New Kia Niro EV set for European launch soon

Electric version of hybrid SUV is already on sale in South Korea

By James Attwood, Autocar UK calendar 21 Jul 2018 Views icon6904 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

The new Kia Niro EV will be launched in Europe after making its debut in the region at the Paris Motor Show in October.

Sales for the model have just begun in South Korea, Kia's home market. Sales will commence in Europe after its Paris appearance.

Two specifications are available: a range of 280 miles from a 64kWh battery or 186 miles from a 39.2kWh battery. The latter is 3.4kWh up on the battery of the Volkswagen e-Golf, which has a real-world range of around 125 miles / 200 kilometres.

From a 100kW charge point, Kia claims that the higher-capacity Niro EV will attain 80% charge in 54 minutes.

The Niro EV, first previewed by a concept that was unveiled in January, is slightly slower in the 0-62mph sprint than the related Hyundai Kona Electric, at 7.8sec compared with 7.6sec, but with an output of 201bhp it is slightly more powerful, albeit with the same 291lb ft of torque as the Kona Electric. 

In addition to the usual driver assistance systems of automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assistance, the Niro EV has Level 2 autonomous capability, akin to the Volkswagen Group's Traffic Jam Assist system, which follows traffic and steers the car within its lane, although the driver must keep hold of the wheel.

These are understood to be the specifications for cars that will reach roads in South Korea later this year and are likely to differ from the versions that will be arrive in the UK near the end of the year.

The Niro EV stands out from the hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions with a new front end incorporating a filled-in grille and a charging port, as well as arrow-like daytime running lights. At the rear, it has model-exclusive LED tail-lights.

Inside, there's blue trim to match the highlights on the exterior, while the centre console now accommodates a rotary drive selector in place of the gear selector. A 7.0in digital instrument display replaces the dials that can show powertrain information as well as the usual functions. 

Last month, Kia said it had received 5000 orders for the Niro EV in South Korea. It is sold there alongside the existing hydrogen fuel cell, hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions.

The Niro EV is part of Kia’s ACE (Autonomous, Connected and Eco/Electric) strategy, which plans to offer 16 electrified vehicles by 2025.


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