Fed's New Rate Hike Eye Infections Money-Saving Tips Huawei Watch Ultimate Adobe's Generative AI Tips to Get More Exercise 12 Healthy Spring Recipes Watch March Madness

Even Kia Is Building an Electric Pickup Truck

It's part of a major push by the automaker to roll out 14 battery-electric models by 2027.

Let's hope for everybody's sake that Kia doesn't return to the KCV4 Mojave concept for this new electric pickup.

Electric pickup trucks are slowly gaining ground as one of the most hotly anticipated new segments to spawn from the industry's push toward full electrification. Some of these will come from automakers with decades of truck-building experience, but others will come from unlikely sources.

Kia this week unveiled its roadmap to 2030, an ambitious plan for electrifying its fleet through the end of the decade. This plan includes building 14 different battery-electric vehicles by 2027, including an entry-level EV as well as two different electric pickup trucks -- one mainstream model and a "strategic model for emerging markets," according to Kia's press release.

Kia has already released the EV6 crossover in the US to rave reviews. It will follow that up with the larger EV9 SUV, which is slated to launch in 2023. Kia promises it will accelerate to 62 mph in about 5 seconds and should boast a range around 335 miles. It will offer over-the-air updates and feature an on-demand service that will let buyers tack on software upgrades after purchase. It will also come equipped with AutoMode, which is Kia's "autonomous driving technology," although it's unclear what level of autonomy it will actually offer. (A quick reminder: There are no self-driving cars on sale right now.)

As part of its roadmap to 2030, Kia also plans to adjust how its global presence will suit each market where it sells cars. Each region will focus on its strengths, with Europe building small and medium EVs starting in 2025, while US factories will shift toward midsize SUVs and pickups as early as 2024.

Performance models are also in the cards. Kia said that it will start putting more effort into high-performance variants starting with the EV6 GT. After that, it will expand the GT badge to all its battery-electric vehicles.  

All these moves are part of a combined effort to boost Kia's overall sales, as well as the share of eco-friendlier vehicles. Kia hopes to boost its annual sales some 27% by 2030 to approximately 4 million units sold globally per year. Its electrified vehicles currently comprise 17% of the automaker's global sales, a figure it wants to boost to 52% by 2030 -- or 78% in markets with strong environmental regulations, like the US and Europe.