The new Kia Niro battery-electric CUV (crossover utility vehicle) has gone on sale in Korea, featuring an expected driving range of up to 385 kilometers (239 miles), as calculated by SAE J1364 in the United States. European sales of Niro EV will follow at end of 2018 and North America in Q1 2019.
The Niro EV sits alongside the existing Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid variants of the car—of which more than 200,000 have sold globally since the Niro’s introduction in 2016. The Korean carmaker has received more than 5,000 pre-orders for the Niro EV in its domestic market since the car was first revealed earlier this year.
The Niro EV is to be Kia’s second globally-sold electric vehicle after the Soul EV, and will go on sale in Europe at the end of 2018 and North America in Q1 2019.
A 64 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack affords the driving range of up to 385 kilometers; plugged into a 100 kW fast charger, it takes 54 minutes to recharge the Niro EV’s battery to 80%. Buyers will also be able to specify an optional 39.2 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack, with a range of up to 246 kilometers (153 miles) from a single charge.
Power is provided to the front wheels through a 150 kW (204 ps) motor, producing 395 N·m torque from a standstill, for acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.8 seconds. The battery pack is located low down in the body, beneath the trunk floor.
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. The Niro EV offers drivers a range of Kia’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, supporting the driver in various environments and scenarios to mitigate the risk of a collision.
Available active safety systems include Forward Collision Warning with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Smart Cruise Control with Intelligent Stop & Go, and Lane Following Assist. Lane Following Assist is a ‘Level Two’ autonomous driving technology which tracks vehicles in front of the car in traffic, and detects road markings to keep the Niro EV in its lane on the motorway. The system controls acceleration, braking and steering according to the behavior of the vehicles in front, using external sensors to maintain a safe distance. Lane Following Assist operates between 0 and 130 km/h (81 miles).
The Niro EV differentiates itself visually from the existing Niro Hybrid and Niro Plug-in Hybrid with a series of exclusive design features. Taking inspiration from the Niro EV Concept unveiled at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the exterior is based on a ‘Clean and High-tech’ design concept. Its futuristic and aerodynamic ‘tiger-nose’ grille features an integrated charging port, bearing a ‘de-bossed’ Niro logo. Redesigned air intakes and new arrowhead-shaped LED daytime running lights combine with light-blue trim highlights to help it stand out further.
A 7.0-inch touchscreen HMI (human-machine interface) remains at the center of the dashboard, but has been updated to offer a series of EV-specific features. The new infotainment system enables owners to locate nearby charging points and monitor the level of charge and range remaining from the battery pack. The instrument cluster—a 7.0-inch color-LCD display—is also unique to the Niro EV, enabling the driver to intuitively check driving and EV powertrain information on-the-move.
The redesigned center console creates more storage space at the base of the dashboard for smaller items, including a wireless smartphone charger. A lamp is integrated into the top of the dashboard, with a light displaying whether the battery pack is recharging or fully charged when plugged in. This enables owners to quickly see the car’s charge status at a glance from outside the car.
When the Niro was first launched in 2016, its new platform had been engineered to accommodate a variety of advanced powertrains. Its 2,700-mm wheelbase ensures all occupants have plenty of legroom, while the sense of space is boosted by its crossover design. Its body is 1,805 mm wide and 1,560 mm tall, ensuring maximum head- and shoulder-room throughout the cabin. At 4,375 mm in length, it offers more cargo space—451 liters (VDA) (16 ft3)—than many other plug-in and electric vehicles.