The Niro became Kia’s first dedicated electrified vehicle when it launched a couple of years ago, debuting first in hybrid form and then as a plug-in hybrid. Now the Korean automaker is making good on its promise to offer a fully electric version.
Following its initial debut at the International Electric Vehicle Expo last month, Kia has now revealed the Niro EV at the Busan Motor Show in South Korea today. It packs an electric motor good for 201 horsepower (150 kW) and 291 lb-ft (395 Nm) of torque. That’s far more than the existing hybrid versions, which pack a combined 139 hp hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. And it’s enough to send the EV to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 7.8 seconds – significantly quicker than 10.5 seconds it takes the PHEV to reach 60.
Buyers will be able to choose between two lithium-polymer battery options. The 39.2-kWh pack gives it up to 149 miles (240 km) on a single charge. And a higher-capacity 64-kWh unit provides over 236 miles (380 km). A 100-kW fast-charger can juice up even the bigger pack to 80 percent capacity in 54 minutes.
With no internal-combustion engine to cool, the tiger-nose grille is blanked out in all but outline and integrates the charging port. The new five-spoke 17-inch alloys house the regenerative braking system. There’s LED lighting at both ends, and light blue accents inside and out to further set it apart from the hybrid versions. Occupants will also find a simplified center console, shifter dial, six-color ambient lighting, and battery-charge info displayed on the same 7.0-inch touchscreen display.
The Niro EV goes on sale in Korea in the second half of this year, and will reach other global markets “in due course.”