Kia and Hyundai have proven they're capable of producing compelling EVs. Now, these automakers just need to expand the lineup and begin producing them and selling them in larger numbers on our shores.
The people have spoken, and it comes as no surprise they chose the Kia Niro EV as the winner among mass-market brands in the J.D. Power 2021 Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Ownership Study. For those unfamiliar with the study, it ranks electric vehicles based on their overall owner satisfaction.
Brent Gruber, Senior Director, Global Automotive at J.D. Power shared:
“I’m very pleased to present an award to Kia for highest EV ownership satisfaction in the mass market segment. As the growth of vehicle electrification continues to shape the future of the of the automotive industry, the Kia Niro EV represents a standout model that checks all the right boxes for owners.”
Since the Niro EV crossover, and its slightly smaller corporate cousin – the Hyundai Kona Electric – first came to market, reviews have been primarily positive. The only recurring negative comes from people comparing these EVs to Tesla's vehicles, and, more specifically, Tesla's EV-specific architecture and proprietary public fast-charging network.
It's important to note that the Niro EV doesn't compete with Tesla in J.D. Power's study. This is because the organization puts the Niro in the "mass-market" segment, whereas all of Tesla's vehicles are in the "premium" segment.
To come up with the results, J.D. Power surveyed about 10,000 electric vehicle owners. The survey questions focused on range, driving enjoyment, and overall cost-of-ownership.
In addition, the survey asks owners if they'd recommend the EV to others, as well as if they'd buy the same EV again. After learning about its win, Kia Motors America, Kia Motors North America president and CEO Sean Yoon provided the following statement:
"At Kia, we are committed to delivering a world-class ownership experience, and as the brand prepares to introduce several new electric vehicles by 2025 under our Plan S strategy, we are proud that our current lineup is already successful among existing and potential EV drivers. We are honored to win the mass-market category in the EVX Ownership Study, which reinforces our leadership goal in the future mobility industry.”
Kia is moving forward with an investment of $25 billion between now and 2025. Its "Plan S" will focus on electrification, mobility services, connectivity, and autonomy.