Following the footsteps of all the major auto manufacturers in India, the South Korean carmaker Kia has also revealed that it is planning to debut a small all-electric SUV in the country in the forthcoming years. According to media reports, the model has been codenamed AY internally and will be launched in 2025. It was also reported that the development of this zero-emission model has already commenced.
Sources have claimed that the upcoming EV SUV will be based on a flexible platform and will be focusing on all the emerging markets. Additionally, the same model will also serve as a base for a mass-market entry-level petrol SUV to keep the development costs low. Media reports have also informed that once launched the all-electric small SUV will be manufactured in Kia’s manufacturing plant in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh.
As it stands, the South Korean automaker does not offer an electric vehicle in India, however, the company will be making its India EV debut with its EV6 electric crossover in 2022. For now, the launch of the EV6 has been speculated to be as early as next month or sometime in the June of this year. Kia will be bringing the EV6 via the CBU route to India and it will cost around Rs 60 lakh.
According to the information received, Kia before bringing its mass-market EV to India is looking to build the necessary infrastructure over the next few years till 2025. The year 2025 will be a huge year in terms of electric mobility in India as along with Kia, auto majors like Maruti Suzuki and Toyota which are also reportedly working on an electric SUV for the country will debut them at the same time.
Additionally, in July of this year, Mahindra & Mahindra will also unveil its range of Born Electric Vision-based SUVs, which will be subsequently launched in the following years. Furthermore, Kia is also slated to release the new e-Niro next year, which will be competing with the MG ZS EV and the Hyundai Kona Electric. The South Korean carmaker wants to introduce as many as 14 electric vehicles in worldwide markets by 2030, with the goal of generating 50% of total volume from environmentally-friendly models.
Kia has also granted the approval for an A+ sector entry-level EV from India for emerging countries, while an electric pickup truck and another EV are in the works for developed markets. Kia plans to produce three lakh to 3.5 lakh vehicles at its local facility by 2022, with 80,000 of those being exported.
In other Kia news, a test mule of a factory-fitted CNG version of the Sonet with a red number plate, a CNG sticker, and the CNG filling just below the fuel filler cap was recently spotted. In addition, the car had a CNG plate on the C-pillar. The Sonet CNG might be released in the coming months, and it would cost between Rs 60,000 and Rs 90,000 more than the normal models.