a subscription service and it's not clear if you're actually going to be able to buy one.