KIA gears up for EV growth

KIa CEO Ho Sung SongSouth Korean car maker Kia this week laid bare its ambition to become ‘a leading EV brand’ and expects 25% of all its sales to be electric by the end of the decade. Early adopters of the technology, Kia entered the EV market in 2012 and yesterday said that it will be launching seven new all-electric vehicle models by 2027 with the halo model (working name – CV) expected to be on the road by 2021. “Kia has sold more than 100,000 BEVs [Battery Electric Vehicles] worldwide since the introduction of  the Kia Ray EV, city car,” said CEO Ho Sung Song, “and by refocusing our business on electrification, we are aiming for BEVs to account for 25% of our total worldwide sales by 2029.” It also has plans to  invest in 1,500 EV chargers across South Korea by 2030 including 120 ultra-rapid chargers in urban centres and highways by 2021, he said.
Traffic in BeijingAlmost simultaneously, Honda announced that it will unveil a new electric vehicle at the upcoming 2020 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition (Auto China 2020) that is due to be held at the end of the month. Either a sedan or a SUV it will initially be exclusively targeted at the booming Chinese market and with good reason. Yesterday, the Beijing Municipality’s Ecology and Environment Office announced there were more than 350,000 EVs on the Chinese capital’s streets at the end of August, 12 of which were 400 buses, four sanitary service trucks and 500 taxis; but, with almost 10 million motor vehicles clogging up Beijing, there is still a very long way to go.
In recent months, investors have been pumping billions of dollars into China’s electric vehicle start-ups. In August  Xpeng, backed by Alibaba, raised $1.5bn through an IPO in the US, just one month after Li Auto raised $1.1bn, also through  the NASDAQ. Some analysts fear, however that a combination of  bottlenecks in China’s charging infrastructure and an over-crowded marketplace may prove the  boom to be premature.