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Kia's U.S. Electrified Vehicle Sales For 2022: Estimates Through Q3

Kia sells several electrified vehicles in the U.S. and is investing heavily in ramping production while also introducing new models each year. Their current list of electrified vehicles on sale in the U.S. includes 4 different models with 8 different variants among those models. These are the all electric (EV) EV6 and Niro EV, the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Niro, Sorento and Sportage, and the hybrid (HEV) Niro, Sorento and Sportage.


What is less clear, because Kia declines to report sales of PHEV and HEV vehicles separate from their non-electrified versions, is how many electrified vehicles Kia is selling. The best we can do is look at statistics for their EV sales, look at statistics for their sister company, Hyundai, and make some best guesses. I previously estimated Kia’s plug-in vehicles sales through the first half of the year to be at least 26,000. According to Kia, their current flagship EV, the EV6 has sold 17,564 units in the U.S. through the end of September. Since the EV6 went on sale in the U.S. in February, it is still establishing its base year for sales, but those sales have actually been on a downward trend since June which was the last time Kia sold more than 2,000 units per month. Kia’s other EV for the U.S. market, the Niro, is also currently down 2% in sales compared to last year (but that includes sales for the Niro HEV and PHEV models too). The Niro’s negative trend is likely due to model year change over and the launch of its fully redesigned 2023 model, and may turn around if Kia is able to deliver significant quantities to the U.S. by the end of the year. That is by no means guaranteed though as the HEV model of the 2023 Niro is the only version currently on sale in the U.S. and is expected to make up about 65% of total Niro sales and the EV and PHEV models won’t go on sale until later this year. It’s near the end of October already Kia, so you’ve got 1 quarter left to sell about 8,000 Niro’s if you want to beat last year’s numbers!

According to InsideEVs, Hyundai and Genesis’ combined year-to-date, wholesale plug-in vehicle shipments (globally) is up 37% over 2021 figures through the end of September. Hyundai, Genesis and Kia are the 3 constituents of the Hyundai Motor Group so their separate and combined production numbers can reasonably be associated. More specifically, Hyundai has seen its wholesale EV shipments increase by 41% so far this year, though its global PHEV shipments are down by 11% (notably, Genesis does not sell any PHEVs). Might we deduce similar figures are true for Kia?

We can actually, as Kia’s September EV sales were also up 41%, year-over-year. But as I spelled out in a recent article on Kia’s YTD sales, that is entirely due to the fact that the EV6 is on sale this year, and in demand, as Kia’s EV sales would otherwise be in a negative position (though PHEVs and HEVs would certainly be up given the increased number of models available throughout the year). Taking what factual information we can gather for Q3, we see that Kia has sold just under 5,000 additional EV6s, a little over 1,000 Niros (all versions combined), and sales trends for their two SUVs (the Sorento and Sportage) with HEV and PHEV models are both up (though that has to be mostly due to the gasoline only versions). I would thus conservatively estimate that this year Kia has sold over 31,000 plug-in vehicles in the U.S. through the end of Q3, and likely well over 20,000 HEVs as well.

Do you find these numbers encouraging? Please leave any comments or questions below.

Images provided by Kia and Justin Hart.

Justin Hart has owned and driven electric vehicles for over 14 years, including a first generation Nissan LEAF, second generation Chevy Volt, Tesla Model 3, an electric bicycle and most recently a Kia Sorento PHEV. He is also an avid SUP rider, poet, photographer and wine lover. He enjoys taking long EV and PHEV road trips to beautiful and serene places with the people he loves. Follow Justin on Twitter for daily KIA EV news coverage.


Shahara (not verified)    October 30, 2022 - 8:18PM

I'm overdue on purchasing a new vehicle. I currently have a 2003 Honda Accord with 330k miles. I purchased it from the showroom floor. I tend to hold on to vehicles for a long time. So now I'm looking to purchase again. I think I want an EV but often think about the plug-in hybrid. I live in Los Angeles and commute to my daughter's school and activities. She's 10. I want to purchase a vehicle that I can drive now but can also pass to her when she gets of the driving age. I like the Kia EV6, Tesla 3, and Camry, big differences. Can you recommend a vehicle that would suit my current and upcoming needs?

Justin Hart    November 1, 2022 - 3:35AM

In reply to by Shahara (not verified)

Certainly! I also have a 10 year old daughter and think about which of my two current vehicles I might give her when she moves out/goes to college. An EV, like the EV6 or Tesla Model 3 are both a real pleasure, and a thrill, to drive. Their technology reduces strain on heavily trafficked freeways, their smooth, quiet, and agile handling also help to create a much more enjoyable driving experience. PHEV’s (like the Kia Sorento, Sportage and Niro, or the Toyota Rav 4 Prime) are mostly SUV’s these days… and if that isn’t what you want, you might need to look at BMW, Volvo, other European makes, or the Toyota Prius Prime if that is your preference. I enjoy PHEVs for some of the same reasons (quiet, smooth, excellent and quite useful technology) and they certainly will save you money on fuel and are nearly as good at lowering emissions as EVs if you charge them regularly. But PHEVs are a little more complicated and have a steeper learning curve to get the most out of them. Also, if you do a lot of long distance driving, they lose much of their advantage over traditional (non-plug in) hybrids. My suggestions: Buy a Tesla if the thrill of driving, resale value, and ease of driving long distances (over 300 miles in a day) are important. They are just better in these regards. Buy an EV like the EV6, Ioniq 5, VW ID.4, Chevy Bolt or Mustang Mach-E if ease of long distance driving is less important to you, you don’t want to wait for a Tesla, you prefer the styling or features of another brand, or perhaps if you want to be different (Tesla’s are the most popular EV of course). Note the highest level trim of the EV6 is just as thrilling to drive as the Tesla Model 3… but if this car will eventually be for your daughter, maybe that isn’t important. If you decide you don’t want an EV, and a PHEV SUV sounds good. the Rav 4 Prime, Kia Sportage and Sorento PHEVs (and their Hyundai equivalents, the Santa Fe and Tucson) are probably the most in demand, for a reason - they’re great! If you want something smaller, the Niro PHEV (new 2023 model in particular) should also be on your list. I don’t recommend buying a non-electrified vehicle these days, so if a Camry is on your list, go for the HEV version. You may appreciate its excellent fuel economy and looks. But I may not have narrowed this down enough for you, so by price: $50,000+ I suggest Tesla. $40,000 - $50,000 I suggest Kia EV6 or Kia Niro EV. < $40,000 Kia Niro PHEV or Prius Prime. I hope this helps!