Kia last week dived into more detail about its EVs and sustainability plans, being represented in its own EV9 concept bowing this week.
As part of these details, the brand revealed it expects a “line” of hydrogen fuel cells in 2028; when it plans to take back internal combustion vehicles (ICEs); and some of the ways it plans to green its factories and materials.
The initiative is based on Plans, its initiative that calls for a shift to electric vehicles and mobility initiatives, with an investment of $ 25 billion by the end of 2025, but gives the master plan more than a sustainability backbone.
Kia Concept EV9 teaser
While that plan spoke extensively of “green vehicles” and aimed to “selectively introduce electric vehicle models to emerging markets,” last week’s announcement provided a new level of detail.
It now aims to reduce carbon emissions in “all operational aspects, from supply, logistics, production and use of vehicles to waste disposal”, with a targeted 97% reduction in CO2 emissions from vehicle levels. 2019 by 2045.
Kia now also plans to use hydrogen fuel cell technology as an energy source across all yards in the medium and long term and will introduce a range of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles starting in 2028.
A hydrogen-powered Kia lineup is expected from September when Hyundai unveiled a view of large-scale hydrogen fuel cells, including a hydrogen-powered sports car and expected price parity with battery-electric models by 2030.
Kia hydrogen fuel cells for production plants
On the road to carbon neutrality by 2045, Kia plans to switch to 100% renewable energy at overseas production sites by 2030 and South Korea’s by 2040. Solar power generation systems at manufacturing plants in Korea, China, the United States and India will also help green their own production. And all the vehicles Kia uses at its commercial sites will be electric vehicles by 2030.
Kia plans to introduce a total of 11 electric vehicles by 2026, inclusive seven dedicated electric vehicles—And in last week’s presentation he focused on what that means for various markets. The product range in Europe will be fully electric by 2035, with other major markets fully electric by 2040. By 2045, all global markets will have made the transition.
“We recognize that we are part of the problem,” said the president and CEO of Kia Ho Sung Song, in a video summarizing the initiatives. “But we believe we can also play an important role in the solution.”
Kia is addressing this “movement dilemma” in several ways it has identified.
Kia Ho chairman and CEO Sung Song on carbon neutrality
In a week of the COP26 climate change conference dominating the headlines, and a frenzy of questions about how companies are coping with the confusion over terms like zero-carbon, net-zero, and zero-carbon, Kia pointed out that Carbon neutral does not mean carbon-free, so it is adding a program for carbon offsetting, including recycling of marine plastic waste. It also predicts that 20% of all plastic parts in Kia vehicles will be made from recycled plastic by 2030. Battery recycling and use in end-of-life systems will also be tied with local partners.
Kia has tied this new push to the “Bold for Nature” design philosophy behind the Concept EV9, which it plans to unveil at the Los Angeles auto show on Wednesday, November 17.
To demonstrate Kia’s emphasis on more recycling, the EV9’s seats and floor were made from recycled fishing nets, while the seat fabric was made from recycled plastic bottles and the floor is wool.
Teaser for the Kia Concept EV9 which debuts on November 17, 2021
The concept also uses vegan leather for the interior, and Kia has confirmed that it plans to completely eliminate the use of leather in its vehicles. He didn’t have a target date for this.
“The EV9 Concept is a clear sign of Kia’s commitment to sustainable mobility in the future,” explained Senior Vice President of Design Karim Habib, and that the tension between man and machine can lead to a more sustainable road.
With the EV6 and EV9, and perhaps more on the mobility side of the Plan S, coming soon, Kia has organized a very different, more eco-friendly type of activity, which now depends on the follow-through.