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Kia Wants 11 Green Cars by 2020

17 Novembre 2015 - Autoblog

Kia Wants 11 Green Cars by 2020

Kia will invest $10.2 billion in an effort to become a more environmentally friendly automaker over the next five years, and the recently teased Niro hybrid crossover will be just the tip of the iceberg.

The Korean automaker wants to more than double its green car lineup by 2020 to 11 models from the current four with plans for new hybrids, PHEVS, EVs, and even a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle.

This green rollout will start with an Optima PHEV (the 2014 hybrid variant is shown above) with a lithium-polymer battery and will continue with the Niro CUV. Spy shots also suggest both Hyundai and Kia have other dedicated hybrids under development, and rumors hint at their arrival in showrooms in 2017. "Global market demand is shifting to electric vehicles, with oil prices predicted to rise in future," Ki-Sang Lee, the senior vice president at Kia's Eco Friendly Vehicle R&D Center, said in the investment's announcement.

Kia is already familiar with fuel-cell tech thanks to public testing in 2009, but the automaker really wants to push development with a mass-produced model in 2020. The new FCEV would use a 15- percent lighter and five-percent more efficient stack versus current units, and the setup would offer an estimated range of over 497 miles. The company hopes to build 1,000 of these vehicles annually at first.

The automaker's green plan will also aim to boost the brand's average fuel economy by 25 percent from 2014 levels. To make that happen, Kia will replace seven of its 10 engine families and will cut the weight of future vehicles by five percent. The next-gen models will use more efficient transmissions too.

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