Does anyone remember Smart cars? The automotive brand that made two-seaters with just enough cargo space for one person and the necessities. There are some people who still drive them, but they’re very rare. Smart cars are no longer solder in the USA, they just didn’t really fit with the whole four-door five-seater-plus demographic. It’s odd, because as we mentioned last week, how many people drive a crossover or SUV and have more than two people in the vehicle at a time? Kia Motors is shifting its focus to sedans because of that reason, and the automaker may even double down on shrinking the literal size of its lineup with micro electric vehicles (EVs).
Kia Motors is coming back swinging after the pause in production during a global shutdown and stay-at-home order during the Coronavirus pandemic. Although COVID-19 is said to last through the year and come in waves, the economy needs to bounce back sooner or later, and that means industries like the auto industry need to get back to work. Even so, every week, Kia Motors has something new to push the automaker ahead – purpose-built vehicle production, a new 800-volt EV battery system to challenge the Porsche Taycan, a not-so-wallet-friendly option.
In fact, Kia Motors is working to produce ultra-compact electric cars. This seems to be a small niche that few automakers are investing in, with Smart and Citroen (who?) being the major producers at the time. Kia Motors’ Europe Chief Operating Officer, Emilio Herrera, was recently quoted by AutoExpress during an interview about the upcoming lineup and the new micro EVs that will be coming from the automaker. Much of the reasoning behind this new line of vehicles is a response to the Coronavirus outbreak and consumers wanting more private transportation.
Much like the Citreon Ami – again, who? – Herrera made reference to the model when announcing Kia Motor’s upcoming vehicle. The competition currently offers an all-electric range of only 44 miles and a top speed of 27 mph. Although no specs are available, Herrera made claims that the Kia micro EV will outperform those specs. Much like the Ami though, Kia Motors is also looking into the pay-as-you-drive way of doing things and having a subscription=based service for driving these new vehicles.
“It’s something we’re investigating at this point in time because we believe it could be an alternative to public transportation, providing we can deliver it at a very similar cost to public transportation…So that means a subscription model, or you can rent it for a week or month, so it needs to be pretty flexible like public transportation. We’re really looking at very low monthly prices for subscription, so it can really compete – and the Ami is one of the vehicles we’ve looked at.” – Herrera
Other automakers are already working on the same thing, larger – and more recognizable – names like Mitsubishi Motors signed a contract with Finnish company Maas Global Oy to eventually bring their subscription-based service to the states. In a word where people aren’t driving around as much but still want to have a live, purpose-built vehicles and electric vehicles for rent could explode very soon. For how long, who really knows?
Kia Motors hasn’t released much else on the micro EV, aside from a vague description of a miniature Kia Soul EV. The current model is a hatchback, so we wonder how it will look as a two-seater. Follow along with us on Miami Lakes Kia social media. If interested in small cars by Kia Motors, we have those too at Miami Lakes Automall.