Kia and Hyundai reveal concepts previewing next EV SUVs
Sister brands Hyundai and Kia have both revealed new electric SUV concept cars, previewing the next steps of their respective electric brands and sibling vehicles to the recently launched Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 models.
The Hyundai Seven is a precursor to the Ioniq 7 due in 2023, and according to the brand, its “space innovation and hygienic features” turn it into a “living space on wheels”.
“The Seven concept demonstrates Hyundai’s creative vision and advanced technological development for our electrified mobility future,” said Jose Munoz, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor North America. “Its innovative interior space, eco-friendly powertrain and cutting-edge safety and convenience technologies reveal an exciting future for Hyundai SUV customers.”
Kia’s Concept EV9 also previews a large electric SUV that the company said is the “clearest signal yet” as to the next addition to its EV line-up.
“The Kia Concept EV9 is yet another important marker for us in what has been an incredible journey since the start of the year,” said Karim Habib, head of Kia Global Design Center. “Having made our intentions clear – to become a global leader in sustainable mobility solutions – today we are proud to show the world our all-electric SUV concept, which fuses together an advanced zero-emissions powertrain, a cutting-edge exterior design and a contemporary and innovative tech-based interior space.”
Motorway charging network to open up
The exclusive contracts preventing competition in EV charging points at motorway service stations are to be ended after Gridserve, which took over the operation of the Electric Highway in June 2021, agreed not to enforce the terms from 2026.
Following a Competition and Markets Authority investigation amid concerns that previous Electric Highway operator Ecotricity was failing to invest properly in the network that it had exclusive rights to, Gridserve has agreed to reduce the rights in the current contracts at Moto and Roadchef services. They were scheduled to run until 2028 and 2030 respectively, while the deal with Extra expires in 2026.
“One of the biggest stumbling blocks to getting people to switch to electric cars is the fear that they won’t be able to travel from A to B without running out of charge,” said CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli. “Millions of people make a pitstop for fuel at motorway service stations every day, so it’s crucial that people can trust that electric chargepoints will do the same job.”
“Healthy competition is key to ensuring that drivers have a greater choice of chargepoints where they need them, and for a fair price,” he continued. “We believe that opening up competition on motorways, while ensuring the sector has greater investment, is the right direction of travel – and good news for current drivers of electric cars and for people thinking of buying one.”
The CMA investigated the issue amid a trio of concerns with the exclusive contracts for Electric Highway:
- They may be preventing competitor chargepoint operators from operating at motorway service areas
- They could impede the successful roll-out of the government’s anticipated rapid charge fund
- They may result in drivers losing out on competitive prices and reliable chargepoints as a result of a lack of competition at motorway service areas.
The CMA noted that Gridserve has committed to “significant” new investment over the coming years, and has invited views from businesses and drivers on the commitments offered by 2 December.
One-in-10 drivers not wearing prescription glasses
A new report has claimed that 11% of drivers are breaking the law by not wearing their prescription glasses for driving.
According to contact lens retailer Lenstore’s survey of more than 1000 drivers, 11% said they don’t wear prescribed glasses at all while driving, with another 7% wearing them less than 25% of the time, and only 48% saying they wear them every time they drive.
A fifth of drivers also said they hadn’t had an eye test in the recommended period of the past two years.
“With several accidents still taking place on the roads as a result of poor vision, it is crucial for drivers to be receiving regular eye examinations,” said optetrist Roshni Patel. “Motorists should take an eye test at least once every two years to ensure they are fit for the roads and not causing any dangers to themselves or others. If you experience a deterioration in your eyesight or a change in your vision it is important to arrange an eye test as soon as possible.”