While in the United States it’s called the Kia Niro EV, in Europe the electric crossover will be badged e-Niro when it goes on sale at the end of this year. But the name is not the only difference between the two versions of Kia’s EV.
The automaker says the e-Niro has been certified to provide a driving range of up to 301 miles (485 km) on a single charge. That’s significantly better than the US-spec model’s 236-mile (380-km) range from the same high-capacity 64-kWh lithium-polymer battery.
The difference comes from the measuring cycle, obviously. The e-Niro’s range is calculated using the World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), while the Niro EV’s range is determined according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) cycle.
Back to the Kia e-Niro, it will debut in European specification at the Paris Auto Show early next month, and will go on sale later this year. While the combined range figures are really impressive, the e-Niro is capable of covering even more miles on the WLTP “urban” test cycle: up to 382 miles (615 km). That’s more than many petrol cars can offer.
The most efficient way to recharge the e-Niro’s 64-kWh battery is via a 100-kW fast charger, which needs 54 minutes to charge the pack to 80 percent.
Of course, these figures correspond to the optional 64-kWh battery, but the e-Niro will also be available with a more affordable 39.2-kWh power pack. Ratings for the smaller battery are not bad either: it delivers 193 miles (312 km) of driving range on a full charge according to the WLTP combined cycle.
Performance-wise, models equipped with the long-distance 64-kWh battery pack are powered by a 150-kW (204 PS/201 hp) electric motor that produces 395 Nm (291 lb-ft) of torque, allowing for a 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) sprint of 7.8 seconds.
The standard 39.2-kWh battery pack is combined with a smaller 100-kW (136 PS/134 hp) motor that produces an equal amount of peak torque and delivers a respectable 0-100 km/h acceleration time of 9.8 seconds. As with the Niro Hybrid and Niro Plug-in Hybrid models, the e-Niro is front-wheel drive.
Finally, the e-Niro comes with several technologies aimed at enhancing battery efficiency and improving range. Those include including regenerative braking, Coasting Guide Control (CGC), and Predictive Energy Control (PEC). CGC and PEC are linked to the navigation system, alerting drivers when they could coast to harvest additional energy.
Kia’s 7-year, 100,000-miles warranty is offered as standard for the e-Niro and covers the battery pack and electric motor as well.