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Kia America Attends 2022 Electrify Expo

The 2022 Electrify Expo is in full-swing, and this year is going to be something special. Over 120 different brands will be attending the expo to push the limits of electrification and discuss the challenges, insights, research, and trends in electrified mobility. With a focus on mobility for all, an all-electric future is coming soon, and companies like Kia America will be joining cutting-edge mobility companies at the Electrify Expo to tackle the future of electrified vehicles. Plus, of course, the all-new Kia EV6 will be on display for attendees of the Expo to experience first-hand. That’s always a plus – remember the Kia EV6 test drive during the 2022 Chicago Auto Show?

So, a little more about the Electrify Expo. North America’s largest electric vehicle festival, over 1 million square feet are dedicated to the event in several locations. Having already launched the first series of the Expo in Long Beach, California in early June, 2022, four more locations are on the agenda. Next up, the Electrify Expo will take a stand in Seattle, Washington this month (July 2022), then heading over to New York, NY in late August (27-28, 2022), down south in our own Miami, Florida from October 8-9, 2022, and finally heading to Austin, Texas from November 11-13, 2022. All attendees are in for a great show, able to experience all kinds of electric mobility coming to the market in the near future.

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HMG and Kia Supernal Unveil eVOTL Aircraft

Does anyone remember “Supernal”? First announced in November 2021, it’s the name of Urban Air Mobility Company owned by the Hyundai Motor Group (HMG, parent company of the Kia Corp). Ever since HMG announced its air taxi, through a partnership with Uber at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show, the automotive group has been shaking hands with other companies involved with aerospace, such as ANRA Technologies. Hyundai, Kia, and Uber have been working towards the their air taxi to be the first ones to have a real working personal aircraft in the emerging Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) industry. Almost a year later, and Supernal revealed its initial eVTOL vehicle cabin concept at the Farnborough International Airshow.

Working with more than 50 affiliates, spanning across various industries – automobiles, automotive parts, construction, robotics, and autonomous driving – Supernal took a look at automotives today and incorporated that into the design. Starting with a five-seat cabin concept while matching up with commercial aviation’s high safety standards but still optimizing the AAM passenger experience, as well as making it affordable for the consumers (most likely those with big pockets). A team of engineers and designers already working in the automotive industry were tasked with the design of the eVTOL to create a light-weight interior cabin that feels like the inside of a modern vehicle, but can take flight. Made of advanced, recyclable, forged carbon fiber, the cabin consists of reinforced thermoplastic, durable plant-based leather upholstery, recycled plastic fabric and responsibly sourced woods, and comes with ergonomically contoured seats to offer passengers a cocoon-like environment to feel safe in. Like vehicles today, the center consoles provide a charging station and storage for personal items, grab handles, and a combination of lighting features, such as overhead lights that mimic the sunroofs installed into automobiles, designed to emulate a “light therapy” effect for passengers that may be a little wary of a personal aircraft that currently looks like a helicopter without any rotors.

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EV Vehicles Continue to Get More Charging Incentives

Now that the auto market is making the shift towards electric vehicles (EVs), many companies are starting to find ways to give consumers that extra push to go green. One of the major reasons many consumers were fearful of getting an all-electric vehicle, or even a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), was because electric charging stations seemed far and few in-between. Most charging stations were found within a shopping plaza or maybe a parking garage out of the way. Thanks to a new nationwide EV charging infrastructure bill signed in 2021, electric charging stations are going to start popping up all around America, and that should make it easier for consumers to make the switch. For those that don’t want to hunt down an EV charging station in the meantime, there’s always mobile charging delivery service Currently had a partnership with Kia America, and now with SparkCharge.

Kia America has been offering consumers huge incentives to make the change and go electric. In March 2022, Kia America partnered with Currently to offer Kia EV owners more convenience when charging up with a new subscription package – Currently technicians would travel to and charge up consumer vehicles up to three times every week for two months. With the convenience of the Currently App, all Kia EV owners needed to do was sign up, and they could set a time and location for a technician to come charge up their EV, virtually anywhere. It’s a really nifty service, and especially helpful for keeping an EV charged at home or when out and about. It’s all thanks to the Roadie charging system.

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HMG and Kia Launch Second Half of ZER01NE Accelerator Program

2020 was a crazy year for everyone, and the economy got hit hard. Nearly every industry aside from consumer electronics and toilet paper (for some reason), got hit. Some companies packed up altogether, and the 2021 semiconductor shortage that followed really messed some things up for automakers highlighting all new tech features. Basically, a lot of plans got setback a bit, but now that we’re far into 2022, things are shaping up again. The Hyundai Motor Group (HMG), the umbrella group for Kia Corp, just launched the second half of the ZER01NE Accelerator program, originally launched in 2018 and again in 2020.

The ZER01NE Accelerator program is a group within the HMG that is working on new forms of automotive technology that will soon be popping up in future models. We’ve seen teasers of this technology with features like Augmented Reality (AR) windshields and autonomous car technology in the past. Since the program started back in 2020, eight affiliates of the Group and 54 startups began operations to work on the next phase of ZER01NE, with a total of 48 collaborative projects and 35 equity investments by HMG to continue the Research & Development (R&D) of future automotive technology. Each project adheres to one of the following ten themes: data, user experience, human machine interface, mobility, charging, robotics, smart factory, logistics, healthcare, and materials.

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Highlights of 2023 Kia Niro EV

According to the Kia 2022 CEO Investor Day, the automaker has big plans for the rest of the decade, ending in 2030. One of the largest changes will be shifting all of it resources towards electric vehicle (EV) development and releasing two new EVs every year between 2023 and 2027. With a new EV lineup already emerging with the Kia EV6 and the upcoming Kia EV9, some models may be pushed aside. The Kia Optima lineup was wiped clean, replaced with the performance-oriented K5. Several EVs already make up the lineup, and although the Soul EV still goes strong, the Niro EV may be replaced by future models. Here are some reasons to take a look at the Niro EV while you still can.

Power and Driving Dynamics

When it comes to power, consumers may find themselves scratching their heads over horsepower and how much of a difference a couple of units can make. As opposed to gasoline engines, where horsepower is usually the winner, torque is the one bringing home the bacon when it comes to EVs. As opposed to competitors, some who can only offer up to 250 lb-ft of torque from their EVs, the Kia Niro EV can generate up to 291 lb-ft of torque. In addition to the extra torque that the Niro EV can provide, speed is still a fun factor. The 2023 Kia Niro EV can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 6.5 seconds.

It’s all thanks to a 64.8 kWh battery that runs a 150kW (201 horsepower) motor. With a total all-electric range of 253 miles and EPA MPGE of 123 in the city and 102 on the highway, the Niro EV can take consumers nearly anywhere with zero carbon emissions. Charging up is also getting easier. With DC fast-charging capability as a standard, consumers can plug the Niro EV into a Level 3 fast charger and recharge from 10-80 percent in less than 45 minutes. Also available is a Level 2 home installation for quick charging at home.

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Record Sales for Kia Sportage in June 2022

Kia Corp is really kicking some butt lately. With multiple models taking the second highest-ranking spot in their respective categories – according to the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS) – and the Kia Forte taking top honors, all eyes are on the South Korean automaker and its plans for electric vehicle (EV) production with the Hyundai Motor Group. Even with a large focus on EV development, having shifted all of its resources to EVs and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), gasoline combustion engines are still plenty popular. The Kia Sportage just had its best sales ever in June, posting a record monthly sales total of 14,153 units. Also entering an age of electrified models, the Sportage PHEV is also hitting the streets, following the success of the Sorento PHEV and Kia EV6.

“With our wide range of sedans, SUVs and electrified vehicles, Kia has the most well-balanced model line-up in the industry…The ongoing popularity of the EV6 and strong initial sales performance of the all-new Sportage SUV continue to push the brand on its upward trajectory. We are confident that Kia will continue to outpace the industry well into the third quarter and through the rest of the year.” – Eric Watson, vice president, sales operations, Kia America

Fuel Up or Go Green

The 2023 Kia Sportage makes the choices easy for consumers. Standard throughout the lineup is a 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine, able to generate up to 187 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque. Offering consumers a fuel economy of 25 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway when equipped with front-wheel drive, the SUV has always been a great staple of the Kia name. Offering premium materials, such as Syntex, and a new dual panoramic curved display standard on all trims, the 2023 Kia Sportage has some of the tech developments for future Kia models.

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Kia Forte Ranks Highest During 2022 J.D. Power IQS

Every year, automotive journalists and publications drive, review, and evaluate the many new vehicles launched into the auto market. Not every consumer knows how to properly do the research about new cars, and with so many choices, a little help from a trusted name in the industry can go a long way. Kelley Blue Book,, Edmunds, WardsAuto – all names automakers trust. One of the big power players is J.D. Power & Associates, conducting all sorts of studies throughout the year to rank a vehicle’s technology and UX, reliability, resale value, and quality. Recently, the 2022 J.D. Power 2022 Initial Quality Study (IQS) concluded, and Kia Corp landed in many vehicle segments, with the Kia Forte capturing the highest rank for its vehicle segment.

When it comes to J.D. Power studies, the winners aren’t just chosen by a group of jurors who have evaluated a handful of vehicles. Instead, the winners are chosen by real consumers. Now in its 36th year, the J.D. IQS followed the same formula. Surveys were sent out to owners and lessees of new model-year vehicles within 90 days of the owner or lessee buying or leasing that vehicle. The first 90 days are a large factor of how well a vehicle can hold up before looking at how well a vehicle retains its initial value – that’s another study. For the IQS, J.D. Power received 84,165 survey responses from purchasers and lessees of new 2022 model-year vehicles to find the highest ranking vehicles. Conducted between February through May 2022, each survey was used to rank a vehicle on the following nine vehicle categories: infotainment; features, controls and displays; exterior; driving assistance; interior; powertrain; seats; driving experience; and climate.

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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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