- The EV9 will make heavy use of PETs like recycled water bottles and fishing nets.
- Around 70 or more water bottles are recycled for every EV9 that'll be produced.
- Kia is adding lightning-fast 800-volt charging that'll get your battery from 10% to 80% in about 25 minutes.
Everything You Didn't Know About the 2024 Kia EV9
Kia's EV9 is on the way, and this is everything you didn't know about the hypersustainable EV
Kia announced pricing for its new EV9 SUV this week and has said the nearly $55,000 SUV will be one of the most sustainable vehicles the brand produces. There's lots of new ways in which the EV9 will help you feel better about buying a really, really big lithium deposit on wheels. With that in mind, now seems a good time to take a look at just how green the EV9 is and delve into a few other things you didn't know about the first mainstream three-row EV to hit the market.
The Kia EV9 uses tons of PCM
PCM stands for post-consumer plastic. Basically, that’s anything you waste that is plastic, like bread tags or milk jugs. Kia will take that plastic and mold it into trim pieces for the EV9's interior, like, for example, trim on the doors. Hyundai already does this in some of its models, and it only makes sense its sister company has adopted the practice. Kia says another benefit, aside from removing waste plastics from the ecosystem, is that it helps conserve other resources that would’ve been used to make plastics in the first place.
800-volt architecture makes the EV9 charge fast as heck
The Hyundai Motor Co., which encompasses Kia, Hyundai and Genesis, has invested heavily in high-voltage electric architecture for its vehicles. Some cars under this corporate umbrella can charge from 10% to 80% capacity in under 20 minutes, and the EV9 will be nearly as quick when it comes time to top up that battery. Kia says that the EV9 will charge from 10% to 80% in under 25 minutes on a 350-kW DC fast charger. The only challenge, right now, is finding said fast charger.
The U.S. doesn't get the cool swively seats
Unfortunately for U.S. buyers, one of the EV9's headlining features (besides the recycled materials and fast charging) won't make it stateside. The cool swiveling second-row captain's chairs simply don't comply with federal motor vehicle safety standards. There have certainly been recreational vehicles with swiveling seats that fit U.S. safety regs, but it's likely these fall under different legal classifications. Alas, Kia hasn't specified why we won't get the 180-degree swiveling seats, simply saying that American buyers won't.
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is one of the most recycled plastics on the planet and will feature heavily in the EV9. The stuff is used in tons of applications, like water bottles and T-shirts. Kia will use PETs to make yarn. From that, the EV9 will use PETs in its headliner, trim, headrests and seats. The floor of the EV9 will also be covered in the stuff thanks to PET floor mats. These can alternatively be made with recycled fishing nets — something that’s already in practice at Kia. Kia even says that each EV9 is made from at least 70 recycled water bottles.
We still don't know how much every trim costs
The new Kia EV9 starts at $54,900 for its entry-level RWD Light trim. Here, you'll get a single electric motor mounted at the rear, along with a few other standard features. But strangely, Kia has not announced pricing for the full EV9 lineup. As of this writing, we're not exactly sure what the Long Range and dual-motor (AWD) models will cost.
So far, Kia has announced these other trims in addition to the Light trim: Wind, Land and GT-Line. This could perhaps have something to do with where the very first EV9s will be made. Initially, production starts in South Korea and is later moving here to the U.S.
Trim levels are very familiar
Kia will offer the EV9 in both rear-wheel-drive (single-motor) or all-wheel-drive (dual-motor, one on each axle) configurations, and the trim structure will feel familiar to those with some experience in new Kia EVs. The lineup is kicked off with a 223-mile, 279-horsepower Light model. Standard models, predictably, have a smaller battery coming in at 76.1 kWh.
Features (and, in some cases, range) will grow as you climb this trim ladder to Wind, Land or top-spec GT-Line models. If your EV9 has all-wheel drive or you opt for the long-range, rear-wheel-drive model it will use a 99.8-kWh battery. Maximum range for the EV9 is slated to be around 300 miles. We’re also curious to see how wheels affect range. When testing the Ioniq 6, we found the model’s 18-inch wheels saved gobs of range — nearly 100 miles. If a smaller wheel will be offered on the EV9, we’ll be curious to see just what it does for range, good or bad.
The EV9’s paint will be greener than salad
We don’t quite mean this literally — though a green shade isn’t off the table for a company that sure seems to like offering it. Kia’s paint will be free of BTX — benzene, toluene and xylene — which is a trio of chemicals used in paint that can have some harmful environmental effects. Besides being BTX-free inside and out, the EV9 will use paint made from rapeseed oil rather than crude oil, further lessening the environmental impact of the SUV.
The EV9 qualifies for the EV tax credit
Kia has gone to great lengths to ensure the new EV9 will qualify for the $7,500 federal EV tax credit. To do so, vehicles must be priced under $80,000 MSRP, among other qualifiers. One such qualifier is that the car in question must be built in North America. While Kia will initially start production at home in South Korea, later models will be made at the automaker's facility in West Point, Georgia. It isn't clear yet whether buyers of Korean models will be eligible for the tax credit, but it appears unlikely as the SUVs don't fit one of the key requirements.
We’re pretty excited for the Kia EV9. It’s a unique-looking vehicle entering a desirable segment, and it’ll be interesting to see how the brand manages to do with its first three-row EV. While the loss of the swivel seats is a bummer, we’re sure Kia has baked in even more new features we’ll want to try out for ourselves.