The 2019 Kia Niro EV made its North American debut at the LA Auto Show. Energy and power for Niro EV comes from a liquid-cooled 64 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery packaged under the floor of the vehicle to allow for minimal passenger space intrusion.
Combined Charging System (CCS) DC fast-charge is standard equipment, supporting an approximately 100-mile recharge in 30 minutes at on the 50 kW charger at 200 amps; 80% total battery capacity is available in 75 minutes.
The Level 2 (240v) at 7.2 kWh charger needs approximately 9.5 hours for a full charge.
(Kia Motors Corporation sources EV, HEV, and PHEV batteries from multiple global suppliers. The battery specifications and exact cell chemistry varies for each application, which can impact materials and sourcing. Globally, battery manufacturers, including Kia suppliers LG Chem and SK innovation, source battery elements, including cobalt, from a variety of regions. These battery manufacturers regularly review mineral sourcing, and re-source to new areas to manage stability, cost, logistics, and other factors, ultimately looking at other ways to source cobalt and to reduce usage.)
With 291 lb-ft (395 N·m) of torque, the Niro EV’s 150 kW electric motor offers plenty of pull. With a low center of gravity due to the floor-mounted battery pack and a 106.3 inch-long wheelbase, the Niro EV delivers a vehicle that’s entertaining to drive, stable and feels planted and substantial on the road.
The Niro EV is equipped with a variety of tools that put energy management control in the driver’s hands, including:
Four drive modes—Eco, Normal, Sport and Eco+—that automatically adjust regenerative braking level, air conditioning and heating settings, and even set speed limits to help manage operating efficiency.
Smart regenerative braking operated via paddle shifters provides drivers the ability to slow the car and capture kinetic energy, returning energy to the battery and adding extra range. Drivers can choose from four regen braking levels (0 to 3) depending on how aggressive drivers want the regen effort and energy efficiency (range) needs.
Brake and Hold System feature allows regen paddle shifter to bring the car to a full stop, adding energy to the battery that would be lost using normal braking.
Smart Regen System adjusts the regenerative braking level based on a vehicle being detected in front of the Niro EV and can create smoother coast-down driving, especially when descending a steep road.
Smart Eco Pedal Guide display on the instrument cluster that helps to keep the driver aware of real-time power distribution based on accelerator pedal input.
When Kia designed and created the Niro, it was engineered to accommodate many different advanced electrified powertrains. First to arrive in 2016 was the hybrid, then in 2017 the Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV), and now a fully-electric powertrain.
The new Niro EV will be built in South Korea at Kia’s Hwaseong manufacturing facility, alongside the Niro hybrid and plug-in hybrid. When it goes on sale early next year (pricing will be announced near the on-sale date), the Niro EV will be available in two trims, EX and EX Premium, which adds a host of upscale features to the already well-equipped EX.