Kia EV9: Safety and Practicality Tailored for Australia, Sacrificing Luxurious Six-Seater

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Kia’s flagship electric car, the EV9, is tailored for safety and practicality in Australia but sacrifices its initial selling point of a luxurious six-seater.

When it arrives in Australia, Kia’s flagship electric car, the EV9, will not have the swivelling seat arrangements offered in other markets. This decision was made because the seat belt sensors used in the six-seat configuration do not meet the safety criteria set by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).

A spokesperson for Kia Australia explained, “Australia won’t apply outboard swivel seats as it will forego seat belt reminders, which are necessary for a five-star ANCAP rating. The seven-seat layout was identified as the safest, most functional, and practical layout for the Australian market.”

The exact EV9 lineup for Australia has yet to be disclosed. Still, it is expected to include a rear-wheel drive Air model with a 77.1kWh battery, as well as two models (Earth and GT-Line) equipped with a 99.8kWh battery pack, which means that it will offer drivers longer distances on a single charge.

Considering the Australian market’s preference for an all-wheel drive across Kia’s SUV range, the EV9 Earth will likely feature all-wheel drive. Regarding pricing, Kia has indicated that the EV9 will have a starting price of around $90,000 and could reach up to $130,000, making it the most expensive Kia vehicle in Australia.

Kia joins the growing Australian EV market as the availability of compelling electric vehicles and a reliable fast-charging network address potential buyers’ concerns and contribute to EVs’ widespread acceptance. Tesla has already upped their game in charging, boasting that their cars can be charged less often.

Tesla added, “You likely don’t need to charge as often as you think; 85% of our owners Supercharge less than once a week.”However, the demand for EVs continues to rise in the country, and many believe that Australia is over-mining critical minerals to make up for the car manufacturers’ needs. The accuracy of global minerals demand projections is being questioned, raising concerns about the quantity required to accelerate the sector’s growth and achieve net-zero emissions.

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