Niro Trio Completed with Full-Electric Model
“All good things come in threes” they say. Well, the verdict is still out on whether all three versions of the Kia Niro are “good,” but for those who have been waiting for the trio’s final version, the new Niro EV will be arriving in the United States in early 2019.
Official release dates and markets have not yet been announced, but it is likely that states like California and Oregon will receive the first shipments; with the rest of the country following as 2019 progresses.
Based on the current Niro Hybrid and Niro Plug-In Hybrid, the Niro EV will be available with a 210-horsepower electric motor and one of two different battery packs. The larger, 64-kWh lithium-ion battery pack will have an estimated range of 239 miles; the smaller 39.2-kWh pack will have an estimated range of 153 miles.
When using a 100-kW fast-charging station, the 64-kWh battery pack should charge from empty to 80 percent in about 54 minutes.
Inside Similar, But Different
Interior features will be similar to its Niro twins, however Niro EV drivers will be able to monitor EV powertrain information and battery range from a 7.0-inch touchscreen inside the cabin. Drivers will also be able to find nearby charging stations through the onboard system as well.
What is still somewhat unclear is how well the Niro EV will sell. Kia classifies the Niro as a CUV (crossover utility vehicle), but the Niro EV will be available with front-wheel drive only in order to accommodate its extra batteries.
While prices have not officially been announced for the Niro EV in the U.S., prices should be somewhere above its Korean cousin, the Hyundai Ioniq EV; probably around the $40,000 mark (before incentives).
With that being said, it appears that Kia must find customers who are not willing to wait for a Tesla Model 3, or the myriad of EVs coming around 2020. What the Niro does have going for it is a longer range than most of its competitors, Kia’s very good warranty, and what will likely be a very competitive lease deal.
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