May 26, 2022

If you thought it wouldn’t take long for the Kia Concept EV9 to become a production model, you guessed it. The automaker said a road version of the electric SUV will be available in Europe by 2023. There was no mention of a launch in North America or other regions, but it’s an SUV – it may be a matter of time before we see the EV9 zipping across US and Canadian roads.

Kia did not say what changes will come from concept to production. However, we expect the sticker to undermine a number of more attractive features, including yokes, giant wheels, retractable roof rails, and living room-style seating modes. We wouldn’t be surprised if Kia put a 27-inch display and even a solar panel on the hood.

The production EV9 can also keep the declared characteristics. The concept promised a range of up to 300 miles and a 350kW fast charger that could charge it from 10 percent to 80 percent in 30 minutes. Kia also recently detailed the autonomous “Automode” technology for the EV9 that the driver can use on the highway.

There are still important unknowns, such as prices. Still, the EV9 could be one of Kia’s most important all-electric vehicles to date, at least in some areas. While the EV6 has been well received so far, some markets (particularly in North America) are leaning heavily towards crossovers and SUVs. The EV9 could help Kia compete with rivals like the Tesla Model Y and Volkswagen ID.4, not to mention buyers who weren’t thrilled with the Niro EV.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on Engadget.

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