Kia accelerates its EV efforts. Starting next year, the company will launch at least two new battery-electric models (BEVs) per year with a goal to expand the lineup to 14 BEVs by 2027.
Besides the Kia EV6 - launched in 2021, and its upcoming GT version, the plan includes the Kia EV9 flagship SUV set for launch in 2023, two electric pickup trucks, and "an entry-level BEV model".
As it turns out, the South Korean manufacturer announced two electric pickup trucks, one for developed markets and one for emerging markets:
- "a dedicated electric pickup truck"
- "a strategic model for emerging markets"
"Compared to its previous plan to release 11 models by 2026, Kia will add two electric pickup trucks – a dedicated electric pickup truck and a strategic model for emerging markets – and an entry-level BEV model."
One of the slides of the presentation indicates that the pickup trucks will be introduced in 2026, which is some 4 years from now:
Interestingly, there is also one "Pick-up/commercial" model listed (2021), which probably means the Bongo 3 EV, offered in South Korea (see Kia's website here).
Kia does not reveal any details about the pickup trucks. After all, there is still a lot of time to develop those new models.
It will be interesting to see whether the Hyundai brand (both are part of the Hyundai Motor Group) will also introduce an electric pickup truck, but there is no info about that right now.
Once Kia is ready to introduce all-electric pickup trucks, they might be produced in the US. A hint about that is included in part of the presentation about the expansion of EV manufacturing.
The South Korean manufacturer noted that electric versions of mid-sized SUVs and pickups will be produced locally in the US from 2024:
"In Europe, for example, small and medium-sized EVs will be produced starting from 2025. In the United States, where mid-sized SUVs and pickups are popular, electric versions of these models will be produced locally from 2024. In China, Kia plans to introduce mid-size electric vehicle models from next year, and India plans to produce entry and mid-size EV models from 2025."
Assuming that the electric pickup trucks are expected in 2026, then the 2024 date must concern new mid-sized SUVs.
The first modern all-electric pickups were already launched by Rivian (R1T) and GMC (Hummer EV Pickup). This Spring, Ford will begin customer deliveries of the F-150 Lightning, while multiple other brands, announced plans (including Tesla, Chevrolet and Toyota).