Kia is to extend its hybrid offerings with the launch of the Kia Ceed Sportswagon plug-in hybrid in the second half of 2019.
Average CO2 emissions are driving more and more car makers down the hybrid and plug-in hybrid route, and Kia is planning to take powertrain from the Niro Plug-in and transplant it in to the new Kia Ceed Sportswagon, delivering a load-lugging hybrid Ceed to the market, according to Autocar.
Assuming the Niro’s PHEV underpinnings transfer across the the Ceed Estate unchanged, that will mean a 1.6 litre petrol engine good for 139bhp mated to 79bhp electric motor promising bonkers official economy and emissions and an EV range of around 30 miles.
Assuming the Ceed Estate Plug-in gets a warm welcome from car buyers (it should from business users) then Kia will doubtless extend the offering to the Ceed Hatch and, in time, to the Sportage too.
The one fly in the ointment for Kia’s plug-in plans is the recent news that the grant for plug-in hybrids has been scrapped, or at least scrapped unless they can do more than 70 miles in EV mode. Which the Ceed plug-in can’t.
No doubt Kia could find a way to at least double battery capacity to bring a plug-in Ceed to market with the required range to qualify for the new Category 1 £3,500 grant, but whether that is a practical proposition for the UK market is debatable.
Still, assuming BIK rates for plug-ins don’t go the same way as the grant in the next budget, a plug-in Ceed Estate should still find a ready market for business customers.