Kia Motors India has signed an MoU with the Andhra Pradesh state government, with an aim to support Andhra Pradesh’s vision of offering clean and sustainable mobility. As part of this MoU, the company has set up an EV charging station equipped with two regular chargers on the premises of the Secretariat at Vijayawada. The brand has also donated three electrified vehicles – the Kia Niro in its petrol-hybrid, plug-in hybrid and full electric form – to the state to run as a pilot programme.
The Kia Niro EV has an over-450km driving range and can be charged to 80 percent of its capacity by a DC fast charger in one hour. On the other hand, the Niro hybrid comes equipped with a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol motor mated to a dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Andhra Pradesh will see the partnership reinforce its vision of setting up 14 smart cities in the state; as well as give a fillip to EV sales in the state. “It’s a remarkable day for us today as we embark on the road to future mobility in India. We are providing the government with three of our world-class electrified cars, and Andhra Pradesh is taking progressive steps by giving incentives to both automakers and customers; and also installing charging stations in the state, building a green ecosystem,” said Kookyum Shim, managing director and CEO, Kia Motors India. “We will provide a range of futuristic technologies under our ACE (Autonomous, Connected and Electric) strategy and we will work with the Andhra Pradesh government to improve the quality of life of its citizens.”
At the MoU-signing ceremony, N Chandrababu Naidu, chief minister, Andhra Pradesh, said, “We are very happy receiving the support of Kia Motors and I am confident that the upcoming plant would be a world-class facility as well.”
“We are looking at radically transforming the mobility scenario in the state of Andhra Pradesh. We want to totally convert all vehicles in the state to full electrics and we are starting by purchasing over 7,500 e-three-wheelers for garbage collection by end of January 2019.”
“We are also installing charging stations ourselves, and also providing necessary approvals, incentives and instant clearances for people who want to install charging stations,” Naidu announced.
“We want 50 percent green cover and total green energy by tapping renewable energy such as solar energy in a big way. India has surplus sunlight and prices of solar power are set to become very cheap at Rs 2 per unit,” he added.
Kia Motors is looking at sustainable mobility in a big way. The brand aims to have 16 electrified global models by 2025 including hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery-powered electrics and a fuel-cell vehicle as well.
The company says that it will remain agnostic to technology and will wait and watch the government policies pan out in India before deciding upon its electrified model strategy in the country.