Hydrogen-powered Kia Carnival FCEV to complement Kia Carnival EV

Until 2020, we heard over and over again that a Kia Carnival hybrid is coming to market. In 2021, we see there were also rumors of a Kia Carnival EV. Now, as 2022 is coming to a close, word out there is that a hydrogen-powered Kia Carnival FCEV is also on the roadmap. Take a look at what we know about these future electrified MPVs so far:

Hydrogen-powered Kia Carnival FCEV

Hyundai Motor Group (HMG)’s brands are rapidly expanding their BEV line-ups, but they plan to launch a few hydrogen FCEV models as well. According to a report Maekyung.com published on September 14, 2022, Kia has a hydrogen-powered Carnival FCEV in the pipeline. A person familiar with the development said that the company will introduce the hydrogen Carnival after releasing hydrogen military vehicles. At DX Korea 2022, held between September 21 and 25, 2022, the company exhibited Hydrogen Fuel Cell Truck, Hydrogen Fuel Cell ATV, and Hydrogen Fuel Cell Generator defense concepts.

Previously, at the regular Staria’s world premiere on April 13, 2021, Hyundai announced a Staria Fuel Cell. On September 6, 2021, at IAA 2021, it said it plans to launch a new Nexo and a hydrogen fuel cell MPV (most likely the Staria Fuel Cell) in 2023 and a large hydrogen fuel cell SUV after 2025. The Kia Carnival FCEV could be technically related to the Hyundai Staria Fuel Cell.

Kia Carnival EV

In a piece published on November 4, 2021, ETNews reported that the AutoLand plant in Gwangmyeong would be at the center of the Kia electric vehicle strategy. It suggested that the Kia EV9 will roll out of this factory. Additionally, it claimed that Kia plans to convert the fourth-gen Carnival into hybrid and electric models. AutoLand Gwangmyeong is the mother plant of the gasoline and diesel Carnival.

This wasn’t the first time we were hearing of a Kia Carnival electric on the company’s roadmap. A Daily Car report had claimed the existence of a zero-emissions Carnival in the Kia line-up on July 16, 2021. According to that article, Kia may launch the hybrid and pure electric variants of the Carnival in the first markets as early as 2023. Previous reports had ruled out the possibility of the Carnival Hybrid and Carnival AWD citing structural unsuitability, the low floor, and the flat-folding seats. Perhaps Kia developers have had a breakthrough with the platform for electrified variants.

Kia Carnival EV or Kia Carnival Electric
Our render is a conversion of the gas-powered Carnival with EV-specific styling elements like the closed-off grille, special wheels, redesigned bumper inspired by the EV6, and a charging port instead of a fuel-filler cap.

Australian launch

The Kia Carnival electric would find a market in the Oceanic region as well. Australia is hoping Kia makes a battery-powered Carnival, suggests a report from The Driven. Speaking to the media, Roland Rivero, the general manager of product at Kia’s Australian subsidiary, said that the company is adding “potential other EVs” to its mix. Kia Australia has requested that its parent company send over every EV that it develops. This move comes as the Australian market for EVs continues to grow. Once Kia confirms it’s going to make a Carnival electric, “Australia will have it hand for it, too,” Rivero said.

Kia Carnival Hybrid

A Kia Carnival Hybrid is likely to precede the zero-emission minivans we’ve mentioned above. According to a report from carguy.kr filed on March 21, 2022, many customers in S.Korea are awaiting the partially electric Carnival, and Kia will likely release the variant in 2023. The company will build the Carnival Hybrid on the production line of the Stinger. The report claimed that Kia is preparing for Carnival Hybrid production and could discontinue the flagship four-door model later this year. However, none of this has been confirmed by the company.

Kia may use a combination of a 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline engine and an electric motor in the Carnival Hybrid, identical to the new Sportage Hybrid and Sorento Hybrid. However, instead of the 6-speed automatic transmission, it is likely to employ an 8-speed automatic in the hybrid minivan. If the car meets production in the foreseeable future, will the U.S. launch of the Carnival Hybrid take place by end of 2023? We’ll be sure to keep an eye on further developments!

Kia to sell 14 electric models

Kia plans to expand its EV line-up to 14 models by 2027, at least eight of which will be dedicated EVs based on the Hyundai Motor Group’s E-GMP platform. The others will be conversions of ICE models, including partially electrified models like the Kia Niro EV. One of the converted EVs could be a pure electric Carnival as well.

By 2030, Kia aims to sell 4 million vehicles, including 1.2 million EVs, annually. The company expects more than 80% of EV sales to come from Korea, North America, Europe, and China. It projects EVs to take 45% of its sales in these markets.

Kia’s ultimate goal is to become carbon-neutral on the product front globally. In that journey, the company plans to achieve new milestones every few years, including converting the whole product line-up to EVs in Europe by 2035 and then in other major markets (presumably incl. the U.S.) by 2040. Moreover, it will launch hydrogen FCEVs starting in 2028.

Featured Image Source: TopElectricSUV