After Hyundai launched the new Kona electric, its SOuth-Korean sibling follows in its footsteps. Kia used this year Paris Motor Show to introduce its version of fully electric SUV: the new e-Niro.
The all-new Kia e-Niro is the first fully electric crossover utility vehicle produced by Kia. With a range of 301 miles (485 kilometres) on the WLTP combined cycle, the all-electric e-Niro is one of the most capable electric vehicles on-sale worldwide.
The e-Niro joins 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. To date, Europe has accounted for more than 65,000 sales of the hybrid crossover.
Designed at Kia’s design centres in California, USA and Namyang, Korea, the e-Niro incorporates the practicality and appeal of a crossover. The e-Niro differentiates itself 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 blue trim highlights.
At the back, redesigned rear bumpers feature similar blue trim highlights to those found at the front of the car. A bold LED rear light design gives the e-Niro the same distinct and recognisable rear light signature as its Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid siblings.
The design of the centre console represents the biggest change for the e-Niro, with the all-electric powertrain negating the need for a traditional gear stick and gear linkage. The physical transmission has therefore been replaced with a new ‘shift-by-wire’ rotator dial drive selector. The drive selector dial sits on its own highly-ergonomic panel which extends out from the base of the central arm-rest. In addition to the rotator dial, this new panel also houses buttons for the electronic parking brake, heated and ventilated seats, heated steering wheel, drive mode selector, parking sensors, and the Niro’s braking ‘Auto Hold’ function. The new panel requires no bulky transmission tunnel, enabling Kia’s designers to create a larger storage area at the base of the centre console.
In Europe the Niro will be equipped with a high-capacity 64 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack. On the WLTP combined cycle, it provides a driving range of more than 301 miles (485 kilometres) on a single charge, producing zero on-road CO2 emissions. On the WLTP urban cycle, the e-Niro is capable of driving up to 382 miles (615 km). Buyers will also be to specify their e-Niro with a 39.2 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, with a range of up to 193 miles (312 kilometres) from a single charge on the WLTP combined cycle. Plugged into a 100 kW fast charger, it takes only 42 minutes to recharge the e-Niro’s battery from 20% to 80%.