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Kia says EVs will make up half of its vehicle sales by start of next decade

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Kia says EVs will make up half of its vehicle sales by start of next decade
Kia Motors President and Chairman Song Ho-sung said Thursday that the South Korean automaker is speeding up its focus on electric vehicles. Photo courtesy Kia Motors

SEOUL, March 3 (UPI) -- South Korean automaker Kia Motors plans for more than half of its 4 million car sales by 2030 to be eco-friendly, President and Chairman Song Ho-sung said Thursday at an investor event.

Kia, a sister company of Hyundai Motor, has been "undergoing a full-scale transformation," Song said.

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"To achieve the company's vision of becoming a sustainable mobility solutions provider, we will focus on accelerating the transition to future business models."

The carmaker is aiming to expand its proportion of green cars -- including all-electric, plug-in and hybrid vehicles -- from 17% of sales in 2022 to 52% at the dawn of the 2030s.

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One of Kia's new K3 EV vehicles is seen at the international Auto China show in Beijing, China, on September 29, 2020. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI

Kia said Thursday it's investing $23 billion to speed up the transition to electric vehicles and will introduce 14 fully electric models by 2027, including a newly announced pickup truck and an entry-level vehicle targeted at emerging markets.

The company has made a strong impression with its EV6 sedan, which won European Car of the Year on Monday -- a first for a Korean automaker. South Korea's second-largest automaker, Kia is also planning to launch a flagship electric SUV, the EV9, in 2023.

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The goal for markets with strong consumer demand and strict environmental regulations, including North America, China, Europe and South Korea, will be 78% EV and hybrid sales by 2030, Song said.

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All of Kia's new vehicles will feature connected car services by 2025 and most will have autonomous driving technology by 2026, according to the carmaker's roadmap.

Kia said it's looking to sell 4 million vehicles in 2030, a 27% increase over the company's target of 3.15 million in 2022. The company is projecting sales of fully electric vehicles to hit 160,000 this year and 1.2 million by the next decade, which would account for 30% of its overall sales.

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