Kia Accelerates Plans for EV9 Production in the U.S. For $7,500 EV Tax Credit

Kia Will Begin Assembly Of EV9 By The End of May In Georgia, U.S.

3 min read

By EV.com • March 28, 2024

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Kia is ramping up its electric vehicle (EV) game, announcing plans to commence production of its award-winning electric SUV, the EV9, in the United States (U.S.) by May. The move marks a big step forward for Kia’s ambitions, aiming to capitalize on the growing demand for EVs in the U.S. market while taking other steps to qualify for the country’s federal EV tax credit.

The EV9, Kia’s first three-row electric SUV, debuted in the U.S. late last year and has already gained traction with U.S. buyers. With over 3,800 units delivered since its launch, the EV9 has been hailed by Kia as the main focus with its starting price under $55,000, especially after winning the 2024 World Car of the Year and World Electric Car at the New York Auto Show.

Recognizing the potential for further growth, the company is shifting gears by relocating production from South Korea to its West Point, Georgia plant. This strategic move is expected to not only streamline production but also assert the EV9 for eligibility for the full $7,500 federal EV tax credit by early 2025.

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James Bell, Kia America’s head of corporate communications, stated to Nikkei Asia that the EV9’s battery is made in South Korea and China. However, moving the production to the company’s Georgia plant will mark the criteria where 50% of the value of battery components must be produced or manufactured in North America.

Despite the initial success of the EV9, Kia acknowledges the importance of incentives in driving consumer adoption of EVs, highlighting the need for Kia to compete with established players like Tesla, aiming to capture consumers’ attention with the merits of the EV9.

In addition, Kia is not fazed by more competition, especially from those cheaper EVs rolling in from China, making it clear that Kia is all for new players joining the EV game, seeing it as a way to bring more potential buyers and accelerate the transition to electric mobility.

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In the meantime, Kia is offering noteworthy incentives to offset the EV tax credit. This includes a $5,000 customer cash incentive on all 2024 EV9 trims. With this incentive, the EV9’s starting price of $54,900 (not including $1,495 destination fees) is reduced to just $51,395, making it even more appealing to their customers.

Looking ahead, Kia is positive about the EV9’s prospects in the U.S. market. With plans for U.S. production underway and expectations of full tax credit eligibility by 2025, Kia firmly places its position in the growing EV landscape. As the automotive industry continues its electrification journey, Kia is determined to lead the charge with its innovative EV9.

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