Kia mulls EV production in Europe
Kia could build full-electric cars in Europe to overcome supply constraints and to help reduce its carbon footprint.
Kia Europe's chief operating officer, Emilio Herrera, said the automaker is evaluating EV production in the region, without specifying which model could be built. Kia's only European factory in Zilina, Slovakia, builds the Ceed, Sportage and Venga gasoline and Diesel models.
Building an EV in Europe would minimize the risks of supply disruption, Herrera said. «We know our suppliers LG Chemical and SK Innovation are looking to possible battery production in Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia» he said. Herrera also said he is not concerned about current low demand for electric vehicles because «EV sales have increased dramatically in many EU markets, driven mainly by taxation».
Kia currently sells a battery-powered version of its Soul small crossover in Europe. Herrera said Kia could sell more Soul EVs if there were no supply constraints with deliveries from the production plant in Korea.
According Kia's Ceo the company sold more electric Souls in Europe last year than gasoline and Diesel versions combined.