Kia is expanding its lone US production plant to accommodate its first electric three-row SUV. The Kia EV9 electric SUV will be the automaker’s first electric vehicle built in North America. Assembly will begin next year at the company’s West Point, Georgia, factory.
Kia will manufacture the EV9 electric SUV in West Point, Georgia.
Kia announced a $200 million expansion on Wednesday, adding roughly 200 new jobs to the area.
The EV9 will be the fifth model built in the company’s Georgia plant, but it will be the first all-electric vehicle in the lineup. Kia North America President and CEO Sean Yoon stated that the “EV9 has the potential to be another ‘game changer’ for Kia.” He went on to say:
This will be our most complex vehicle to date, making it a standout in the EV market and on the road. The best part is that it will be built in West Point, Georgia.
Kia introduced the EV9 electric SUV in March, receiving plaudits for its distinctive look and smart technology.
Meet Kia’s first EV, which will be built in the United States.
The EV9 is Kia’s largest electric vehicle to date, as well as the company’s first three-row electric SUV. The EV9, according to Kia, is changing the firm with a “bold vision for the new era of electrification.”
As a result, the EV9 has cutting-edge in-vehicle technology such as Kia’s most advanced Highway Driving Pilot, OTA updates, onboard power generator functionality (V2L), and ultra-wideband-based Digital Key.
Despite the upgrades, Kia is staying in the sector, arguing that the EV9 has “true SUV capabilities.” These include a 7.8-inch ground clearance, up to 81.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the front row, a towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds, and torque-vectoring dual-motor AWD.
The EV9 is built on the Hyundai Motor Group’s 800-volt E-GMP platform (the same one that powers the IONIQ 5, IONIQ 6, and Kia EV6) and incorporates fast-charging capabilities that let it to charge from 10% to 80% (adding 148 miles of driving range) in under 25 minutes.
The EV9 will be offered with two powertrain options. A 76.1 kWh (fourth-generation) battery with a 215 horsepower (160 kW) motor is the standard. In addition, a 99.8 kWh battery pack with a single motor and a range of 300 miles will be available, as will a dual-motor 379 hp torque-vectoring AWD configuration with 516 lb-ft of torque.
Kia plans to start assembling the EV9 at its West Point, Georgia, plant in the second quarter of 2024. Last month, the manufacturer began shipping the electric SUV to consumers in South Korea, where it received 13,000 preorders in the first eight days on the market.
Although Kia has yet to reveal costs for the US market, we anticipate that the EV9 will start about $65,000 to $70,000 for the larger battery pack and around $60,000 for the regular model, based on the first European prices.