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Steve Kosowski is Manager, Long Range Strategy & Planning at Kia Motors America (KMA).  Steve’s responsibilities are focused on eco-car strategies and planning, and particularly pre-sale regulatory compliance, mainly for ZEV (Zero Emissions Vehicles). Steve joined KMA in November of 2005, and brings 30 years of automotive experience to KMA. He joined Kia from Nissan North America, but also worked for Honda and Mitsubishi Motors in product planning and market research departments. Steve has worked on numerous of vehicle programs and strategies at Kia, and most recently defined and implemented Kia’s U.S. electric vehicle strategy and related peripheral strategies and tactics.  Steve is originally from Chicago, Illinois. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration at Northwood University in Midland, MI, and a Master of Business Administration from California State University, Long Beach. Steve’s career in the automotive industry stems from his passion for automobiles and interest in the industry. Steve resides in Orange County, where he enjoys spending time with his wife, riding bicycles (MTB, and road), reading, and travelling a bit.
James Bell is the Director of Corporate Communications at Kia Motors America (KMA). Bell oversees communications strategy, media relations, internal communications and Corporate Social Responsibility efforts. He joined KMA in June 2016. James brings nearly 20 years of automotive and communications experience to Kia. He served as Head of Consumer Affairs for General Motors after time at Kelley Blue Book where he was Vice President of Corporate Communications and Executive Market Analyst. Bell’s multifaceted experience provides a unique perspective on the industry, crossing the boundaries between the general consumer, passionate enthusiast and discriminating media. Bell resides in Long Beach, California, with his wife Hilary and daughter Kate. In his spare time, he enjoys a typical California lifestyle: traveling, boating, the NBA and running the occasional marathon.
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Well, gentlemen, welcome to the jacob garcia podcast i wan na welcome you and talk about your easy program that you guys have over there thanks for the opportunity, james james, oh sure, well, yeah, maybe i'll just uh kind of frame this out yeah. We are as a entity as an organization um we're about to get super serious in this tv space and we were pretty proud of what we had been doing previously. Anyway, i mean we've um between hybrid versions of our sedan, the optima through an all-new hybrid ev and plug-in ev, the uh. The nero we've had some very good uh success and runs uh with several of our cars in the electrified space, and we've announced a program that we're calling plan s or plan shift um.

That is really really uh going to, i would say, drive this company in ways that people don't expect of from many car companies, let alone kia. So um, it's a pretty exciting time, it's much more than just a new car or a uh. You know a new piece of technology, it's a whole new mindset that the company is is adopting and uh it's it's just a steve, and i are both very fortunate to be with this company at this time, because it's it's about to get really fun yeah. So you guys are making a shift.

Now now you guys have had cars before right. Like wasn't uh, there was some, like the soul. Wasn't there's a version of the soul that was electric yeah, that's right, i'll defer to steve on that. He he's the technical guy.

He's the genius here - hey, you know: yeah you're, right jehu, the um, the soul, ev was actually launched in october of 2014 and uh. Even before that kia motors corporation has been selling evs in seoul for almost 10 years now going back to the kia rey ev. That was sold in korea in 2012., but uh yeah, so the sole was offered as a battery electric in 2014. um.

The nero ev was launched in march of 2019, so we're into kind of what we call ev 2.0, where you know the the neuro ev. It runs 239 miles on all-electric range. It's got a state-of-the-art battery and um. You know it's james know we're about to get serious here.

We've we've really learned a lot over the past four or five years on electrification and battery engineering and motor design and motor engineering and we're very really proud of the niro ev. In fact, it's won some awards from jd power and consumer reports, but the uh. The next big step is is about eight or nine months away for the united states when we launched the the dedicated ev and with each successive ev, you know from the soul ev to the nero ev and then to the upcoming dedicated ev. It's just a magnitude of improvement in terms of uh battery design and motor design and range increase and technology advancements.

It's it's uh, it's something to behold. To be to be frank, so what's this new version of it that that of the car that you're talking about be careful, don't tell them too much. Could you talk about it yeah, it's a good thing: we've got the uh uh james and james on the line, because there's you know there's so much to be proud of and excited about the uh, the the first. I think the first uh component of the big plan was shown a month or so ago.

It's the architecture, the platform that underpins the car, it's called the egmp and that's global modular platform, electric global modular platform and that platform uh is variable in width and length and it can house very various different kinds of batteries. Uh, it's mounted under the floor. Of course, so it's got a low center of gravity very stable and can accommodate different kinds of cars like crossovers sedans, so they announced the architecture and then what's forthcoming is the dedicated kia ev that comes off of that and uh that car? What we've said is that it it kind of blurs the lines between uh sedan and crossover and suv and that it's it's got a higher ride height. It's got suv cues and i'm looking at the uh there.

It is there, it is yeah, so you can see those are the those are the basic bones of the structure of the dedicated ev platform, and then you can imagine different body types that get fitted on top of that yeah. So it's modular design right because yeah, you guys are going to want to make a full line of of electric cars uh, because i guess the markets they're choosing right what they want. You know the sedan market, they want a certain certain thing and the crossovers are definitely very popular. That's america and see wow, so you can adjust the length, the the the length and the height and a bunch of these parameters that have to go on these yeah.

You know i really have to hand it to our engineers. They they're very forward-thinking, and you know when, when they engineer the car jehu they they have to think about europe and china in the korean market and asian markets and, of course, the united states and there's varying tastes and very varying parameters. You know europe likes narrower cars because the streets are narrower, the united states lights, bigger cars. So when they design and engineer the architecture, they have to engineer it to to be variable for different markets.

So you know longer wheelbases, narrower trackways things like that, and we have some of the best engineers working on these cars and they they always come up with uh. You know innovative brilliant solutions, we're very proud of them, and if i could just jump in here, real quick um, i would just like to call out one particular gentleman. Who's working with the team on this vehicle is a guy by the name of albert biermann. Albert was um.

Well, i guess the best way he could say is he's the reason why people think about bmws as being very engaging uh exciting. You know the the the premise of the sport. Sedan is really it's albert's doing. He was with bmw, for i think, 25 26 years and at the end of his time at bmw, he was running the m division, so they're good, stuff, yeah uh, he joined kia, i guess it's or so the hyundai and kia motor group.

Probably i guess about five years ago now - maybe maybe even six - and he is now running in um, in charge of all of the engineering and all the uh verification and testing and so forth. For all the vehicles that we put out both hyundai kia and genesis and the first vehicle that he worked on on behalf of uh of that new job that he had after leaving, germany was the kia stinger and, if you're familiar with this vehicle, this was a A well still is a very successful um european sport sedan in this case, in the case of a stinger, it's a five-door, so it has the flexibility and functionality of of that extra hatch. On the back like say, an audi a7 or um, bmw, four series, grand coupe or something like that. So it's um uh and it was the first car that i like to say and he gets a little crazy when i say this so because we're friends i'll do it here.

But it's got this. What we call the biermann effect uh. He is a a uh, a magician for how to make a car dance and - and i find it fascinating because if you look at uh what a lot of the media are saying about, the newest, bmw vehicles, they're saying that something seems to be missing. That they're feeling a little more pedestrian a little normal.

Well guess what that's, because albert works for us now and the missing element is albert - that's right, good, old albert and so the reason i wanted to jump in here stephen. I apologize for stepping on your toes, but when we talk about the electrification strategy for kia, not only is it the tremendous platform that the egmp that steve just described and the amazing engineering that's gone into just structurally what it is, but we've got albert and so Not only are these vehicles going to be, you know very smart and technically proficient, but they're going to be great to drive. It's going to be that next level of you know. Not only am i getting this uh efficiency and uh ease of use of an ev, but man this thing is a blast and uh.

So it's a it's a combination of all those things of smart engineers and albert leaning in now and then and making little tweaks that i think, are really going to differentiate. What a kia branded vehicle is going to do in the ev space compared to really any other brand yeah? Well, it sounds like you guys are, are positioning yourself well to to have some success. There yeah - i i remember the m-class uh bmws were one of my favorite before i discovered electric cars right and i wanted that. I wanted one of these growing up, but i just could never afford it and then, after a long time of not owning a car, i thought like.

I need a car now i can afford one now. Let me look into them and i was you know. I was like yeah they're exciting, but there there's something missing: there's like nothing, new right, they're kind of still the same as they were 10 years ago and i thought what's new in the market. So then, that's when i discovered electric vehicles and i thought well - i want one of those.

This seems like it's the future. Here's the past, here's the future, but definitely in the styling and the drivability, and you know that whole thing with the performance uh kits that they used to do yeah. I think albert did a great job over there. Hopefully he can bring that over to the kia.

So he's doing that, yes, so how? How did it go for you guys, with the old program with the with the soul? Is that a successful platform was that a successful vehicle? I guess yeah, we didn't see it too much right. I think like, as i remember this is early. I mean this is 2014. I think you said that's right.

There wasn't a lot of electric cars back. Then i mean every once in a while. You see a tesla here. You would see, i don't know some other ones.

There were not that many right there's a lot of uh hybrids that were starting to enter the market and stuff, but pure electrics. I mean it was you guys and then tesla and maybe some a couple other ones, but but that's about it, yeah jehu. You know um it's interesting to bring it up because the market, the market's really developed since then - and you know, when we first launched the soul ev - we're very proud of the fact that it ran um 93 miles on a single charge and then uh mid-cycle. We made the battery a little bigger.

It went to 111 and um. You know when it came out uh. What was novel about it is that it was functional and you utilitarian, because you know the soul is kind of a boxy design, but it was fun to drive and it had things like standard dc charging and a heat pump, which was a lot of new novel Technology and if you remember some of the cars in the market at the time, were the focus electric and the e-golf and the first generation leaf. So we really came to market with some uh truly competitive advantages and it did well.

We sold many thousands of units in california and in the northeast and the other markets, like georgia and texas and so forth, and i think one of the things we learned uh to be honest with you and what our dealers learned is, is basically how do we Uh, how do we, how do we market an electric car and how do we uh uh, you know, cultivate, cultivate a kia market for electric vehicles and you know it worked for us. It worked well for us and then what we learned and what we uh took is we put it all back into neuro ev and so, for example, when the nero ev came out it sold even better than the soul. Ev did so. We we had a lot of goodness in the solely v again 111 miles and you know very colorful, uh exterior and expressive exterior and then uh.

We really raised the bar with the nero ev. You know the the range more than doubled, the energy density of the battery improved. We went from an air cooled battery to a liquid cooled battery, uh 291 pound-feet of torque, which is more than a porsche macan right and - and you know so so you can see. My kind of my point is is that the in, in a very short period of time we took what we learned on the sole ev and really amped it up, no pun intended on the nero ev and um.

So you know this. One thing about our engineers: is they they learn very quickly and um. You think about the generational change from the soul ev. You know in terms of uh battery cells and motor design, into the neural ev same thing and then what's coming for the cv, um, it's it's.

It gives us the optimism and the confidence as we go forward with the egmp and the cv uh and some other things that are over the horizon, that uh it. It is really foundational in the company and the brand's confidence for plan s. You know we're talking about uh, really high volumes of evs and uh high uh percentages of market share and so forth and uh. When you, you kind of peer through the uh, the curtains a little bit and look what's coming, uh it it's going to blow you away and into james's point about albert biermann's involvement.

Um, you know when you look at uh the high performance. I mean really high performance from electric cars and you think about think about that egmp with uh hundreds of pounds of torque and uh torque vectoring and the ability to uh rapidly accelerate. I i think you're going to be blown away at what's coming yeah yeah. Definitely, electric cars are hard to compete with because of all these things you mentioned right um.

I had an opportunity to get in a in a tesla on a track with a professional driver, and, oh my god, it's like amazing, i mean you're. You just can't believe the power yeah that is coming out of these these motors. You know and the batteries i mean, i'm a battery guy and i was so blown away at the power that these batteries are delivering. You know the g-forces yeah, it's really mind-blowing and um, i'm with you jehu i've had a kid, a couple opportunities to drive some of these cars and uh i mean i, like my.

I, like fast cars as much as the next guy, but some of these are are uh are are just staggeringly quick. It's it's remarkable. Almost too fast, yeah yeah. There's such a thing.

It feels like it yeah so where, where are these cars going to be uh manufactured? I'm sorry, i don't know that much about kia in their. You know uh operations and stuff, but where are these? Are these going to be here in the states or abroad? Where's? The manufacturing so uh there's a couple of assembly plants in korea that build the evs uh. The wassong assembly plant currently builds the neuroev, the guangzhou plant built the soul, ev and then the sohari plant, which builds the stinger that james mentioned. That also will be assembling an eevee in in the near future as well um.

So so that's a very interesting point jehu because um, you know one of the things another discipline that the company is very proud of and has put a lot of resources into. Is it's manufacturing engineering and you know the fact that the company can build uh, gasoline, four-cylinder, v6 diesel, body-on-frame, unibody and ev. All on one assembly line is is really remarkable. You know some companies uh will find a way to cobble together uh an an assembly line to to to weave in the electric version or something like that.

But you know we have um, like i said some of the best manufacturing engineers in the world working on this. So if you go to the wasang factory, what you'll see is a nero a hybrid that runs down the line and a neural plug-in, hybrid and right behind. It is the neuro ev and then right behind, that is a forte or a cadenza or something or an optima um. So it's you know the wasan factory is, you know they build something like 600 000 cars a unit a year or 600 000 units a year.

So it's huge, but so the wasang plant is uh sort of the lead plant and then, like i said, the uh sohari plant, which is where the uh sedona is built and the stinger is built and the k900 there's some others that come out of that plant. To rio and uh as we speak as we speak, they're installing the tools and the upfitting, the body shop - and you know, training the the team members to build uh, an upcoming ev for kia, and i think it's really cool that we have the ability to do That and you know that's so i think for the time being, um senior management wants to keep the evs close to home. You know make sure that you know and and two you know - the engineering uh, the nam yang r d engineering center, which is huge by the way. It's like a city, it's literally 15 000 engineers, it's not too far away from the plants, so they want to be close to the assembly plants when they bring these cars to life.

So for the time being, it's coming out of korea. Are they using lg cam batteries because that's not aren't they made also in korea, they are yeah. Lg chem is based in korea. They also have a plant in uh in in michigan uh for general motors, but uh kia uses the sk innovation cells, which is another.

That's a really interesting point: jehu because um, you know in the hyundai motor group there's a variety of different battery suppliers, including lg chem and sk. Innovation and uh kia primarily uses ski cells and we use them in seoul uh in the sole ev and we use them in the neuro ev. And you can look under the hood. So, to speak, of the um of the nero plug-in hybrid and the nero hybrid, and you you peel back the battery case and you'll see sk innovation stamped on the cells.

So our engineers have a very close relationship with ski and when they develop the vehicles, they work very closely with them on the energy requirements and the power requirements and the life cycle and the durability and so forth. So a very, very good relationship with them and uh. So the expectation is that the ongoing uh evs or the forthcoming evs will continue to use sk innovation cells. And you know, that's a really good point too, because you know the chemistry that that is in the neural ev cells.

If you're familiar with the the cell compounds like cobalt, nickel and right, so the ncm in the uh neuro ev is 811 right. So it's a very low cobalt mixture, which is helpful and beneficial, and it's part of the reason why we can offer a 10-year 100 000 mile warranty on it, have standard dc charging uh and again things like the the engineering uh of thermal stability and so forth. Uh, because of the relationship between ski and our namyang r d engineers, so uh for the time being, you know we're expecting sk innovation to continue to be the cell supplier. Ah, okay yeah that low coval, it's a good thing all across right, because it's expensive, it's problematic to mine or to obtain uh and so yeah, the less cobalt you can use.

I think the better right and hopefully in the future, if they're going to move into no covalent right, that's the dream right, yeah, that's the dream! So um do you know what the the the energy density is on the battery like like per kilogram yeah right now? It's 250 watt hours per kg. Oh wow, that's yeah! Yes, yes, and you know this is you know we talked a little bit about what makes these cars so cool and that's part of it. I mean these batteries hold a lot of energy um on a on a volumetric basis and a per kg basis, and, like i said uh, if you go back to the soul, ev the original one 2015, it was 200 watt hours per kilogram and then the minor Change um the 30 kilowatt hour battery went to about 220, no is less than it was maybe 210 and then the neuro ev is around 250, give or take and, and that keeps improving. You know and that's an industry-wide thing.

If you look at tesla and look at some of the others, that vector is up and to the right we're right there, we we're very proud of that too. So you can expect that to continue and they're are they prismatic cells? They are present. Um they're pouch yeah, they're pouched, oh pout cells, okay, yeah yeah, those are usually really they're. I think they're quite easier to package together to keep the all the extra i mean you have to put them in boxes and all this stuff right right, also they're easier to cool.

So how are you guys handling the coin, because i know you said you went from yeah cooling to now liquid cooling, that's exactly right as a matter of fact, the um in the in the pack in the neuro um. If you sort of look at a schematic, what you see is this winding liquid um, you know how they heat floors in a house with that winding liquid hose that goes through the house floor. It's the same way in the nero ev. If you look at a schematic, there's this winding uh cooling, um pathway for the for the coolant it's in it's inside a hose that weaves its way through the bottom of the pack and and then it's it's an entirely separate cooling module separate from the the motor Cooling and the hvac system - and things like that - oh i see yeah because you want to keep those cells at a optimum temperature right.

That's how you can guarantee the the lifespan of the batteries and the whole thing yeah. That was, you know, um concurrently, it's it's uh, it's useful for heating. It too, and that's an important point. Uh in the you know, we saw a lot of these cars in the northeast and northern climates and uh.

In fact, there's a youtube video out there of the soul, ev uh testing in uh, uh lapland, um uh, near the the arctic circle, but the company has uh it kind of a part of its secret weapon. Is its thermal engineering and uh. It's helpful for uh charging the battery in the winter time and also helpful for extending the range and things like that uh in the winter time, so yeah that that cooling system to keep the cells cool when it's hot out and to keep the cells warm. When it's cold out is very well thought through yeah and, as you said, they use a heat pump, which is a new newer technology that is being used in cars right where they use extra heat transfer from one system to another right right, right, yeah and in Fact um we.

We also think that is a strategic advantage that we have over some cars even like the mach e doesn't have a heat pump and the chevy bolt, i don't think, has a heat pump and when you look at cold weather tests, there is a cold weather test That was done by a european magazine and they came back and - and i believe they call it - the e neuro in europe. But the e neuro was number one or number two uh, just based on the fact that it has a heat pump and while some of the compa competing evs take a you know, 30 percent loss in cold weather range, uh, we're much less and and so that's Very marketable, very helpful yeah and for those who are listening and don't understand this, it's like it takes energy to cool the battery and to warm up the battery and the batteries need to be warm in in cold temperatures and and climates where you don't have sub-zero Temperature and stuff and a heat pump it's much more efficient at doing that right. So, that's why there's a lot of gains uh in efficiency when you use this newer technology - and i know like even tesla, just started using them just a few generations ago. Right, like i, i know yeah for many years, they didn't have it and they used to quite use a lot of energy.

So much to the to the point where you would leave a car there for a couple of weeks at the airport or something and then you'd come back and it was a dead car. Your battery was your battery was done, yes because it was using that energy to to keep that battery's temperature at optimal levels. Yeah! That's right! That's right! It was very surprising. Actually, you know.

The model 3 was not launched with the heat pump and just recently within a matter of months, they added it which was a head scratcher but um. So yeah anyways, we're very proud of it. In our car, yeah helpful sounds like you guys are using. Are you guys using um, permanent, magnet motors or or are yeah? You mean those that's where the industry's it's heading right, the aec induction motors were kind of old news.

Somehow i don't know how like that was. Like you know, eight years ago they were brand new kind of thing, but yeah, so we use ac synchronous, permanent magnet motors, uh front and rear you'll see in the all-wheel drive application, and you know it's it's interesting um. What tesla has done with the uh internal permanent magnet reluctance, synchronous motors uh, which is remarkable, but we have like? I said we have some of the best engineers in the world working on this and um. They are brilliant at sorting out uh and finding the optimal way to tune an electric motor from magnet placement and wire design and cooling and so forth and uh.

So so yeah we're staying with permanent magnet motors. We have them in the neuro and neuro ev rather and we're expecting those in in the cv. But you know our guys: um they're, constantly tinkering and constantly working on this. So uh we haven't uh gotten all the details on the upcoming dedicated evs, but i'm expecting some remarkable advancements from them.

On that yeah. Some of the models you said they will be all-wheel drive, so they'll have a rear, end front motor, yes, um. In fact, i believe that picture you had of the egmp they have. They don't show a front motor on that car uh.

They do yes, yeah their front traction motor yeah there. It is and the ecu and then the rear one in there by direction charging plug. Oh, let's talk about bi-directional charging yeah. Does that mean uh? It will have all the necessary equipment to be able to do grit vehicle to grid james.

I was just sitting here thinking how glad i'm that i am that steve is here because you guys are getting you guys are getting granular on me here: yeah we're in the weeds right now! Well, you know i'll take a little bit of liberty and say that uh there has been some discussion about uh what what the companies referred to as v to l vehicle, the load, okay and um. You know they've they've, spilled the beans so to speak on that and uh. We don't have a whole lot to report on it jehu, but um. Here's the thing i think again, i go back to the brilliance of our engineers where they they look forward and they see things like um, uh, voluntary energy uh.

You know where the the energy company turns off the power because of fire risk things like that. Uh and they see around the world these opportunities, not only that, but from other things like microgrids and um, v to g and v to l and uh. They want that capability in the in the uh electrical architecture so um. I i think it's reasonable to presume that that our dedicated evs and maybe some others will have v to l and v to g.

Exactly how it's implemented, i think is, is not fully sorted yet because you know the sae is still trying to to work out standards for v to g and v to l - and you know the utilities are involved in this. A lot of other people are involved in shaping how the energy comes out of the car, and you know the homeowner needs to be aware of it too, and that you have to have chargers at home that accept uh, that reverse the charges so uh. But at least from our standpoint the vehicle standpoint uh. It is being engineered to allow for future yeah to allow that that's right, yeah! So you're you you're using the uh, the combo.

What's the the the charging ccs ccs combo yeah, that's right: yep, okay, yep! We used to have chademo charimo was on the sole ev and uh i'll reiterate that we had. You know, standard dc charging on that car. We have standard dc charging on the neuro ev we switched over to ccs on the niro ev. You know the original soul eve.

It had two charge ports in front. It had one for the 1772 nozzle and then one for the cha chademo, but um a lot of manufacturers in fact kind of globally um pretty much everybody's shifting over to ccs. Just because it's it's more convenient and if you look at the chargers that are going in by electrify america or evgo, and the fleets of chargers are being changed over to ccs and it makes sense because um you know one of the things we look at as You can imagine, is the cost and the weight right. So if you have two charge ports, you have more cost and it's not cheap those charge.

Ports, you know are three four five hundred dollars a piece, and then you have the additional copper, cabling and so forth. So it makes sense to go with ccs and uh. You know it's it's it's global! It's in europe! It's in uh asia, it's in the united states, and even you know it's interesting to note that the nissan aria will come to market with ccs, and you know they were the the first ones out with chademo, so yeah the way we're going here. It seems like that's where it's going right.

Uh i mean from everywhere i talked except for the chattamote people. I did have them on the podcast and they seem to think that there's still a future yeah. I know it's widely used in in japan right so right. So the vehicles that you will deliver in japan will have this easiest combo or you guys will use chat.

Well, so you know i'm not really sure um, i'm not really sure how many cars we do deliver in japan, um and uh, but the ones in korea, of course, are ccs and uh. I'm not sure, i'm not sure to be honest with you. If us, if chad mo, is even um in in the engineering toolbox anymore for for kia, evs yeah yeah, it sounds like a lot of the car manufacturers are, are with you guys on there or speaking the same tune uh. But it's i'm excited for ccs combo.

I haven't experienced it because i don't own a car that has it. I will be taking delivery of a rivien coming up and that's the first car that is going to have yeah, which one the truck of the suv i pre-ordered both wow. I want them to uh. You know they're kind of like a business thing right, like i'm uh, i'm a you know: ev car enthusiast vlogger.

You know youtuber kind of thing, so i thought, like i pre-ordered them really early on. So i think i'm going to be among the first ones to get them, so i'd want to be able to make reviews and you know actually rent them, because i i know there's no place where you can go and test drive one of these vehicles right and So i thought: well, you know it's it's kind of an investment kind of thing. So that's why you might as well buy two yes, but i want to be able to experience the ccs combo because, like i say, i don't know what it is uh. I understand the technology and so i'm i'm i'm so amazed.

Every time like on on our tesla, we show up to some supercharger and then we just plug in and charge it uh to me. I'm, like people, don't understand, what's happening here, like the amount of energy that is being transferred right ease, of which this is happening. You know, and so i i think i appreciate it from a different level than regular people. Regular people are like how long is it going to take five minutes? 10 minutes? Oh my god, 10 minutes.

I have to be here uh, but i am excited about trying the new uh standard that it's going to be among all the stars, including yours, yeah, ccs combo, and so do you know so, what's the do you know the the proposed battery for these new newer Vehicles that are going to be released yeah, so you know the platform is being engineered around battery sizes from 45 kilowatt hours up to 100 kilowatt hours, uh we're not ready to reveal exactly the size of the battery in the in the cv uh, but we're. I can tell you we're mindful of what competitors are offering and the the range we require and the performance we require and um uh we're not shy. So um, you know uh you'll hear more about it. Probably in not too long.

You'll hear some more details about the car yeah and with having a design ground up designs, uh vehicles. Then you have the ability to put large battery packs there right. That was always the constraint of uh cars that were essentially converted by manufacturers. You know that were that's right.

You know they were originally delivered in like ice. You know versions that then they went into some other. You know and eventually got electric versions of it, but they would have to stuff battery in places where they weren't designed to, and so that's exactly right. That's a really good point, because you know we we've we've done a remarkable job on the sole ev in the neural ev of cramming a huge battery under the floor.

Without you really knowing it, you know, and if you look at the pack, they're they're kind of oddly shaped to fit under the seats and fit under the back seat and whatnot, but the new platform uh, because it's exclusively designed for an ev. You know you can really really uh position the battery differently. You can have a much longer wheelbase, because the the the engine room in the front of the car is completely different. So uh yeah, that's that's a very important point.

The the uh, the new wave of uh, dedicated evs uh, really enables a much bigger battery pack because of this yes, and that yeah that allows the i mean it becomes a much more compelling product, especially here in the states. Interstates is different right. We have so like in california that everything's so far, and you know i think that for some reason the anxiety thing it's it's. I believe it's not real.

Most of us don't need more than 40 miles a day, but somehow, if we have a car, that only gives us 60 miles. Oh that's, not a real car kind of thing! Yeah! You know you. You bring up a couple of really good points there and it's. It's interesting because you know some manufacturers have said.

Oh you know, 300 miles is the sweet spot for exactly the reasons you're you're describing, and you know, typically uh. For example, what the epa says. The the normal driving range for everybody is about 41 miles a day. 15 000 miles a year and uh nav.

Can you know a 200 mile leve can can easily cover that charge a few times a week, but you know what we've learned is that um american consumers just want more? They want more and more and more. They want. You give them 200 miles, they want three give them 300 miles. I want four and i think part right yeah, i i think um part of it is, is due to a couple things.

One is what we see is that if you give them 200 miles, then they want to drive the car more, which means they need now they need 300 miles and you know uh, then what also happens is look. They want to drive to uh santa barbara, and if they go to santa barbara, then they want to drive to san francisco or they want to drive to utah. And what you raise is a really important point about the infrastructure and and things like that, so um. We we feel it and we see it and um.

You know like we said. We know that, like we look at, we kind of describe things as ev 1.0 and ev 2.0 and ev 3.0 and 1.0 was 100 miles and 2.0 was 200 miles and 3.0 is 300 miles, and so we're we're right there with it. And we know that uh. We also feel that 300 miles is the sweet spot.

It really works well for um the broader market in terms of uh being able to drive and uh drive the car daily and use it and then charge a few times a week at home or in the public space that kind of thing, but uh. We definitely definitely sense that um just to be competitive, uh, you know 300 miles and then 400 miles and so forth. So um, that's! What's that's what we're thinking yeah? Definitely that's what i end up doing charging every once in a while and that's good, but i think yeah most people worry about forgetting the charge at home. You know one morning and then oh now you can't make it to work or you're going to be late.

Yeah, it's it's weird, but i think infrastructure will will help that and uh. We won't have to have that such giant batteries in our cars pretty soon right, yeah just be able to have to plug in you know at home. If you forgot to charge at home or are you on the road you're getting sure be able to do that? And you know the biden administration has talked about adding 500 000 chargers. You know right now, there's about 35 or 36 000 charges across the entire united states, and so he's talking about.

You know a magnitude more of uh infrastructure and you see you know, lots and lots of efforts by uh, evgo and electrify america and chargepoint um. So the the charging infrastructure is really getting built out and, and that will definitely help uh ev proliferation. Yes, i think that's going to help uh it's going to help. You guys sell a lot of cars too.

So the cool thing about kia is that you guys know how to make cars right. It's uh! You know when we're looking at at the market and we're looking at the problems that are playing tesla. For example, it's like well yes, because they're they're, not a car company and they're new at doing this, but like there's, you guys have been in the market for a long time and you guys know how to bolt. You know uh uh doors together in a car and you know glue glass onto cars and do all the car manufacturing stuff that they're struggling with right.

So i was just going to say there jehu you're um you're, calling out some things that have been in the media. That yeah has some struggle with now along the way. Yes, we we, as a company and we've been in the us now, for i think this is our 26th year, so i don't know how you feel but um when i was 26, i felt like the world was mine, so we we kind of feel, and it Was just a couple years ago was so we kind of feel uh like that as a as a company, and that we are um, you know really kind of hitting our stride uh as you're right. We know how to put cars together very, very well: we've been um for the last six years.

We've won the initial quality study from jd power beating out you know big brands like porsche and mercedes, and you know other other brands that are considered kind of at the pinnacle for that that attention to quality detail again. Six years kia has been sitting on top of that table, so we do know what we're doing uh and i - and i i kind of do lean on you - know the youthful sort of uh kind of freshness of this company, maybe compared to what you see from Some of the more established big companies like general motors or something yeah. Yes, they know how to make vehicles too. They will be i'm sure, just as successful, but they are they're really having to bend their organizations to get into into really jumping deeply into the electrification.

Yeah it's, it seemed from our from a customer. Yes, it looks like they're they're reluctant. You know at best uh, you know and their attempts are forced. You know uh.

Well, that's what it seems to us. You know i don't know. No. I i understand what you're saying in full candor i worked for general motors and i was part of the team that helped launch the volt and some of the early work on the bolt as well, and it's there is a different philosophical mindset.

I mean again more of a legacy company like that you've got more people that need to be kind of redirected and do things in a different way and you've also got you know: um legacy management that isn't really interested in this huge investment that well we just Don't know how it's going to turn out you, you build a new f-150. You know what's going to happen, they're going to sell, so that's an easy investment to make. That's not a that's, not a risk. This has a little bit more risk to it.

I believe that, based on what you two have been talking about, especially now with the biden administration really throwing a lot of weight behind this, this is less of a risk today than it was six months ago. Uh. I feel very strongly on that. But again, i think that a company like kia, which is you, know, a little more flexible, a little more aggressive and and has very deep pockets.

It positions us for a a very good run at um, becoming a a one of the brands that people think of right. Now, let's be fair people think about electric cars, they might think about prius and tesla probably i mean the three of us we think about this stuff, all the time most people are not so uh. Well, no, i i do remember the soul very clearly, because it was in a time where there was no other ones and it was kind of a new and it was fresh and it was a bigger car which i think a lot of americans like, and there Was no other car that was kind of that size and was fully electric, so it was. It was a great thing that that that you guys put that back on there that early on right and it kind of stood with some of us.

It stood on like oh, these guys are in the market, they're doing something it's good they're attempting to do something yeah, it's like i'm very pleased here. You say that, and you know the seoul was a great place to be that too, because it i mean the the brand equity that the soul has and it's it's um success in the us market as being this kind of quirky corner a very efficient, very um, Uh, you know high utility easy to get in and out of, but then funky cool too. So it made a lot of sense for uh electrification for the kia brand to kind of come forth in that vehicle. And i remember that, because i worked at gm then - and it was giving us a hard time there you go so so what's the uh? What's the plan like the road map, looks like like how many vehicles, or what's the percentage of vehicles, that i guess it really depends on sales right, but there's there has to be plans uh or targets that you guys must be uh aiming to hit.

Well, i'm gon na. Let mr kazowski handle that, because when, when i get uh this question comes up to me, i usually call him so guess what we can just do that right now: okay, fair enough james! So you know the uh jehu, the um, the the company is planning on uh about 20 of developed markets, uh uh volume as battery electric and uh. When the plan s plans were announced uh, they have some some pretty significant volume numbers around the world globally. Globally.

Talking about 500 000 units a year as battery electric uh more than a million units a year by that time frame as electrified. So that's including hybrid and plug-in hybrid uh, but in the developed markets um - and this is primarily europe and in north america and parts of asia. Um thinking that 20 of the sales uh annually around mid-decade 2025 2026 would be battery electric. And you know, if you think about the volumes in the united states, the kia cells last year, we're um very close to 600 000 units and over the the last four or five years we've been, you know, plus or minus five six hundred thousand units.

So that's a lot of volume and then you know concurrently. Um uh, like i said when uh when the uh egmp platform was developed. Uh, there's multiple derivatives that come off that and uh the the product plans through the middle of the decade aren't fully solidified yet but um it'll it'll, be it's fair to say: there'll, be multiple evs in the united states in order to hit that uh 20 target. So um - and you know what's desirable in the united states right now - is utility vehicles right folks, you know, as suvs accounted for about half the united states market last year.

Uh trucks and suvs were 77 of the us market. Some some oems were north of 90. As trucks uh, so they you know, the u.s consumer wants and likes utilities. They like the higher hip point.

They like the flexibility to carry stuff and people uh. So i think you know we're looking very closely at that and we see the opportunity and uh. So i think you know thinking about uh, you know the u.s market and the consumer and demands and so forth, we're thinking you know multiple evs and probably uh close to 20 of the volume as battery electric by mid-decade. Well, that's quite a bit of an investment there.

I would say then yeah 20 of your yeah, and you know the companies speaking investment, the company's spending investing 25 billion dollars into this so uh. That is a staggering amount of money you think about. Recently. General motors talked about increasing their um, their better electric uh investment from 20 billion to 27 billion.

So here we are uh. You know we sell uh upwards of uh three and a half four million units around the world each year. Uh i mean this is this is a massive shift, as james noted earlier in the call. This is a massive shift and um really really um uh portrays the amount of money and and resources we're putting into this yeah.

If i could just jump in here, real quick, i was actually just speaking to some people about this this morning. I feel as if we're at a point in the automotive industry, where there will be some very interesting stories, written about what happened in the year 2021 and 2022. When you know when that that that that kind of inflection point came across where electric vehicles no longer were considered curiosities or no longer um having some sort of drawback, but we're actually seen as having benefits which override any potential concerns or or delay in consideration uh, I really firmly firmly believe that that you know the idea of a car or a truck that doesn't have a substantial amount of electrification and, when i say substantial i'll say like a plug-in hybrid, which today is not substantial, that's that's still a kind of a rarity. I think we'll see vehicles that you know that have nothing uh with no electrification on board as being very archaic and very out of touch in the very near future.

Um - and i think you know uh new drivers - 50 years from now will say: hey. Did you know that in the year 2020 you could buy a car that actually like came to the uh to a stoplight and sat there and the engine just ran? I really believe that, and so you know, and just this conversation we're having here, i mean you, two are the smart ones, i'm just trying to hold on tight. You guys are really embodying how much great thought has gone into all this and how it's being accepted and how it's being integrated into. I think american transportation's.

You know how consumers are going to think you know right now. You think. Okay, do we need an suv? Do we need a car? Do we need great mileage? Do we need great power, and now should we look at electric? I think that that game is on, and so it's pretty it's pretty fun. It's pretty fun james.

If, if i can add, i i think you're 100 spot on. In fact, yes, i am, you are um, you know in some of the work we've done. We look at how consumers feel about their cars and you know the data we get you can. You can sift it by gasoline or plug-in, hybrid or hybrid or eve or whatever, and you know the the uh opinions and the ratings um, the more you add, electrification, the more satisfied and happy the customers are, and but it's it's by maggie right.

So if you look at brand new um internal combustion owners, they're happy if you look at hybrid owners, they're even happier and plug-in hybri and ev owners, they're off the charts and their opinions are remarkable and when you talk with them one-on-one you talk with them. In focus groups they're exactly like you described they're like they're, never going back, they just can't understand how they ever experienced internal combustion, one guy in a focus group. Recently um. He said you know, i i have an electric car and the other day i had to drive my wife's car and he's like it's jurassic.

It's like this vibrating engine that you know like. I can't i can't sweetheart. I can't believe you have to endure this every day and you know but you're right, james, the um, this 2021 and 2022, i believe is, is a is a massive inflection point for the industry in the market, and you know when you step back a little bit And you look at all like historically, you know massive inflection points in our industry. You know thinking about way back into the 60s when the the mustang and the camaro came out and in the 70s, with the fuel crisis - and you know maybe the 80s, when uh safety technology was emerging.

There's these historical points in the in the history of the automobile industry - and this is one of them right before our very eyes, where you're seeing the shift and what seems to what seems to have been like a little sideshow in the last maybe 10 years. With the sole ev and the leaf and these kind of half-baked, cobbled together conversion cars and then came the tesla this and the tesla that and now the industry as a whole uh is, is just uh uh right on the cusp of this uh massive change. Where, finally, you know they listened to the customers and the customers said they want suvs and the customers said they want electric pickup trucks and the customers said they want um crossovers and they want 300 miles, and the industry, in their never-ending brilliance, is delivering that and At the same time, you have all the bits and pieces that are required to make that work, the infrastructure, the incentives things like that are coming together and um. You know kia we're so proud to be a part of it and we we look over the horizon.

A little bit - and you see this continuing and uh i it is so cool to be a part of it and uh like james said. You know 10, 20, 30 years from now we're gon na look back at this and go wow. What what an amazing period to be uh in this, this really cool industry and be a part of this company to do that? Yeah! Sorry! If i could just add one quick little funny story, i was talking with um with the public relations team. Here, nikia not too long ago about this big topic and i found a an old photograph, not a photograph, an old kind of sketch.

I guess you could say of a vehicle that was made for sale at the turn of the century. The from the 1800s to the 1900s, which was a a combustion engine little you know, runabout, that with big tall spindly wheels like they were back then, and a guy had come up with an idea to put a fake horse head on the front of it. Oh, my god, and then it's actually. It's called the horsey horseless - okay, oh my god, and and i'm gon na write that down okay, but the fact that we're giggling about it makes my point because in those days there was still resistance and reluctance and curiosity about these things that didn't need a horse.

How do i go down the road? How am i going to feed it? You know all these things that you know that to be fair, electric vehicles have gone through a similar trail to now, i'm not expecting that you know we'll we'll mount um speakers in the vehicle, so it mimics the sound of a gasoline engine. I think bmw yeah there you go but yeah there's this whole sense of that um. You know the transition from horse-drawn carriages to horseless took time, and we look back on it now and we say how quaint that is happening right now, between gasoline-powered and electric and someday. We'll look back on this and say how quaint yeah yeah.

I definitely have experienced that, like personally, i i converted my car eight years ago. Okay - and i was the only i was a crazy person - i mean i'm the crazy guy - that's driving around a car that uses batteries to go like okay, you're, crazy. A lot of people were excited about. A lot of people were like this guy's crazy.

Now i literally get out of my driveway and just i before i hit the first corner. There's electric cars in my neighbors uh driveways. You know and i'm like look at the crazy. I was a crazy guy.

Now right. You know it takes crazy, sometimes to uh to change the world so hold on. Well done so i've seen that shift, especially here in california. It's very evident.

Yes in other parts of the country in the world. Probably it's a bit different. The numbers are still very low right, there's still quite a lot of cars that you guys need to make and deliver to to make this this a reality uh. You know, but i think yeah.

It's gon na take some commitment from from people like you guys from companies like you guys that are maybe not as legacy as the other ones. I believe that's what's going to happen. I think the the legacy companies will just kind of trail behind it. Just seems like that.

That's the way that it's going to go. I know chevy has a commitment right and they have, by the way, those cars that you were involved in. Releasing the the the hybrid the volt vault yeah uh, it was a great car, fantastic at least two of those cars, and it saved me a ton of money. I mean i went from having my wife driving around one year.

She i did the math and she spent ten thousand dollars in in gasoline. We have a honda pilot wow right, so it was an suv we like suvs, it was kind of big sure, but that thing was terrible.

9 thoughts on “EVs with KIA Motors of America – JGP #41”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars MotoMania says:

    Had a Soul EV in 2015. Can’t believe how much more advanced the new EV6 is.

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars MikeJ F says:

    Nice!

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Alfredo Garcia says:

    Always enjoy knowing more about batteries. Keep it coming Jehu. Best regards from Puerto Rico 🇵🇷 👍🏻😎

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ronn Lange says:

    Another great video

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Frank Blackcrow says:

    I just bought a new battery for my farms solar.. that I am trying to fix.. that is a 12v @138ah the cost was just under $500AUD.. I need probably 2 to 3 more.. I don't have the patience to do any of these type of battery builds any more.. as that I still cant afford them either, because either which way I turn, the money's still not there to buy any thing… even for my bicycle it doesn't make sense to buy a new battery, that still needs to be charged again and again that won't get me any further than 10K's.. this is why people are mainly sticking with petrol engines (my motorcycle)because the reliability is dependable.

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ilies Valerian says:

    I' ve done a 10S5P Tesla battery capable of 500wh . Please do a video with putting 2 different battery packs using.something like Bolton DUAL BATTERY PARALLEL CONNECTOR. I have already ordered one and I will try it but I am inerested of your 500WH 36V 20A E-BIKE BATTERY IN RUGGED PROTECTIVE CASE + CHARGER COMBO I think that this pack is Extraordinary but is SOLD OUT 🙄😞😩

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Lennie Gabriel says:

    Damn I missed the show tonight…what's up from New Orleans? Next hurricane we have my diy powerwall should be ready…

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Alias says:

    Damn I got kicked out my phone died

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Battery Powered Gardener says:

    Missed again

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