Speaking of the U.S. market's lackluster demand for EVs, Song said that could change with the arrival of a new government in Washington under President-elect Joe Biden. That may open the door to the adoption of more environmentally friendly emissions regulations that could spur EV growth.
Song said Kia is prepared to build its EVs and PBVs in any market where demand is strong enough, including the U.S. He declined to comment on a recent media report speculating about a tie-up between Kia parent Hyundai Motor Group and Apple to build an electric car. One report out of South Korea said Kia might build the EV for Apple at Kia's factory in Georgia. Ultimately, Song said, economies of scale will dictate where Kia builds its EVs.
Kia's first dedicated EV will be delivered in the first quarter of this year and be built on a new Electric-Global Modular Platform, or E-GMP, shared with Hyundai. It will be a crossover-inspired design, code-named CV, with a range of more than 310 miles and a high-speed charging time under 20 minutes, Kia said.
Kia's range figures are drawn from the European standard, the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure, which is considered more generous than U.S. range figures set by the EPA.
Habib hinted that the CV will deliver a fresh take on utility vehicles. He said the body of the new EV will have crossover elements, adding: "We haven't seen exactly this shape before."
It will be the first global vehicle bearing Kia's new black-and-white logo. The first U.S.-market vehicle to get the new logo will be the updated Carnival minivan that will replace the Sedona when it arrives in the second quarter, Song said.