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Kia pauses EV9 reservations in Canada as demand outpaces low supply

Kia opened online reservations for its flagship EV9 electric SUV in Canada on Monday. Despite only allocating just over 500 EV9 models, the electric SUV received “notably high” reservations. So much so Kia plans to relaunch the program.

Kia launches a new flagship electric SUV

The South Korean automaker’s first three-row electric SUV is expected to serve as a symbol of what’s to come from Kia in the new electric era.

Kia officially introduced the EV9 to the world in March, claiming it’s bringing the three-row SUV into the EV era with available features that matter the most. These include ample interior space (for cargo and passengers), up to 5,000 lbs of towing capabilities, enhanced vehicle dynamics, and modern tech and software.

The electric SUV is based on the Hyundai Motor Group’s 800V E-GMP platform – the same one that powers the IONIQ 5 and Kia EV6, featuring fourth-gen battery tech and fast charging (10% to 80% in under 25 minutes).

At up to 5,015 mm (197 in) long, the EV9 is slightly longer than the Telluride with a similar height of 1,780 mm (70 in) and width of 1,980 mm (78 in). It also puts the electric SUV in the same category as the Ford Explorer at 199 inches long, 79 inches wide, and 70 inches tall.

Kia EV9 GT-Line (Source: Kia Canada)

The exterior features Kia’s new dynamic design with a new Tiger Face grill up front to replace the Kia “Tiger Nose” grill we have grown accustomed to.

Kia’s flagship electric SUV is essentially a mobile living room with the automaker’s most advanced interior yet.

Kia EV9 GT-Line (Source: Kia Canada)

This includes Kia’s next-gen ultramodern Connected Car Navigation Cockpit (ccNC) operating system, executive seats (for everyone, not just those up front) with included “Relaxation Mode,” and centrally mounted, hidden-until-lit haptic switches for key infotainment features that appear when the EV9 is turned on.

It also includes an optional Digital Rearview Mirror to replace the traditional one, 14-speaker 708-watt Meridian Premium Audio, and LED lighting for the Kia logo on the steering wheel.

The Kia EV9 will feature the latest in-vehicle software and connectivity tech, which includes Kia’s most advanced Highway Driving Pilot, onboard power generator abilities (through V2L), and OTA updates.

Kia EV9’s strong sales start

Kia reportedly began EV9 deliveries in its home market on June 19, according to information from the Korea Economic Daily. After eight days on the market, the electric SUV gathered over 13,000 preorders.

The automaker sold 1,334 EV9 models during its first month on the market, nearly outselling the EV6 electric crossover. An official from the automaker said over 50% of preorders are from new customers.

Kia EV9 (Source: Kia)

Kia launched the EV9 in another big auto market in Canada Monday. In Canada, the EV9 is offered with a 99.8 kWh battery with a single motor configuration providing 298 mi (480 km) targeted range. Or, Kia is offering a dual-motor 379 hp (283 kW) AWD configuration with up to 516 lb-ft of torque.

After seeing buyers rushing in on social media, Electrek reached out to Kia to see how the first day of sales went.

According to Kia’s Canada website on Monday, there were only 527 vehicles available for sale (I was number 55,542 in the queue Monday afternoon before the site crashed). A Kia spokesperson tells Electrek:

The demand was notably high for EV9 reservations in Canada, so much so that it was higher traffic to the website than anticipated. We’ve temporarily paused reservations, as some requests were not processed.

Kia says it will relaunch the reservation program, and those interested should stay keep a lookout in their email, Kia.Ca, and on its social channels for more information.

Kia EV9 electric SUV
Kia EV9 electric SUV models (Source: Kia)

Meanwhile, Kia plans to launch the EV9 in the US by the end of the year. The three-row electric SUV will come in two powertrain options, including a standard 76.1 kWh battery with a 215 hp (160 kW) motor. Buyers can opt for the optional 99.8 kWh battery detailed above.

The EV9 will be Kia’s first electric vehicle assembled in the US. Assembly is expected to begin at its West Point, Georgia facility, starting next year.

Kia has yet to release prices but based on prices in other markets, we expect the EV9 to start around $60K for the standard battery and upwards of $70K for the larger one.

Electrek’s Take

Obviously, 500 units is not a lot to allocate. However, as its flagship EV, it’s encouraging to see higher-than-expected demand in several markets so far.

By the looks of it, Kia may want to consider distributing more (and maybe a new website). Although many of the early units are being allocated in its home market, demand for electric SUVs is growing globally.

Perhaps Kia will have enough to meet the demand once production begins in Georgia next year. We’ll update you as the Kia EV9 rolls out across the US, Canada, and other key markets.

Author: Peter Johnson
Source: Electrek

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