Kia expands Georgia plant to produce electric EV9 SUV

July 31, 2023

Kia is expanding its only manufacturing plant in the US to make room for its first electric three-row SUV. The Kia EV9 will be the automaker’s first EV assembled in North America. Assembly will begin at its West Point, Georgia, plant next year.

Kia to build EV9 electric SUV at West Point, Georgia

Kia announced an over $200 million expansion Wednesday, creating nearly 200 additional jobs in the area.

The EV9 will be the fifth model assembled at its Georgia facility but the first all-electric vehicle to join the lineup. Sean Yoon, president and CEO of Kia North America, said the “EV9 has the potential to be another ‘game changer’ for Kia.” He added:

This will be the most sophisticated vehicle that we have ever built and will be a standout in the EV market and on the road. Best of all, it will be assembled in West Point, Georgia.

In March, Kia officially unveiled the EV9 electric SUV, garnering praise for its bold design and advanced features.

Meet Kia’s first EV set for assembly in the US

The EV9 is the largest electric car from Kia so far and its first three-row electric SUV. Kia says the EV9 is reshaping the company with a “bold vision for the new era of electrification.”

As such, the EV9 includes some of the latest in-vehicle technology, including Kia’s most advanced Highway Driving Pilot, OTA updates, onboard power generator functionality (V2L), and ultra-wideband-based Digital Key.

Despite the advancements, Kia is not stepping away from the segment, claiming the EV9 offers “true SUV capabilities.” These include 7.8-inch ground clearance, up to 81.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row, up to 5,000 lbs towing capacity, and available torque-vectoring dual-motor AWD.

Based on the Hyundai Motor Group’s 800-volt E-GMP platform (the same one used to power the IONIQ 5, IONIQ 6, and Kia EV6), the EV9 includes fast-charging capabilities, designed to go from 10% to 80% charge (adding 148 miles of driving range) in under 25 minutes.

The EV9 will be available in two powertrain options. The standard is a 76.1 kWh battery (fourth-generation) with a 215 hp (160 kW) motor. In addition, a 99.8 kWh battery pack will be offered with a single motor, targeting 300 miles range, or a dual-motor 379 hp torque-vectoring AWD configuration with 516 lb-ft of torque.

Kia is expected to begin assembling the EV9 at its West Point, Georgia, plant starting in the second quarter of 2024. The automaker began delivering the electric SUV to customers in South Korea last month, gathering 13,000 preorders in its first eight days on the market.

Although Kia has yet to release prices for the US market, we expect that, based on the first European prices, the EV9 will start around $65,000 to $70,000 for the larger battery pack and around $60,000 for the standard model.

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Kia expands Georgia plant to produce electric EV9 SUV