Kia Corporation has set out its vision to become a sustainable, responsible, and innovative mobility solutions provider alongside a commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2045. The announcements were made at its ‘Kia Sustainability Movement’ virtual presentation on November 11.

The OEM’s carbon neutrality plan is based on three key pillars – Sustainable Mobility, Sustainable Planet, and Sustainable Energy. These pillars will guide Kia in its efforts to reduce carbon emissions across operationas, from supply, logistics, vehicle production and vehicle use through to the disposal of waste. By 2045, Kia plans to reduce 97% of the company’s 2019 level of carbon emissions. The company will attain carbon neutrality by implementing additional measures to fully offset its remaining carbon emissions.

Kia also previewed the Concept EV9 ahead of its AutoMobility LA reveal. The battery electric vehicle (BEV) concept embodies Kia’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality.

Kia aims to fully electrify its vehicle line-up in Europe by 2035. From 2040, Kia’s line-up in key markets around the globe will also exclusively consist of electrified models, realizing zero emissions during daily vehicle use. It is at this stage in the vehicle’s life where Kia will make huge strides in dramatically reducing the single largest culprit of carbon emissions.

Kia is also working with its suppliers to reduce carbon emissions from the parts supply stage. Kia aims to create a carbon emissions monitoring system for its partner companies by 2022 and will provide solutions to its suppliers based on the resulting data. A key element to this plan is the use of ‘green steel’, as the steel industry has traditionally been one of the biggest global carbon emitters.

Kia will initiate a ‘Blue Carbon’ project to proactively make a tangible contribution to preserving the environment instead of just reducing emissions to achieve its carbon neutrality target. The project will focus on marine ecosystems which are one of the most efficient absorbers of carbon.

In an effort to build a sustainable future, Kia will also work with ‘The Ocean Cleanup’, the non-profit organization developing and scaling technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. To effectively rid the oceans of plastic, plastic waste currently in ocean needs to be cleaned and new plastic should be stopped from entering the oceans. ‘The Ocean Cleanup’ to this aim developed ‘Interceptor’ to be deployed in rivers around the world to prevent plastic trash from entering the oceans.

The company also plans to implement plastic recycling processes during the vehicle disposal stage. Once established, the process will increase the re-use percentage of used batteries and plastic. Furthermore, Kia is planning to conduct pilot projects on second-life battery energy storage systems (SLBESS) with external partners from 2022.

Kia aims to achieve zero emissions across all aspects of its business – including all production sites – by 2045, after Hyundai Motor Group and its key subsidiaries announced their plan to join the RE100 initiative in July. Climate Group’s RE100 is an initiative to transition to 100% renewable energy in electricity generation.

For Kia’s overseas sites, all electricity will be sourced from renewable energy by 2030; and by 2040 that transition will be complete for all of Kia’s domestic business sites. In line with Kia’s RE100 commitment, Kia’s Slovakia production facility has already turned to 100% green energy in electricity generation.

To help accomplish this goal, Kia will actively transition to solar energy electricity generation for business sites in Korea, US, China, and India. By continuing to improve the efficiency of production facilities, Kia aims to cut carbon emissions by one percent each year. To realize this reduction, it will implement new innovations such as Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) technology. The OEM also plans to transition all company fleet vehicles to electrified vehicles by 2030.

Kia has also revealed the first official images of the Concept EV9 and an important milestone of Kia’s commitment to sustainable mobility solutions. The futuristic design of the vehicle was inspired by nature and uses upcycled materials developed from ocean waste, which poses a serious threat to the marine ecosystem.

The Concept EV9 hints at Kia’s next model in the dedicated BEV line-up based on the Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) architecture, following in the footsteps of the Kia EV6.