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Kia unveils new all-electric Niro CUV ‘up to ~280 miles of range’

After revealing the all-electric Niro concept earlier this year, Kia is now unveiling the production version of their new all-electric vehicle at the 2018 Busan International Motor Show today in Korea.

The vehicle appears to feature the same powertrain as the electric version of the Hyundai Kona.

Like what its parent company did with the Kona, Kia released an all-electric version of its latest CUV, the Niro.

The South Korean automaker claims a range of “450 kilometres (280 miles).”

The company says that in Europe, the Niro EV will be equipped with “a high-capacity 64 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack” capable of a 100 kW charge rate and a front wheel drive 150 kW (204 ps) motor, “producing 395 Nm torque from a standstill, enabling the Niro EV to accelerate from 0 to 100 kph in just 7.8 seconds.”

Just like the Kona Electric, a less expensive version will also be available with a “39.2 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack” for a range of “up to 300 kilometres (186 miles) from a single charge.”

They unveiled the vehicle in Busan earlier this week:

The design is extremely similar to the gas-powered Niro, but the all-electric version features some new design accents.

Kia describes the size of the vehicle:

“Its 2,700-mm wheelbase ensures all occupants can enjoy generous legroom, while space and a sense of roominess 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 litres (VDA) – than many other plug-in and electric vehicles.”

Emilio Herrera, Chief Operating Officer of Kia Motors Europe, commented on the unveiling:

“The Soul EV – Kia’s first globally-sold electric vehicle – has proved popular with European buyers, with growing interest in zero-emissions vehicles. The Niro’s new all-electric powertrain rounds off a trio of low-emissions powertrains available to European buyers, alongside the current hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions. A combination of cool crossover design and advanced powertrains led to more than 28,000 Niro sales across Europe in 2017, making it one of our best-selling models. The Niro EV further demonstrates the progress Kia has made in delivering comfortable, practical and fun-to-drive vehicles that lead the way in zero-emissions driving.”

The automaker says that Niro EV will go on sale in Korea “during the second half of 2018, and will be introduced to other markets – including Europe – in due course.”

Electrek’s Take

No surprise here. We knew that both Hyundai and Kia were going to launch electric versions of the Kona and Niro for a while now.

It looks like they will share a lot of components and have virtually the same performance.

It’s why the range is likely going to be closer to 250 miles, like Hyundai’s expected EPA-rated range for the Kona EV.

Either way, if it comes around the same price as the Kona EV, which could start at around $40,000 for the 64 kWh version based on the price recently released in Norway, It’s likely going to be a popular vehicle.

But it appears that Hyundai and Kia plan to limit production to about 20,000 units each.

The Hyundai Ioniq Electric and the Kia Soul EV are both compliance cars.

It looks like the Kona EV and the Niro EV are going to start out that way too, but hopefully, they grow out of it and become bigger vehicle programs.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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