Kia Ride & Drive: Electrified Fleet

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Kia Canada’s Spencer Watson welcomes fleet professionals to the first Ride & Drive event since COVID-19. Photo Jack Kazmierski

Fleet professionals get a preview of some of the brand’s newest hybrids, plug-in hybrids and EVs.

Kia Canada invited a number of their fleet customers to their first Ride & Drive event in many years. The two-day event, which took place Sept. 15-16, offered fleet professionals an opportunity to test drive Kia’s entire fleet, especially their newest electrified vehicles.

The event began at Kia’s head office in Mississauga, Ontario with a couple of presentations. Spencer Watson, National Sales Manager, National Fleet Sales for Kia Canada introduced his fleet team, including Kevin Yeoh, National Manager, Sales; and Joe Lee, Fleet Specialist.

Supply and demand

Anthony Scigliano, Kia’s Director of Sales talked about the number one issue on everyone’s mind—supply. “It’s been a very challenging year in terms of securing vehicles,” he admitted. “The good news is that things are starting to ramp back up a little bit. It’s going to take some time before we see 60 days of supply on dealer inventory, but it is good to see more of a steady stream of volume coming in.”

Scigliano admitted that the supply and demand situation has been a big challenge, not just for Kia, but the auto industry overall. “We want to thank our fleet customers for sticking with us and for being patient,” he concluded.

Watson also addressed the inventory situation, explaining that production is definitely starting to look better, and that Kia has been told by their factories to expect a gradual improvement.

He offered a realistic overview of the situation. “Right now,” Watson explained, “everything that’s being built is being shipping immediately to dealerships and our customers, and the turn rate is unlike anything we’ve ever seen. So while production is getting better, we’re still not seeing any meaningful amount of inventory. We do have a large sold order lot that still exists, and so we’re not really going to see that inventory resuming to some kind of normal level for quite some time.”

Realistically, Watson added, Kia expects availability to get better gradually throughout 2023, and for wait times to improve. “But overall,” he said, “for 2023, we don’t see supply and demand being completely in balance. So we’re going to see more of what we’ve seen recently, with residual values staying relatively high and incentive values staying relatively low.”

Electrified fleet

Watson pointed out that there’s a growing interest in electrified vehicles, especially with the price of fuel as high as it is today, and that Kia has a long list of electrified vehicles to choose from.

The Kia Sportage, for example, is available as a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid with 55 km of all-electric range. The Sorento is the largest electrified SUV Kia offers, and if available as a hybrid or a plug-in hybrid with 51 km of all-electric range.

Watson then introduced the EV6, which he called, “Kia’s halo model, and our first dedicated battery electric vehicle.” He added, “It’s a technical tour de force, and the poster child of our new design language.”

The EV6 is offered with both short- and long-range battery options, rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, and a range of between 373 km to 499 km. It’s also able to take advantage of Level 3 charging, which means it can be charged in a fraction of the time it would take a Level 1 or 2 charger to fill up the batteries.

The Soul is still available as a battery electric vehicle, and comes with both short- and long-range battery packs. The Niro is available as a hybrid and plug-in hybrid with 42 km of all-electric range. “It’s also available as a full battery-electric vehicle, “Watson added, “and it comes with 385 km of range.


Reg Furoy, Kia Canada’s National Training Manager spoke about some of the sophisticated Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) available on new Kia models. “A lot of these safety features come on the entry level models,” he explained.

Besides the many ADAS features we have all become accustomed to over the years, Kia is offering some innovative solutions like the Blind-Spot View Monitor, which employs a camera on the side of the car to show the driver (image appears in the instrument cluster) what’s in their blind spot before they change lanes.

Kia’s Forward Collision Avoidance Assist system will prevent the driver from moving into oncoming traffic when turning left at an intersection, while the Remote Start Parking Assist system will allow the driver to get out the vehicle, and then part the car remotely with the help of a remote control.

Those with smaller children will appreciate Kia’s Safe Exit Assist, which prevents anyone from opening a the car door when parked at the side of the road if the sensors detect oncoming traffic from behind.

After learning about the Kia’s new vehicles, and all the newest innovations, Kia’s guests were invited to enjoy a long test drive up to Hockley Valley Resort, north of Toronto.


Categories : Editorial, Fleet
Tags : EV, Event, Kia


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