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.