Will we get Kia Sportage hybrid in NZ?
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Kia New Zealand is considering adding to its range of electrified vehicles to include a hybrid Sportage, and electric Soul.
Kia already has success with the Niro range, first launching the hybrid then the PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) and full electric (EV) versions.
Year to date, Kia has registered 54 Niro EVs, 187 hybrids and seven PHEVs, making it an impressive impact in the electrification of our fleet in New Zealand.
Now Kia NZ says it is also studying other EV and hybrid options available within the wider Kia family.
They could include the Kia Sportage hybrid, the fully electric Kia Soul (above), along with hybrid versions of the Kia Optima four-door sedan and wagon, among others.
“Kia has been developing a number of advanced technology electrified options that have already gone into other markets around the world and we are currently looking to see how these could fit within our line up,” says Kia NZ’s managing director, Todd McDonald.
Kia says demand for the fully electric Niro, which went on sale only a few months ago, has also hit unprecedented levels, with a large bank of forward orders received for the vehicle.
The addition of electrified vehicles to Kia’s line up in New Zealand has seen a 25 per cent reduction in fuel consumption in the overall Kia range over the past five years and CO2 emissions have also come down correspondingly.
Increasing the number of Kia hybrids, plug-ins and fully electric vehicles will help to further accelerate that trend, says the company. But the company faces limited availability of special Lithium-Ion but suppliers are expected to soon increase stock.
Those battery suppliers are also actively ensuring they comply with the company’s policy of using ethically sourced cobalt only.
In addition to these moves, Kia is also pursuing improved fuel economy and performance from petrol-powered vehicles with the introduction of its range of high-tech Smartstream drivetrains.
Smartstream features the world’s first Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD) technology that will go into future Kia vehicles.
Currently, an engine’s performance and efficiency is governed by variable valve control technology that adjusts the timing of valve opening and closing, along with the depth of the valve’s opening, says Kia. But CVVD takes that further by adjusting how long a valve stays open to optimise performance and fuel use.
Kia says CVVD can achieve a further 4 per cent boost in performance and 5 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency, while reducing emissions by an impressive 12 per cent.