The Kia Niro family of eco-friendly vehicles will soon be complete with the arrival of the electric version to complement the existing hybrid and plug-in hybrid models. Previewed by a concept car a few months ago, the Niro EV appears to be making a quick transition to the showroom floor, and it will go on sale here next year to give Kia a competitor to the Chevrolet Bolt EV.
The Niro EV seems to share its basic powertrain with the Hyundai Kona Electric, as it has the same size battery pack, at 64.0 kWh. Range estimates are hard to pin down at this point-Kia’s European press release quotes between 236 miles and 280 miles on an unspecified range-calculation metric-but we’d expect the eventual U.S.-spec car to be close to 250 miles, which is the same EPA range figure that Hyundai has said it expects for the Kona Electric. The Niro EV will also offer a smaller (and presumably cheaper) 39.2-kWh battery pack with a quoted 149 miles of range, although this version will not make it to the United States.
As far as looks, the production car is considerably toned down from the bulbous, futuristic-looking concept. It essentially looks like a standard Niro with a closed-off grille, different wheels, reshaped bumpers and air intakes, and blue trim accents. Presumably its aerodynamic profile is more slippery than that of the hybrid and the PHEV, though Kia isn’t sharing much info at this point. Expect to hear more about the Niro EV in the coming months as Kia prepares this electric crossover for its arrival in America.