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Kia's May US EV Sales Are Best Ever, Oh And The EV9 Was Outsold By Both The Niro EV And EV6

Kia had its best ever EV sales month in the US in May, selling 7,197 units between its 3 electric models. Interestingly, the EV9 was the lowest selling EV model and Kia’s overall US sales were down 1%, the sixth consecutive month of declining US sales.

May’s results are basically just a rehash of April’s sales figures, in that Kia set records for EV sales last month too, and like April the K5, the discontinued Rio, and the Soul were the primary reasons for Kia’s sales decline (though in May the Seltos was also down by 13%, yet that seems a momentary blip so far as its year-to-date sales are up compared to last year). One thing that is unusual and worth calling out in Kia’s sales numbers for May is that we can figure out exactly how many Niro EVs Kia sold last month (by subtracting the total number of EV9s (2,187) and EV6s (2,660) sold from the total number of EVs Kia sold). That figure for the Niro EV is… drumroll please… 2,350 units! That means that the Niro EV actually outsold the EV9 last month and that EV9 sold the lowest number of all Kia EV models (even though it was the best sales month for the EV9 so far). 

That didn’t stop Kia from choosing to lead with the EV9’s sales trajectory though, which is interesting. I don’t know if 2,350 units sold, or almost 56% of all Niro models sold in May, is the best sales results the Niro EV has ever seen because Kia doesn’t break out the different Niro models sales figures typically (nor does it break out electrified sales for other models that also have gas tanks), but I have a pretty strong hunch it is at least one of the best, if not the best month the Niro EV has ever had in the US. This is because the average % of total Niro sales that the EV model takes is usually estimated to be between 30% and 40%.

Why Kia isn’t celebrating the Niro EV’s sales success too is beyond me, but perhaps it is simply because the EV9 and EV6 are more profitable vehicles for the brand or perhaps it is because the Niro has a gasoline powered variant (the standard hybrid or HEV model) and Kia simply views the variants as different trims that don’t warrant separate sales call outs. Regardless, if Kia were to keep up similar monthly EV sales for the rest of the year, they may sell over 72,000 EVs in the US this year. That would probably be more than double the number of EVs they likely sold last year. I figure that may be overly optimistic, but with the return of federal incentives for the EV9 now that it is being assembled in the US, the strength of Niro and EV6 sales, and the launch of the EV3 compact SUV later this year, Kia may certainly get close to that figure if all goes well.

Sticking closer to figures we can be more certain about, this means Kia has likely sold around 23,000 - 24,000 EVs in the US through the first 5 months of the year. That doesn’t put them too far behind Ford (at over 37,200 EVs) sold this year, and Ford is currently the 2nd best selling brand, after Tesla, though GM may pull off a surprise by later this year if it keeps selling as many of their various brands as they did last month and recently. To be fair, GM is a family of brands akin to Hyundai, Kia and Genesis or more so Ford and Lincoln, so it may be more accurate to compare Chevrolet only to Ford, or Kia, only. Regardless, if one of these brands does not manage on their own to become the second to sell over 100,000 EVs in the US in a calendar year, after Tesla, then one of these brand families almost certainly will. 

Are you in the market for a new EV, or perhaps a new to you EV? Of the brands vying for second place in sales, which if any are most appealing to you and why? Please leave your questions and comments below.

Images courtesy of Kia.

 

Justin Hart has owned and driven electric vehicles for over 16 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 Torque News Kia or X for regular electric and hybrid news coverage.

Comments

Auto Motive (not verified)    June 6, 2024 - 5:59PM

EV9 could have been thge best seller of many ev..but Kia dropped the ball hard. Too many cons but to name a few battery size for a 5600 lb plus vehicle at 99kwh. Base trim model with 201hp.
Highway testing in summer on top trim n line AWD at 75 mph returned a dismal 220 miles or in winter 160 miles.
Lastly price. Topped out at $75000. No tax credit as of today but coming. Huge discounts on cars.com and autotrader on top trim up to $15000 off. Great design very poor judgement in what buyers want, range and affordability.