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Kia EV9 assembly line gears up for April 2023 production

John Law

According to Korean sources, the Kia EV9 production line will begin to come together next month with first examples of the electric SUV appearing in April 2023

The 2024 Kia EV9 will be the next all-electric vehicle from Kia. Based on the same E-GMP platform as the EV6, the larger EV9 will offer three rows of seating and be similar in size to the US-market Telluride

According to The Korean Car Blog, Kia will begin construction of the EV9’s production line next month, and the first cars are likely to roll out of the factory by April 2023. 

Kia Concept EV9 2022 front 3/4
This is the EV9 concept, but the production version is expected to look rather similar

Kia is tooling up its Gwangmyeong (previously called Sohari) plant to handle initial EV9 production, meaning all the carmaker’s plants in Korea will produce electric vehicles. The former Sohari plant is said to be capable of manufacturing 320,000 units annually. 

Eventually, once EV9 is up and running, Kia will open another plant manufacturing electric vehicles exclusively to bolster production. A yet unseen EV (set to debut in 2024) will be built alongside EV9 and EV6 here. 

Kia is targeting a rapid expansion of EV sales, with 160,000 globally this year slated to increase to over 800,000 by 2026 and 1.2 million by 2030. Since the EV6 launched here in February 2022, the brand has sold 346 units according to official FCAI data. 

Will EV9 come to Australia?

Kia Australia has not confirmed whether the new EV9 will come to Australia, but general manager of product planning, Roland Rivero, previously told Chasing Cars that the Australian arm’s hand will be firmly up. 

Kia EV9 2024 renderings-1
Rendering specialist Hitekro gave us an imagination of how a production EV9 could look

Because all EV9s are being built in Korea (unlike Telluride), there’s a high chance that the new three-row large SUV will be available in right-hand drive for both Australia and the UK.

It’s also looking as though the production version of the EV9 will be close in its final silhouette to the prototype that debuted in November 2021. 

Pricing could nudge $100K for a range-topping EV9 – likely wearing GT-Line badging – making this potentially the most expensive Kia ever sold in Australia.

What could EV9’s powertrain look like?

Platform sharing with the EV6 means we have some indication of what the EV9 could be packing. Think outputs of around 239kW/605Nm, with potentially more grunt on the cars to match the EV6 GT’s 430kW power figure, with all-wheel drive almost a certainty. 

Kia Concept EV9 2022 doors
The EV9 Concept’s barn doors probably won’t make production…

Where the EV9 will have to differ is in battery size. Kia is aiming for a WLTP range of between 500-550km. To achieve that, the EV9’s battery would have to be in the vicinity of 95-100kWh – much larger than the current 77.4kWh items fitted to smaller E-GMP products.

The larger size – at about five-metres in length, the EV9 is vast – should make for easier packaging of this large battery. 

Further details of the Kia EV9 production car will be confirmed closer to its global unveiling. Stay tuned to Chasing Cars for future updates. 

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