The new Kia Sportage plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) was recently recognized as the best model in the segment by two influential German auto publications, fueling Hyundai Motor Group’s global eco-friendly automobile market expansion.
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Kia Sportage PHEV topped the list of the segment compiled by the German magazine Auto Motor und Sport. The magazine compared four PHEVs – the Sportage, Toyota RAV4, Opel’s Grandland and Volvo’s XC40 – in terms of body, safety, convenience, powertrain, driving, eco-friendly features and economics. The Sportage scored 649 points, beating the RAV4’s 615 points, the Grandland’s 603 points, and the XC40’s 566 points.
Auto Bild, another German magazine, compared the Kia Sportage and the Opel Grandland. The magazine recognized Sportage as superior to the Grandland, citing smoother steering and interaction between its gasoline engine and electric motor. According to Kia official, “The evaluations by the two industry publications are an important yardstick for customers not only in Germany but all of Europe.”
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Sales of the eco-friendly models of Hyundai and Kia including EVs, hybrid cars, PHEVs and hydrogen vehicles, have been growing at a rapid pace. Together they have sold more than 3 million units of those vehicles by May this year since 2009 when they launched their first eco-friendly model. These eco-friendly vehicles accounted for 14.6% of their total sales volume in the first 5 months of the year, surging from around just 1% in 2016.
Among the models by the South Korean duo, Hyundai’s Kona Electric was the top model with sales of 220,428 units, followed by the Kia Niro EV with sales of 163,884 units. Hyundai sold 105,247 units of its latest all-electric IONIQ 5, while Kia sold 64,924 units of the award winning EV6.
Hyundai and Kia are ranked as the No. 2 EV maker in the first quarter in the US, with only Tesla ahead of them. Together they made up 9% of the country’s EV market, beating Volkswagen Group with a 4.6% market share and Ford with 4.5%, according to a CNBC report. Hyundai and Kia are expected to enjoy a further rise in demand for EVs, given surging fuel prices.
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com