Kia EV9-Like Electric Pickup Truck Spotted Testing In The U.S.

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Kia is gearing up to launch an all-electric mid-size pickup truck in the United States. A mule wearing some heavy black camouflage and what seem like EV9 headlights and Santa Cruz taillights was caught testing in California.

The video embedded above was uploaded yesterday on the KindelAuto YouTube channel. It shows a double-cab truck with black generic wheels and a mishmash of body panels–the front appears to be blue, the sides are gray, and the side mirrors are white.

This is no surprise; all major automakers use the same approach when developing a new car to keep costs down. The video also reveals a coil suspension at the front and an independent setup at the rear.

The early electric prototype seems to be roughly the same size as the EV9 three-row crossover, meaning it will compete with the combustion-powered Honda Ridgeline and, at a stretch, the Rivian R1T.

Kia said in 2022 that it will launch two electric pickup trucks in 2026, one “strategic model for emerging markets” and “a dedicated electric pickup truck.” The prototype we see here is likely the latter. Kia is also working on a combustion-powered mid-size pickup called the Tasman, which has also been spotted testing in the United States but hasn’t been confirmed for the U.S. market, at least not yet.

Kia electric mid-size pickup spotted testing in the United States (Source: KindelAuto / YouTube)

The EV9-like electric truck recently spotted wearing Michigan plates is expected to be based on the same modular E-GMP platform that underpins models like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6 and the Kia EV6 and EV9.

We don’t know where the upcoming battery-powered truck will be built. It should be manufactured stateside to benefit from the $7,500 tax credit currently being offered to purchases of U.S.-built EVs. Otherwise, there will be no federal incentive, and, to make matters worse, the pickup will also be subjected to the Chicken Tax, a 2% tariff on imported light trucks that dates back to 1964.

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