An electric pickup truck similar to the Kia EV9 has been spotted testing in the United States

Kia is preparing to launch an all-electric midsize pickup truck in the United States. A Mule was caught wearing some heavy black camouflage and what appear to be EV9 headlights and Santa Cruz taillights during testing in California.

The video embedded above was uploaded yesterday to KindleAuto YouTube channel. The photo shows a double-cab truck with black overall wheels and a combination of body panels – the front appears to be blue, the sides are grey, and the side mirrors are white.

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Kia wants to get into the pickup truck game with at least three models. One of those upcoming pickup trucks has been spotted testing on California roads wearing an EV9-like face and Santa Cruz-like taillights. The electric truck is expected to debut in 2026, and will likely be placed on the same E-GMP platform as the three-row EV9 SUV.

This is not surprising. All major automakers use the same approach when developing a new car to cut costs. The video also reveals a coil spring suspension system at the front and an independent setup at the rear.

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

Kia said in 2022 that it will launch two electric minivans in 2026, one a “strategic model for emerging markets” and a “dedicated electric minivan.” The prototype we see here is likely the last. Kia is also working on a combustion-powered midsize pickup called the Tasman, which has also been spotted testing in the US but has not been confirmed for the US market, at least not yet.

Kia's mid-size electric pickup has been spotted testing in the US (Source: KindelAuto / YouTube)

Kia’s mid-size electric pickup has been spotted testing in the US (Source: KindelAuto / YouTube)

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

We don’t know where the next battery-powered truck will be built. They must be manufactured in the United States to take advantage of the $7,500 tax credit currently offered for purchases of electric vehicles manufactured in the United States. Otherwise there would be no federal incentive, and to make matters worse, pickup trucks would also be subject to the chicken tax, a 2% tariff on imported light trucks dating back to 1964.

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