Kia's EV9 SUV will move from concept to reality in 2023

In Europe, at least.


If you thought it wouldn't be long before Kia turned the Concept EV9 into a production model, you guessed correctly. The automaker has revealed that a road-ready version of the electric SUV will be available in Europe in 2023. There was no mention of launches in North America or other regions, but it's an SUV — it may just be a matter of time before you see the EV9 cruising American and Canadian streets.

Kia didn't say what would change in the transition from concept to production. However, we'd expect the badge to cut many of the more exotic features, including the yoke, giant wheels, retractable roof rails and lounge-like seating modes. We wouldn't be surprised if Kia kept the 27-inch display and even the hood-mounted solar panel, though.

The production EV9 might also preserve the claimed specs. The concept promised up to 300 miles of range and 350kW fast charging that could take it from a 10 percent charge to 80 percent in 30 minutes. Kia also recently detailed autonomous "Automode" technology for the EV9 that can take over from the driver on the highway.

There are still important unknowns like pricing. Even so, 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 North America) skew heavily toward crossovers and SUVs. The EV9 could help Kia take on competitors like the Tesla Model Y and Volkswagen ID.4, not to mention reel in buyers who haven't been thrilled by the Niro EV.