The big, electric Kia EV9 has carpets made out of recycled fishing nets
By Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNN Business
The big Kia Telluride SUV, with three roomy rows of seats, has been a major hit for the South Korean car brand. So, for those ready to switch to electric vehicles, KIa just unveiled its all-electric big SUV. The Kia EV9, like the Telluride, has lots of seats and they can also do some neat tricks.
For instance, the second-row seats can swivel all the way around to face the third row seats for comfortable conversing. Or, if you want to sit and look outside, they can face out the door.
The EV9 should be able to travel up to about 541 kilometers, or 336 miles, on one full charge, according to the sort of range tests used in Europe, Kia said in an announcement. Kia has not yet announced the range estimate it expects from the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency.
Long-range versions of the SUV, which will only be equipped with rear-wheel-drive, will be able to go from zero to 100 kilometers per hour, or 62 mph, in about 9.4 seconds. This version will be powered by a single 150 kilowatt, or 201 horsepower, electric motor.
More powerful versions will also be available, including an all-wheel-drive version with two motors capable of a combined 282 kilowatts, or 378 horsepower. That version will be able to go from a stop to 100 kilometers per hour in just six seconds, according to Kia. Software to add even more performance through a special “Boost” feature will be available as an over-the-air download.
The EV9 is about the same length and height as the Telluride, but has a slightly longer wheelbase, meaning the back wheels are farther away from the front wheels. That should allow space for an even roomier interior. The EV9 will be available in seven-seat and six-seat versions. Seven seaters will have a bench seat in the second row while six-seat versions will have two independent second row seats.
The EV9 will also have some interesting technology available, including a back seat occupant alert system that uses radar to detect even the slight movement of a child’s breathing to warn if a child is inside the vehicle as it’s closed and locked. Some other recently introduced electric SUVs, including ones from Volvo and Polestar, will have similar technology. Users will also be able to power items such as laptops, small refrigerators and camping equipment, from the vehicle’s battery pack, a functionality more familiar in electric pickups like the Ford F-150 Lightning.
The SUV will also have a lot of recycled and renewable materials in its interior, including recycled suede and, in the floor carpets, recycled fishing nets. Bio-polyurethane derived from corn and eucalyptus will be used to replace leather and plastics in some places.
Kia hasn’t announced pricing for the EV9 yet but the similarly-sized gas-powered Telluride starts at about $37,000. The Telluride has been so popular, though, that it still routinely sells for over its sticker price, according to data from Edmunds.com. Kia’s two current electric models, the much smaller Kia Niro EV and EV6, start at about $41,000 and $50,000, respectively.
The EV9 is expected to go on sale “in selected global markets” in the second half of 2023.
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