Kia to introduce 16 new advanced powertrain vehicles by 2025: 5 hybrids, 5 PHEVs, 5 BEVs, 1 FCV; Niro EV Concept
Kia Motors presented its new “Boundless for All” future mobility vision at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
Kia is also demonstrating a range of new technologies as part of its new “ACE” strategy to make its cars more Autonomous, Connected and Eco/Electric.Kia’s ACE strategy is based around three core elements, presenting Kia’s vision for future personal transportation:
Autonomous – Kia plans to commercialize Level 4 autonomous driving technology, with ‘Smart City’ autonomous vehicle testing due to commence in 2021
Connected – By 2025, Kia will adopt connected car technologies across every vehicle segment, and aim to make every single model a connected car by 2030
Eco/Electric – Kia will introduce 16 new advanced powertrain vehicles by 2025, including a range of new hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, as well as an all-new fuel-cell electric vehicle in 2020
By 2025, we will offer a total of 16 advanced powertrain vehicles, with five new hybrids and plug-in hybrids, five new battery EVs, and an all-new mass market FCEV. Due to launch in 2020, this FCEV will spearhead Kia’s efforts to realize a zero-emission future for mobility.—Dr. Woong-chul Yang, Vice Chairman and Head of Kia R&D Center
Alongside these technologies, Kia announced its plans to roll-out its WiBLE car-sharing service—launched in Korea in 2017—to new regions from 2018, starting with Europe.
Niro EV Concept. As part of this strategy, Kia is exhibiting the Niro EV Concept at CES 2018.
The Niro EV Concept is powered by a next-generation electric vehicle powertrain, using new production technologies earmarked for near-future EVs from Kia. Energy is provided by a high-capacity 64 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack, paired with a powerful 150 kW electric motor. The Niro EV Concept suggests a driving range of 238 miles (383 kilometers), with zero tailpipe emissions.
Created by Kia’s design studio in Korea, the Niro EV Concept is a fully-electric compact SUV. Its aerodynamically-efficient body allows air to slip over, around and beneath the vehicle with ease.
The traditional grille—no longer required for engine cooling—is replaced by a smooth interactive display panel, combined with ultra-slim lamp technology in the overall front.
In profile, the concept draws inspiration from the current Kia Niro, with a modish compact crossover silhouette, elevated body and wide C-pillar. The Niro EV Concept’s seamless rear aspect has clean and sharp trailing edges allowing air to flow more easily off the back of the car.
The concept’s new Active Pedestrian Warning System (APWS) features a combination of front view cameras, object recognition technology and front speakers. If the system detects a pedestrian or cyclist crossing in front of the car, the speakers sound an alert targeted specifically at that person, warning them of the car’s presence. APWS is matched by the Niro EV Concept’s new interactive lighting system, which offers users and pedestrians a highly-intuitive visual communication with vehicle.
Inside, the cabin has been designed with a pure, minimalist and digital appearance, creating greater user interaction with new technologies and features. With a wrap-around design to cocoon the driver and passengers, the dashboard’s horizontal layout has broad and smooth surfaces.
Autonomy. The company plans to operate a large-scale test fleet for autonomous technology on public roads from 2019, paving the way for commercial production of the technology. Kia aims to commercialize Level 4 autonomous vehicles in smart cities from 2021 with a new Smart City pilot project.WiBLE car-sharing. Kia has plans to roll-out its WiBLE car-sharing service to new regions. Launched in Korea in 2017, WiBLE—a portmanteau of Widely Accessible—will be introduced to certain European markets and cities from late 2018. Kia plans to expand the service into other markets around the world in the coming years.
WiBLE will be serviced in the designated areas in city centers, providing vehicles to customers who need to drive but may not own a car of their own or who want more convenient drive in city centers.
In Korea, WiBLE users have access to a variety of different Kia cars to complete their journeys, including the Soul EV, Niro hybrid crossover and larger vehicles. Vehicles are equipped with a range of Kia’s active safety technologies to help customers complete journeys safely in a car with which they may not be familiar. This format is expected to be carried over into new WiBLE markets.
WiBLE is accessed via an accompanying smartphone app. Users then pay for individual journeys in a WiBLE vehicle, charged according to the amount of time they use the car. WiBLE in Europe enables users to complete one-way journeys, rather than requiring them to return the car to the same point, for maximum convenience and value for money.
Kia will announce the first European locations for the launch of WiBLE later in 2018.