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Round-up: Kia’s big EV plans, Addison Lee installs screens, Toyota confirms new large hybrid SUV

Kia sets out EV sales target

Korean brand Kia has declared a target of 20% of its European sales to be fully electric vehicles by 2026, as part of a plan to sell more than half a million EVs per year worldwide.

2020 CCT100 Awards - Kia e-Niro - Winner - Electric Car of the Year 2020The company has confirmed that it will have 11 electric models on sale globally by 2025, including passenger cars, SUVs and MPVs, with the first coming next year in the form of a new crossover vehicle with a claimed range of over 310 miles and capable of a high-speed recharge in 20 minutes.

The brand has also pledged that every new vehicle it launches will have electrification capability of some sort.

Kia’s current electric vehicles – the e-Niro (pictured) and new Soul, accounted for 6.0% of the brand’s European sales in the first quarter of 2020, up from 2.9% in the same period of 2019.

“We want to provide European customers with the best possible value for their money, something that we are committed to with every new car,” said Pablo Martinez Masip, Director Product Planning and Pricing for Kia Motors Europe. “This means that certain models, particularly those aimed at more cost-conscious buyers, will offer 400V charging capability. 800V charging won’t simply be reserved for Kia’s flagship models, however, but where it most closely matches the usage profile of a particular model line”.


Addison Lee to fit cab partition screens

Taxi firm Addison Lee has claimed it will be the first private hire operator to fit partition screens across its fleet from next week, building on existing safety measures including drivers being provided with masks, gloves, hand sanitiser and disinfectant.

Addison Lee - deal with VW for 1200 VW SharansThe firm’s research found that 80% of its company customer base said it will review policies around employee commuting, with 90% citing safety as the priority when using minicabs or taxis.

“We have a duty of care to our drivers, and we know that across the industry drivers have started to install a variety of home-made partitions,” said Addison Lee CEO Liam Griffin. “By implementing a single, tested model in each of our vehicles, we can ensure that the solution we are providing is safe and effective for both passengers and drivers.”


Toyota confirms hybrid seven-seat SUV for 2021

The Toyota Highlander SUV will slot into the firm’s UK line-up above the RAV4 when it arrives in the UK early next year.

Toyota Highlander 2021The 241hp seven-seater, powered by a 2.5-litre petrol engine combined with hybrid powertrain will offer CO2 emission figures from 146g/km and a 42.8mpg official fuel economy figure.

Already sold in other markets including the USA, the Highlander offers a two-tonne towing capacity as well as 658-litre luggage area with the third row of seats folded flat into the floor, increasing to 1909 litres with the second row also folded.

UK specification and pricing will be announced nearer to launch.

The Highlander is the second SUV model to be revealed by Toyota in recent weeks, with the Yaris Cross small crossover also recently unveiled, and due in the UK during 2021.


First Pictures: Toyota Yaris Cross


Round-Up: No salsac for teachers, Kia Soul EV on sale now, Six months of growth for van industry