Kia on Thursday unveiled its first all-electric large sports utility vehicle, the Kia EV9, at the 2023 Seoul Mobility Show at Kintex in Gyeonggi Province.
The Kia EV9 is the South Korean automaker’s second all-electric vehicle equipped with the company’s self-developed EV platform named Electric Global Modular Platform, or E-GMP after the launch of the EV6 in 2021.
“As Korea’s first large SUV EV model that has been equipped with innovative technology and spaciousness, the EV9 will offer a whole new driving experience that can change the concept and method of mobility,” said Karim Habib, head of Kia’s design center.
The three-row seat electric SUV runs on a 99.8-kilowatt-hour battery pack. According to the company, the EV9 is expected to travel over 500 kilometers on a single charge. The battery can be charged by 70 percent if plugged in by a 350 kWh charger for 25 minutes.
The company plans to release the EV9 in the Korean market in May. It aims to launch the new EV model in various regions across the globe in the second half of this year.
Beginning with the two-wheel and four-wheel drive models, the automaker said that the EV9’s lineup will be added with a GT-line model as well as a high-performance GT model later.
According to the company, the EV9 GT-line model has been equipped with a Level 3 autonomous driving technology called Highway Driving Pilot that allows the driver to take the hands off the steering wheel while the car is driving at 80 kilometers per hour on a highway.
Under the theme of “Kia’s movement towards (being a) sustainable mobility solutions provider,” the automaker only displayed EVs at this year’s mobility event. Kia set up two separate display zones for the EV6 and the EV Niro.
“Created to meet the needs of all family members, the EV9 also spearheads Kia’s rapid transition to a sustainable mobility solutions provider, not just by its advanced EV architecture, but also through the numerous recycled and sustainable materials used in its creation,” said Song Ho-sung, CEO of Kia.
The EV9 is Kia’s first model to embody the brand’s design sustainability strategy to phase out the use of leather, apply more sustainable materials to assemble a vehicle and increase the use of bio-based materials such as corn, sugar cane and natural oil. According to the company, an EV9 uses eco-friendly materials recycled from over 70 plastic bottles.
Song was spotted at the Tesla booth as he took a look around the US EV maker’s different models on display. He said the automaker’s executives have been riding Tesla vehicles to compare them with Kia cars.
“Now that we have an EV entering (the Chinese market), we will continue to work in the Chinese market. We have many EVs lined up for the future. We will make EVs in covering every range,” said Song, referring to the launch of the EV5, a fully-electric midsized SUV unveiled at the Kia EV Day event held in Shanghai last week.