The Kia Niro has only been with us for what feels like two minutes, but the South Korean automaker is already promoting a new Niro concept. The brand has a lot to talk about at this year’s CES, but the announcement of the Niro EV concept’s claimed range on a single charge is really worth listening to as it’s a seriously impressive 238 miles (about 383 km).
Now, the skeptics out there might have assumed an all-electric version of the Niro would simply be a rebodied version of the Hyundai Ioniq EV, which is fair enough. But that would have meant a range in the region of 110 miles, which is less than half of what the Niro concept boasts.
It’s probably not a coincidence that the Niro’s range is exactly the same as the Chevrolet Bolt EV, which is currently the best-selling EV in America. The concept utilizes a 64 kWh battery pack supplying power to a 150 kW electric motor to deliver a total power rating of 201 horsepower, which once again, is almost identical to the Chevy Bolt’s 200 horsepower. Despite such similarities to the Bolt, the fact the same EV capability could be delivered in such an attractive compact crossover package could make this Niro EV into a real contender if it makes it into production in this form.
This certainly isn’t just a case of Kia dipping a toe into the world of electrification, either, and that’s because Kia is making it clear that it’s now very serious about electrified vehicles. By as soon as 2025, the manufacturer has committed to having no fewer than 16 vehicles in its portfolio with some type of electrified powertrain. Five of them will be new hybrids, a further five will be plug-in hybrids, and one will be a new hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle. And the fuel-cell is due to arrive as soon as 2020.
As well as its impressive-sounding electric powertrain, the Niro EV concept is also a very attractive vehicle, and probably more attractive than the current Niro. Whether it makes it into production close to how we’ve seen it at CES 2018 remains to be seen though.