Exclusive: Kia Reveals Details On Niro EV Launch & EV Aspirations

First deliveries of a 239-mile crossover EV are due in late February. The Niro EV will be sole in a dozen states.

On a eve of a initial expostulate of a Kia Niro EV, we sat down with a brand’s dual product planners who work on electrification. We spoke in Santa Cruz, Calif. with Steve Kosowski, a manager of long-range devise and formulation during for Kia Motors America – and Garrett Ono, a manager of product devise and regulatory compliance.

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First things first: The Kia Niro EV, that is built during Kia’s Hwaseong plant, commenced prolongation on Jan. 15. The initial vehicles will arrive in a US in late February. The automobile will be sole in 12 states: California, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.

What’s over a setting maybe 12 to 18 months divided is a tsunami of 300-plus mile cars.

There’s no reliable pricing on a Kia Niro EV, though association officials pronounced that “you could make inferences” formed on a Hyundai Kona Electric’s price, that starts during $36,450. “It’ll be unequivocally competitive,” pronounced Kosowski.

2019 Kia Niro EV (Photos: Bradley Berman)

I asked them point-blank if a Niro EV would be constructed in volumes usually to accommodate California ZEV-compliance numbers. “We’re approach over that,” pronounced Koswoski. He pronounced that Kia has copiousness of zero-emissions credits and that it’s offering a automobile in Georgia, Texas, and Hawaii, that are not ZEV states. “Our devise for volume exceeds what we’re legally firm to sell,” he said.

At a same time, Koswoski pronounced volume is globally compelled since Kia Motors America can’t get a preferred allocation from a primogenitor company. “The law is that direct in other markets around a universe is so strong,” he said. Kosowski explained that regulatory pressures, generally in Europe, foreordain that countries such as Norway are a aloft priority than a United States. “We have this review all a time with a care about how we need some-more cars.”

An Affordable Long-Range EV That’s a Legitimate Crossover

Kosowski and Ono trust that direct will be robust. “No other automobile will go 239 miles, lift as most stuff, and reason as many people during this cost point,” said Koswoski.

Ono combined that a pattern is accessible. “It’s not a space egg,” he said. “It’s unequivocally usually like any other car.”
The Kia Niro EV’s closest aspirant could unequivocally good be a 258-mile Hyundai Kona EV. But Kona is shorter with a 102.4-inch wheelbase – compared to Niro EV’s 106.3 length.

Both EVs have a same 19.2 cubic feet interior volume. But with a seats down, a Niro’s 54.5 cubes soundly beats a Kona with 45.8 cubic feet. The Niro has about 4 some-more inches of legroom. “There’s a delta that’s marketable,” pronounced Kosowski.

The elemental trade-off is some-more newcomer and load room in sell for 19 miles of range. The dual vehicles are a usually dual loyal crossover EVs accessible during an affordable price. “Right now we have that space to ourselves,” pronounced Kosowski. (While Chevy claims a Bolt is a crossover, it’s some-more like a high-riding compact.)

The all-electric Niro, Kona, and Soul share a same electric powertrain, with some slight modifications in a Niro’s delivery to hoop a additional mass. SK Innovation provides a cells for Kia’s battery container while LG Chem is Hyundai’s supplier.

The other competing indication is a plug-in hybrid chronicle of a Kia Niro, that now offers 26 miles of all-electric range. Ono sees a Niro EV as a go-to electric automobile for a brand. “If we can means it, you’re going true to a EV,” pronounced Ono. “It’s going to be a tip of a Niro choice in terms of price.” That provides another spirit about a Niro EV’s cost since a plug-in hybrid chronicle starts during 28,500.

I asked if a subsequent iteration of a Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid will enhance a 26 miles of all-electric range. “The brief answer is yes,” pronounced Kosowski. He pronounced batteries and motors are removing improved and cheaper each year.

The potentially some-more sparkling news is a subsequent iteration of Kia electric vehicles. They remarkable that 1.0-versions of electric vehicles, as they put it,  offering about 100 miles of range. The second-generation 2.0 electric cars, like a Niro EV, are over 200 miles. The 3.0 chronicle of EVs, they said, will offer about 300 miles of operation and ultra-fast charging.

“What’s over a setting maybe 12 to 18 months divided is a tsunami of 300-plus mile cars,” pronounced Kosowski, referring to a whole automobile industry, not usually to Kia vehicles. But he hinted that Kia will be there as well. He pronounced a association is “pouring billions” into electric mobility to revoke a CO footprint. “Our care has large aspirations,” he said.


If we have skeleton to squeeze a Kia Niro EV, come share your tour with other owners during the Kia Niro EV InsideEVs sub-forum.

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