In a ceremony at Andhra Pradesh Secretariat in Amaravati, Kia Motors India and the government of Andhra Pradesh signed a MoU for ‘Future Eco Mobility’ in the presence of the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu Naidu and the CEO & MD of Kia Motors India, Kookhyun Shim. The company has provided the government of Andra Pradesh with three Niro EVs – a fully electric vehicle, a plug in hybrid and a hybrid vehicle. They have also provided two charging stations inside the premises of the Secretariat in Amaravati. The vehicles are for the use of the state government officials at Amaravati. The objective of this MoU is to increase the uptake of electric vehicles and the development of local EV infrastructure.
The highlight of the Niro EV is its range – the Niro EV boasts of a range of 455km on a single charge! The batteries can be charged by up to 80 per cent in just one hour. It accelerates to 100kmph from standstill in 7.8 seconds, with a top speed of 167kmph (claimed). The Niro PHEV can run on pure electricity for a range of 58km before the petrol engine kicks in. The company also claims that the thermal efficiency of the 1.5-litre petrol engine is 40 per cent, due to a number of tweaks done to the engine. The engine is mated to a DCT tailored specifically for the hybrid powertrain.
Kia Motors is also gearing up for its India operations, with work in full swing for its new plant in Anantpur. The top bosses at the company are very enthusiastic with the Indian market, as they feel that they have entered the market at the right time. The company has plans to roll out a new vehicle every six months for three years, starting with its compact SUV, codenamed SP Concept, which made its world debut at the Auto Expo earlier this year. The company has a target of producing 300,000 cars a year and it reckons that it will be among the top five car brands in India by 2021. While the trial production run is set to begin early next year, the production is expected to start in second half of 2019 and the company will launch its first product targeting the festive season later in 2019.
Kia Motors was tight lipped when asked about the product portfolio and the segments that it will be entering in the near future apart from the compact SUV segment. It is still a work in progress and they are evaluating the market, says Kia Motors. The company plans to offer 16 electrified vehicles by 2025 globally. Kia Motors is moving forward with its ACE strategy – to produce Autonomous, Connected and ECO/Electric cars in all categories by 2030.
On the MoU with Andhra Pradesh government, CEO and MD of Kia Motors India Kookhyun Shim said, “Kia is taking a lead in the global eco-friendly vehicle market, and we are confident of achieving the same in India. This new partnership with the Andhra Pradesh government highlights how we can support the growth of EV infrastructure and uptake of eco-friendly vehicles, bringing exciting new possibilities for future mobility in India.”
Even before launching its first product in India, Kia Motors has captured the attention of the automobile industry in the country by this MoU with the government of Andhra Pradesh to promote EVs and develop the necessary infrastructure for it. Chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu Naidu was enthusiastic about the EVs and he said that Kia Motors should bring more EVs to the country. He also said that since the sun is always shining in this part of the country, solar power will become more affordable in the coming days, thus giving a boost to the usage of renewable energy.