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With the automotive industry slowly putting itself back together as automakers start up manufacturing plants and get production going again, some automakers are making interesting investments. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), is making use of the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan self-driving technology benefited from Waymo, and is supplying Voyage Auto Inc, another self-driving car startup service, with modified Pacifica Hybrid units. Some automakers are starting to venture into the production of purpose-built vehicles (PBVs) like Kia Motors and HMG. PBV production is also just one part of Kia Motors Plan S Strategy, with another focus on electric vehicle (EV) production and technology. The latest investment by Kia Motors takes the next step in making powerful EV technology available to the masses.
In the beginning of the year, Kia Motors shared its Plan S Strategy, a two-trach strategy focusing on EVs and PBVs, both with large goals in the coming years. Intending to release 11 EV models by 2025, Kia Motors already teased two new EV models said to be released in 2021. One of these concepts shares many similarities to the Kia Futuron concept that Kia revealed during the Imagine by Kia showcase during the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show. Revolutionizing the EV industry, this concept was said to be able to travel over 300 miles (roughly 310) and could completely recharge in 20 minutes.
How is this possible? Through the use of an 800-volt battery architecture system. EVs on the market today make use of a 400-volt battery system and are known to charge up to 80-percent in 20-30 minutes. But the final 20 -percent? Consumers are looking up anywhere from 3-9 hours depending on the power source, a 120V or 240V outlet. An 800-volt charges a vehicle in a fraction of that time. Just one problem.
To date, the only vehicle making use of such a system is the Porsche Taycan, and those vehicles range from $105,000 up to $187,000. The average consumer can’t afford that. To tackle this hurdle, Kia Motors is currently investing in its own 800-volt battery architecture system, and it won’t be out of reach of the average consumer.
“We want to provide European customers with the best possible value for their money, something that we are committed to with every new car…800V charging won't simply be reserved for Kia's flagship models…” – Pablo Martinez Masip, Director Product Planning and Pricing for Kia Motors Europe
It will be some time until we see this kind of technology in Kia Motors models, but with 11 models destined for 2025, who knows? Kia Motors is no stranger to alternative fuel technology after all. With a large amount of the Kia Motors lineup powered by alternative powertrains, it’s about time the technology gets an upgrade. Kia Motors usually releases an internal gas combustion engine vehicle, and then a hybrid version will follow, like the Kia Optima Hybrid and Optima Plug-in Hybrid, or the Kia Soul EV. The Kia Niro was the first vehicle to start off as a hybrid and then eventually expand into an EV, and the Kia Futuron will be the first vehicle to be a standalone electric vehicle.
Looking for a hybrid vehicle from Kia Motors? When shopping for a car online with NowCar, choices are nearly unlimited. Shop online with us today.