Small families looking for a highly efficient mobility solution at a reasonable price still don’t have many options, especially when it comes to all-electric vehicles. Cars like the Chevrolet Bolt, BMW i3 and Volkswagen e-Golf can only do so much. However, things will change significantly in the next 12-24 months with the market release of the Hyundai Kona Electric (with an estimated 400 km of range), plus VW and Ford’s as-yet-unnamed zero-emission crossovers, among others.
Another practical and exciting alternative, of course, will be the new Kia Niro EV, which was unveiled at the 5th International Electric Vehicle Expo in Jeju, Korea, last Friday.
The award-winning Niro gets even better
Available in hybrid and plug-in hybrid configurations, the Niro is fresh off receiving the 2018 Canadian Green Utility Vehicle of the Year award from the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). Add Kia’s next-generation electric vehicle powertrain and you get a pretty formidable family hauler delivering up to 240 km of EV range on a single charge when paired with the standard 39.2kWh battery system or more than 380 km when using the available high-capacity 64kWh lithium-polymer battery pack.
It remains to be seen how much of the Niro’s cargo capacity (635 litres or 1,789 with the rear seats down) will be lost in the process. Chances are the result will still be impressive.
The Kia Niro EV was jointly developed by the company’s design centres in California and Namyang, Korea as a way to bring a new dimension to the eco-friendly compact SUV market. It is inspired from the concept that Kia presented at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and embodies its “Clean and High-tech” design language.
Aesthetically, the Niro EV looks quite similar to the conventionally powered model, but there are obviously some styling tweaks to make it sleeker and more aerodynamic. The list includes an exclusive radiator grille, somewhat futuristic air intakes with teal-coloured inserts, plus arrowhead-shaped LED daytime running lights and unique wheel designs. In addition, the slim character line and tapered rear windows emphasize the car’s dynamic profile.
When will we see it?
While the Kia Niro EV will go on sale in Korea during the second half of 2018, look for it to arrive in Canadian showrooms early in 2019. And you can count on Kia to offer competitive pricing, as always. We at The Car Guide will definitely keep a close eye on this one.