Kia used the Geneva International Motor Show as the platform to introduce the battery-electric e-Soul to Europe, as well as to reveal new upgrades to the Niro Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid. Every Kia vehicle on show in Geneva employs the brand’s mild-hybrid, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or electric vehicle technology.
Electrification is a key element of Kia’s European and global growth strategy, with one in eight Kia cars sold in Europe today featuring an electrified powertrain. Where many manufacturers are still talking about their future plans and intentions for electrification, advanced powertrains have formed a growing proportion of Kia’s European sales for a number of years already. With the e-Soul and upgraded Niro range revealed today, and more electrified powertrains on the way, our electric vehicle growth will only continue.—Emilio Herrera, Chief Operating Officer for Kia Motors Europe
Kia also introduced its new UVO CONNECT telematics technology in Geneva, available on the e-Soul and upgraded Niro Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid. The connected car technology will be introduced to a number of other Kia models in the near future.
The e-Soul makes its European debut with a choice of two electric powertrains. Now in its third generation, the Kia e-Soul’s new-generation battery packs—either 64 kWh or 39.2 kWh in capacity—are up to 30% more energy efficient than Europe’s current best-selling electric vehicle. The car is offered in Europe without the option of an internal combustion engine.
The new e-Soul features the same iconic, boxy silhouette, with newly-sculpted lines, sharper details, and more technical lighting elements. Inside, the cabin is more high-tech than ever, with its cool design and ultimate functionality accompanied by acoustic-inspired shapes and textures, and a new Sound Mood Lighting system. The e-Soul is offered with new color customization options, and a range of technologies which includes a wireless smartphone charger, heated and ventilated front seats, a Head-Up Display, and a premium Harman Kardon sound system.
At the core of the e-Soul’s dashboard is Kia’s new 10.25-inch TFT LCD widescreen system, featuring Kia’s new UVO CONNECT telematics system. UVO CONNECT puts a raft of information at owners’ fingertips, including live traffic, weather, and parking availability.
For the e-Soul, UVO CONNECT also provides vehicle charging information, including charging station locations, charger availability, and connection compatibility. The system can also be accessed via a UVO smartphone app, providing remote access to a range of vehicle functions. Depending on country, this includes the ability to remotely activate the climate control system, to pre-heat or pre-cool the car before a journey. Users can also remotely stop or resume vehicle charging, enabling them to take advantage of cheaper overnight electricity tariffs if charging from a domestic source.
The new e-Soul goes on-sale in select European markets from the end of the first quarter of 2019, sold as standard with Kia’s 7-year, 150,000-kilometer warranty, which also covers the car’s electric motor and battery pack.
Upgrades to Niro Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid. Kia has made a range of enhancements to the Niro Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid. Kia’s best-selling electrified crossover, which combines crossover style and practicality with ultra-low hybrid emissions, features a new exterior design, a more upscale, high-quality interior, and new interior color customization options.
Furthermore, the Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid models also now feature Kia’s advanced new UVO CONNECT telematics system, introducing additional connected functionality.
Since sales began in 2016, more than 270,000 examples of the Niro have been sold globally, with more than 100,000 units sold in Europe. The Niro crossover was Kia’s fifth best-selling model in Europe in 2018, with sales growing 33% to 45,255 units—including 34,642 hybrids and 9,951 plug-in hybrids. The Niro range expanded at the end of 2018 with the launch of the fully-electric e-Niro.
European sales of the upgraded Kia Niro Hybrid and Niro Plug-in Hybrid start during the second quarter of 2019. Uniquely among all hybrid cars in Europe, the Niro is sold with Kia’s industry-leading 7-Year, 150,000-kilometer warranty as standard.