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HMG and Kia Extend Partnership with Michelin for Next-Gen EV Tire

Automakers from all over the world have been busy signing partnerships and contracts to boost their resolve for the shift to electric vehicle (EV) and battery-electric vehicle (BEV) production. Some automotive groups have been a little late to the party, but the same can’t be said for the Hyundai Motor Group (HMG). With Kia Corp under the umbrella, the South Korean automaker has been steadfast in producing EVs, claiming to be the next all-electric automaker and shifting its resources into EV production. With a recent increase in investing into EV production, Kia will also benefit from the new contract between HMG and Michelin to develop the next generation of tires for premium EVs and work towards clean mobility.

This won’t be the first time the two names have worked together. In fact, the new agreement is a follow-up to a preceding five-year partnership that was signed in 2017. The partnership helped to develop exclusive tires, notably for the Hyundai IONIQ 5. Extending this new partnership, over the next three years, the goal is to jointly develop new innovations in EV tires, including eco-friendly tires with made from more eco-friendly materials; tires optimized for next-generation EVs, and a real-time tire monitoring system that will one day help advance the development of autonomous driving technology.

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Kia EV6 Lands on WardsAuto 10 Best Interiors & UX List

The Kia EV6 has had a lot of the spotlight shining on it as of late, and for good reason. A first for the automaker, the EV6 has no gas combustion engine variant before it. The automaker has been known to first release the average gas model and then release hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions, but after the Kia Niro, the world’s first hybrid crossover, the pattern was broken. Earning a 5-Star Safety Rating by Euro NCAP, the Kia EV6 also won the 2022 Red Dot Design Awards. Called a luxury EV, the Kia EV6 was recently named as a winner of a Wards 10 Best Interiors & UX award.

“We are honored to receive this award for the EV6, which represents an important step toward Kia’s transformative ‘Plan S’ global electrification strategy…The EV6’s modern, bold design elements and interior solutions thoughtfully integrated with intuitive technology reinforce Kia’s future-forward vision for electric vehicles.” – Steven Center, COO and EVP, Kia America

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Kia and HMG Launch EV RoboRide Service in Korea

During the 2022 CEO Investor Day, a conference held by Kia Corp, the automaker shared its vision for Kia in 2030. Building upon the original Plan S Strategy, a business plan to help Kia Corp achieve a 6.6% global electric vehicle market share, the automaker planned to produce at least 11 electric vehicles (EVs) by 2025. Already underway, and increasing the number to 14 battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) by 2027, the automaker is set to launch at least two BEVs per year between 2023 and 2027. The Plan S Strategy was actually a two-fork path, with its sights set on EVs and purpose-built vehicles (PBVs). Becoming ever increasingly popular, like the presentation by parent group Hyundai Motor Co at the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show (2022 CES), HMG and Kia are working towards a lineup of PBVs, starting with the Kia Niro Plus, a robotaxi launched in Korea.

The RoboRide car-hailing service has started operations in Gangnam in Seoul, South Korea. Produced with IONIQ 5 battery electric vehicles (BEV) as its base model, the RoboRide utilizes in-house developed level 4 autonomous driving technology, making it the first car-hailing service with autonomous driving vehicles to operate in Gangnam. With Kia’s home town in South Korea, it makes sense to test this service overseas, and especially in Gagnam, one of the most congested areas in metropolitan Seoul. It’s unclear if this RoboRide car-hailing service is the same as the Kia Niro Plus Taxi Model, also said to launch in Korea, and based off of the Kia Niro EV.

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The 2022 Kia Seltos Offers More Standard Features

The Kia Seltos took us all by surprise. This subcompact SUV first toured in India, and we weren’t sure if it would stay overseas or come to the states, but in late 2019, Kia announced that U.S. arrival of the Kia Seltos. Now in its 2022 model year, with a starting MSRP of $22,490 (plus destination fee), this would be a good time to know that the Kia Seltos is possibly one of a kind, where the base trim shines just as brightly as the rest of the lineup.

Powertrain

Made up of five trims, the LX, S, EX, Nightfall Edition, and SX, the first three trims are all powered by the same 2.0-liter DOHC I-4 engine, able to generate 146 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. The base trim would be the Kia Seltos LX. This is the trim we want to focus on, so for the engine type, this is all you need to know.

Engineering

Here is where things start to get interesting. Standard on the Kia Seltos is a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The LX is also one of the select trims to come with all-wheel drive (AWD) standard. Even with this drivetrain, the fuel economy is still strong, with an EPA-rated 27 mpg in city driving and 31 mpg on the highway.

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The Kia EV6 is a Luxury EV

The next few years in the auto market are going to see a big change. Electric vehicles (EVs), battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), and even hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles (FCEVs), are going to slowly become a more dominant share of inventory. Where there was doubt, there is now surprise and delight. Automakers all over are starting to work on an all-new EV lineup, whereas Kia Corp already has a healthy head start. With the release of the all-electric Kia EV6, the South Korean automaker eventually brought the EV to the states through Kia America, and we even got to test drive the EV6 at the 2022 Chicago Auto Show. We can tell you one thing for sure – this EV is like a silent killer with all the power of a high performance car but none of the bang. Moreover, many automotive journalists are calling the EV6 a step for Kia Corp into luxury vehicles.

Kia Corp would claim its first launch into the luxury vehicle segment would be with the 2022 Kia Carnival. Called a “multi-purpose vehicle” (MPV), the Carnival looked like a cross between an SUV and a minivan on the outside, and the inside provided a VIP lounge area for passengers with a full recline, raised power footrests, comfortable headrests, and heated and ventilated leather seats. Two dual 12.3-inch displays stretch across the dashboard, one for the instrument cluster, the other for the new Kia Connect infotainment system. A 12-speaker Bose stereo was available for optimum beats. It sure feels like a luxury entry, so what could journalists be talking about when it comes to the EV6? There are some similarities.

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Kia Corp and HMG Increase Investment in EV Production

The rise of electric vehicles (EVs), battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) is on a non-stop train to becoming the next largest category in the automotive market. With electrified vehicles becoming more prevalent, and winning awards left-and-right, automakers who are already ahead of the game can report record sales numbers and invest more into their EV production. One such automaker is Kia Corp. Reporting a rapid growth in electrified vehicles in May 2022, the parent group, Hyundai Motor Group (HMG), is increasing its investment to more than USD 10 billion by 2025 to further the automakers’ EV goals.

“We have come a long way and become very successful in a short period of time, but we are also preparing for our future…The Group will strengthen our partnership with U.S. public and private entities to offer innovative products and mobility solutions to our valued customers in the U.S. while supporting global carbon neutrality efforts,” – Euisun Chung, Executive Chair of Hyundai Motor Group, following his meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden in Seoul on May 22, 2022

It’s been a good month for Kia Corp. Many Kia vehicles have won awards in May, including the Kia Rio S winning the Vincentric 2022 Best Fleet Value in America Award. Hitting a true hallmark, the automaker is celebrating the sale of the 10 millionth Kia vehicle in the U.S. Since start of sales in 1993, a true win for Kia America, the U.S. division of the South Korean automaker. Continuing “Accelerate The Good” charitable initiatives, Kia will, in association with Ms. Charoenphong, Kia is commemorating this milestone through multiple charitable acts, such as $10,000 donations to non-profit organizations including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, Alzheimer’s Association, and Freedom Service Dogs of America.

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Kia EV6 Earns 5-Star Safety Rating by Euro NCAP

The new electric vehicle (EV) by Kia Corp, the Kia EV6, finally made it to America this year, 2022, but has been winning awards since its release. Twice in March, the EV6 won an award – the 2022 Red Dot Design Awards and the 2022 European Car of the Year. The EV6 also comes with a new incentive in the American market. Kia America and Electrify America entered a partnership to offer new Kia EV6 owners 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh), free of charge, at any Electrify America station across the U.S. If drivers needed any more reason to drive this EV, the Kia EV6 just earned a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.

We’re still waiting on safety ratings from organizations in the states, such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), but with the EV6 available longer overseas, the European safety organization NCAP, Europe’s leading independent safety testing organization, has its safety results complete first. Either way, a five-star rating is always great to see, especially with EVs and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), slowly becoming a larger part of the auto industry and auto market. Following extensive testing by Euro NCAP, the five-star rating is reflective of four categories the EV6 scored high in.

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