Kia Is Jumping Into The (EV) Pickup Truck Game: Here’s What We Know So Far

Their EV9 SUV is coming next — but a pickup truck is supposedly on the way

Kia Concept EV9 (Kia EV pickup news)
This obviously isn’t a pickup, but the Concept EV9 does hint at Kia’s styling direction — and may inform the company’s upcoming pickup. (Images: Kia)

Kia aims to launch 14 new electric vehicles globally by 2027 — including two new trucks.

It’s a name you haven’t seen in the truck world outside a few oddball concepts, but the South Korean automaker is doubling down on launching a host of new vehicles. That includes two new pickups, the company announced this week — one of which will be a “dedicated” EV model, likely on Hyundai Motor Co.’s e-GMP architecture. The other, according to Kia’s presentation, is a “strategic” model for emerging markets, and may use an internal combustion engine.

Kia says it will roll out new vehicles at the rate of two per year beginning in 2023. From there, we’ll see the brand’s bespoke truck kick off production in the United States in 2024. According to an Automotive News piece citing sources close to Kia’s plans, the automaker is exploring a midsize, body-on-frame model rather than a full-size truck to compete with the likes of the Ford F-150 Lightning or Chevrolet Silverado EV. The “bespoke” point also suggests it won’t be a derivative of the Hyundai Santa Cruz, either.

At this point, we don’t have any definitive confirmation of size, powertrain layout or performance figures, so we’ll have to wait and see what Kia brings to the table.

Kia Concept EV9 (Kia EV pickup news)

We are getting the large EV9, which may influence an electric truck

What we do know more about is what’s shown here: the large EV9 SUV. At 194 inches, this model will roughly land in the same league as the Kia Telluride, while being slightly smaller than American body-on-frame SUVs like the Chevrolet Tahoe.

When it does arrive, the Kia EV9 should pack up to 300 miles of range, as well as 350-kW DC fast charging capability. Kia claims the car will recharge up to 80 percent of its available battery power in 30 minutes, provided you have access to a fast enough Level 3 charger through the Electrify America network.

Regardless of what is coming and when, the automaker needs to ramp up battery supply to meet growing EV production. To that end, Kia plans to do just that, while improving energy density by up to 50 percent. The company estimates demand will rise to 119 GWh by 2030, and it aims to sell 1.2 million electric vehicles annually by the end of the decade.

Speaking of electric trucks, we cover the Rivian R1T below: