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Kia lifts lid on Niro EV

Being EValuated: Kia Australia is considering bringing the all-electric Niro medium SUV to Australia.

All-electric Kia Niro SUV revealed with 450km range, under consideration for Aus


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7 May 2018

KIA has unveiled a new all-electric version of its Niro medium SUV in South Korea, with the brand’s Australian division placing the zero-emission model under consideration to become the first full electric vehicle (EV) in the local stable.

Speaking to GoAuto, Kia Australia general manager of corporate communications Kevin Hepworth said the Niro EV is being examined for Australian showrooms, giving it more importance than the hybrid version – a technology the car-maker recently ruled out introducing locally.

Few concrete details have been released about the Niro EV other than it will use a 64kWh lithium-polymer battery pack, allowing for a driving range of over 450km. Buyers will also be able to option a smaller 39.2kWh battery for a range of over 300km.

Kia used the design of the Niro EV concept from the 2018 CES in Las Vegas as inspiration for the production version, which features an exclusive radiator grille and air intake, as well as arrowhead-shaped LED daytime running lights.

The Niro EV aesthetic was penned at Kia’s design centres in California and Namyang, South Korea, and is due to go on sale in the car-maker’s native country in the second half of 2018 before being released in other markets.

European customers will get their first glimpse of the Niro EV in October, where it will be on the Kia stand at the Paris motor show.

The Niro was first uncovered at the 2016 Chicago motor show, with the initial version revealed with a hybrid powertrain teaming a 76kW 1.6-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine to a 32kW electric motor and 1.6kW lithium-ion battery for a combined output of 108kW/264Nm.

Fuel consumption for the hybrid is rated at 4.7 litres per 100km.

Following a strong sales performance in Australia last year, which included a 28.3 per cent rise in sales, the South Korean manufacturer has continued its growth into the first four months of 2018, recording a 10.5 per cent uptick year-on-year.

The Cerato small car has been the brand’s strongest seller with 5904 sales despite a 3.9 per cent decline, while the Sportage has registered 4532 sales, up 3.3 per cent.

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