Korean car maker Kia Motors India, which is setting up its first manufacturing plant in the country in Andhra Pradesh, on Thursday signed another pact with the state government to collaborate on the 'Partnership for Future Eco Mobility', involving the development of local electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure, among other things.
As part of this agreement, Kia Motors has provided the government with three examples of its global best-selling eco cars -- a Niro Hybrid, Niro Plug-in Hybrid and a Niro EV -- for use by the latter. The company has also installed a vehicle charging station at the government secretariat premises at Vijayawada for the future fleet of EVs that might be used by government departments.
The company said that as part of its commitment to the Indian market, it is working with the Andhra government to design a new generation of transportation systems that best serve the citizens in each of the 14 smart cities being developed in the state. This is part of its wider plan to offer alternative mobility within the Indian market, the company said, while hinting at its upcoming EV plans for India.
"Future mobility will be defined by connected and sustained technologies that play an important role in bringing customer lifestyles and what's good for the environment together," said Kia Managing Director and CEO Kookhyun Shim.
Kia's ACE strategy -- to produce autonomous, connected and eco/electric cars -- will see the brand adopt connected car technologies across every vehicle segment by 2030, according to the company. It plans to offer 16 EVs by 2025.
The three Niro vehicles provided to the state government include the new Niro EV -- a fully-electric crossover capable of travelling 455 km on a single charge. The other two models employ parallel hybrid powertrains that switch between petrol and electric power.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said he was expecting Kia to roll out its first Made in India car from the Anantapur plant in January next year. He also asked the company to collaborate with the government in designing a public transport system that is completely free of environmental pollution.