Kia to one-up sister brand Hyundai in EV range battle?
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Kia's first fully electric crossover SUV made an appearance at the Paris Motor Show last week, presented with a spec sheet that could pose a few problems for its sister brand, Hyundai.
The Kia Niro EV (e-Niro in Europe) is confirmed for arrival in New Zealand in early 2019, following in the steps of the Hyundai Kona Electric launched in June.
While both models are built on the same platform and utilise the same battery and electric motor, Kia's electric SUV promoted in Paris boasts a larger driving range, in European specification at least.
The Niro EV will be equipped with a high-capacity 64 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that provides a driving range of 485km on the WLTP combined cycle.
While Hyundai NZ describe the Kona's range as a 'real-world' figure that you can count on regardless of how much you use the air conditioning or radio, Kia Europe claim of the Niro EV can cover 'more than 485km'. This is in bold contrast to Kia's home market where it was launch earlier this year with a range of 385km.
Buyers in Europe will also be to specify their Niro with a 39.2 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack with a range of 'up to 312km' from a single charge. Plugged into a 100kW fast charger, it both models can recharge from 20 to 80 per cent in 42 minutes.
Designed at Kia’s design centres in California, USA and Namyang, Korea, the Niro EV features the same basic styling as its petrol- and hybrid-powered Niro models. However, you'll be able to spot the full-electric version with a charging port integrated into Kia's signature 'tiger-nose' grille, redesigned front air intakes and new arrowhead-shaped LED daytime running with light-blue trim highlights.
The Niro EV rides on new five-spoke 17-inch aluminium alloy wheels which house Kia’s regenerative braking system. At the back, reshaped rear bumpers feature similar light blue highlights to the front of the car, while new LED rear lights give the Niro EV its own light signature.
No detail on Kia NZ's Niro EV have been officially released, but all electric Niros sold globally will be manufactured at the same facility in Korea hinting at the posibility of the same spec landing in New Zealand.
As well as the New Zealand market, the crossover will go on sale in Europe at the end of 2018 and North America in early 2019.
The Niro EV is Kia’s second full-electric production vehicle after the Soul EV.