238-Mile Kia Niro EV Concept Debuts

JAN 9 2018 BY C SMITH 68

It features a 238-mile range and a 64-kWh battery.

The Detroit Auto Show is coming soon, but Kia chose the Consumer Electronic Show happening this week in Las Vegas to unveil its Niro EV Concept, along with a host of other auto-related technologies that the company says will endow future vehicles. We were given some teaser photos of the EV last week, and now that the veil is fully lifted from the compact SUV, there’s much to like about it.

Kia Niro EV Concept

In the powertrain department, the Niro EV Concept wields a high-capacity 64-kWh lithium-polymer battery pack that drives a single 150 kW motor. It’s all packaged in what Kia calls a next-generation EV powertrain utilizing new production technologies for near-future vehicles. Whatever it is, the Niro EV Concept should have a driving range of around 238 miles (383 kilometers) on a single charge.

Kia Niro EV Concept

The DNA shared with the current Niro is obvious, but aside from the requisite streamlining to help it slip through the air, the Niro EV Concept nixes the traditional grille for an interactive display that isn’t strictly for looks. Since Kia envisions the Niro EV as a machine for use in urban environments, the grille is part of an interactive lighting system that offers intuitive visual communication for both users and pedestrians. Further assisting in that department is something called Active Pedestrian Warning System, which uses cameras and object recognition tech along with speakers to alert people that could be in harm’s way and unaware of the silent-running Niro.

Kia Niro EV Concept

Like many concepts, the Niro EV adopts a very minimalistic approach with a wrap-around design and neutral colors that Kia says creates a sense of “space and calm” for passengers. As for what’s in the cabin, Kia mentions “greater user interaction with new technologies and features” but stops short of explaining what that means.

Kia Niro EV Concept

With the Niro EV Concept, Kia is keen to stake a larger claim in the electric realm. In fact, Kia is promising no less than 16 production vehicles with some kind of electrified propulsion by 2025, with five being standard hybrids, another five being plug-hybrids, and yet another five ditching internal combustion all together for full electric power. In addition, the company is planning to launch a single fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) in 2020.

Kia Niro EV Concept

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68 Comments on "238-Mile Kia Niro EV Concept Debuts"

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Bolt EV: Your Competition is coming!

This is Korean Product, facing a partially Korean Product: the Bolt EV! It will be an interesting face off! Especially if they can also get a full EPA Rating of 238 Miles range, matching the Bolt EV!

This is Tesla’s competition too.

Bolt has been running around for a full year. This is a concept; A full production cycle away. But since we’re speculating, battery supply could favor Kia, where Europe comes up short.

To think of market share being determined by materials procurement?

You’re wrong. It’s closer to production than you think. Coming to the market in summer this year, actually. First in Korea, then worldwide…

Yeah, and this model will have more production capacity. That is good for the 13 000+ people in Norway on the Kona waiting list.

CES had a lot of EVs this year.

I noticed the Hyundai Nexo too, the only fuel cell vehicle. That is also very close to production. It is coming this year, with 600km range. Takes about 5 minutes to fill it up according to Hyundai.

KIA will release their hydrogen model based on the Hyundai two years later.

If you have a wind turbine, you can produce hydrogen with excess energy.
Hydrogen generators are getting cheaper, and you can buy smaller units too.
Compressors are more expensive, but are coming slowly down in price.
It may be a solution for a few people.

The Samsung Wall, the micro LED TV was also impressive… and the HDR TV from Sony.
Nvidia Drive Xavier, give power to smarter cars in the near future..

I really doubt there will ever be any meaningful number of people who will convert electricity to hydrogen to then fuel a vehicle. It’s at least 3 times less efficient than simply charging an EV with electricity.

I think for spesial use only.
99% will manage fine with EV only.

I’m saving for a small hydrogen generator myself for hobby use (I’m not going to fill a car, to begin with).

So many new over 200 plus electric cars arriving the next two years from all continents and over 12 car manufacturers. These cars are not on main stream media but exist. A new Jaguar EV with 300 mile range is beautiful expected 2019. Thanks.

Given Buick’s vehicle will out sooner GM will be fine. In the end all of these vehicles hurt Tesla because the market is getting diluted with more choices. There’s more than one circus in town.

I intend to get a Bolt this summer but I’ve gotta say the Niro’s styling is a lot better. Still not sexy but not as econoboxy as the Bolt.

I will be in the market for a new EV this fall (current Spark EV owner looking to upgrade range) and have the Niro, Kona, and Ioniq EV all on my short list. Bolt is not there because I don’t like the “jellybean” shape that it has (the Spark has it too, but I got a good deal on it).

I will say though that if the GM talks about a Buick Encore that evolves from a Bolt base, that would be on my short list too.

But when you’re driving it you can’t see the outside shape. If the Bolt’s driving dynamics are superior I’m in. Plus, the jellybean shape means the driving position is more upright which eases ingress/egress and outward visibility.

The Bolt’s mix of information screens and physical controls rank the best among EVs, and the regeneration settings are also superior even to Tesla.

The front seats could be a dealbreaker, it seems to depend on a person’s body type. They’re ok for me but I’ll probably buy an aftermarket driver’s seat if any will fit.


M3 - reserved -- Niro/Leaf 2.0/Outlander - TBD

+1 – very happy yesterday watching the stream.

Perfect match for us – EV with range; cargo; safety features already working

Seriously, I got my money ready. My first Korean car! Bring it Kia.

I will buy this if it is available this year.

I do not care about design as long as it is aerodynamic and efficient (something Hyundai/Kia is known for).

The 64 kwh system from LG is perfect for my needs and I could get 100% off dino juice.

Yup another Bolt competitor with supposedly a bigger battery…. We’ll see. But seeing this is also a ‘soccer mom’ car like the Bolt, it looks like this utilitarian car style is here to stay.

I do like GM’s rating system with the bolt where they state the REAL, Useable capacity of the battery instead of its theoretical which doesn’t mean anything in the real world.

I mean so what if the Bolt can actually store 62 or 63 kwh. Since you are only likely to get 60 kwh out of it, that should be its rating (which it is).

So is this ’64’ kwh battery, the imagined or real world rating? That would tell you whether the 238 mile rating is also real (as it is actually conservative at times in the Bolt), or a bit fanciful.

Good point. I bet 64 kWh is the useable capacity since that’s what Kia and Hyundai have always stated with the Soul and Ioniq EVs

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

“But seeing this is also a ‘soccer mom’ car like the Bolt,”

I dunno what Soccer mom’s you’ve talked to but the one’s I’ve tried directing to the Bolt said “He11 No!”. They do not like the Bolt, especially when they are replacing a Ford Explorer, Pathfinder etc….

They don’t realizes that they’ve brought over the minivan stereotype over to the SUV and everyone now looks at their SUV in the same way. It’s for moms and old people. I’m glad my wife likes sedans. Having kids and a sedan has never been a problem nor did we find an SUV advantageous when they stuck us with one at car rentals during vacations.

But you’re right. I haven’t seen a family loaded up in a Bolt to date. Nor have I seen a single Bolt when I take the kids to soccer. I see them all day long around here in the suburbs.

At the EV event this summer, there were a several Bolts, and two families. They were very happy with the car.

Lol, I know. My looked at the Bolt and said hell no.

Hmmm, I’ve tried a few soccer moms but the Bolt never came up during our trysts. Maybe you’re doing it wrong?

Hyundai the sister or mother company of Kia told the Ioniq and Soul usable KWh.

So it might be the same here.

True, that would be the only number that count for the user.

will this Kia be FWD or RWD

It will be FWD only.

What will be the price of the Kia Niro EV?

The battery is LiPo and 64 kWh so this thing may be able to charge at 600 mph while the Leaf and Bolt are around 180 mph. With 150 kW charging rolling out in Ca this year and next we’llbe Able to drive for 90-120 minutes-and charge for 10-15 minutes. This could be the first and only vehicle that is a viable alternative to the M3.

They should be able to sell everything they can build but the question is how many can they get batteries for?

Basically a Bolt, made to look like the farm machinery that most people drive today.

The Bolt isn’t the sleekest looking car, but by comparison this looks like a mailbox.

Agree and its not really CUV size. Its roof is lower than Bolt

I like it.

I think you meant that by comparison the Bolt looks like a mail box. This is actually a decent looking car.

M3 - reserved -- Niro/Leaf 2.0/Outlander - TBD

Crossover more than CUV – which is probably what 90% of why these are bought — suburban families needing to haul family and gear.

I’m surprised that they don’t offer a smaller battery to compete with Leaf 2.0

This isn’t for rugged terrain. Neither is the Model 3. Get the outlander for that.

Niro fills in need for PHEV and now EV.

Leaf 2.0 Long Range and Bolt just got a big time competitor.

“Crossover more than CUV”

So what does the C in CUV stand for?

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous





What does ‘concept’ mean here?

Mass production most likely?

If so, when will it be in the shops?

2020? Sooner?

Hopefully it means this powertrain will end up in a more normal looking version (see the already out FHEV and PHEV Niro) of this car, and Kia has been saying late 2018, so hopefully in dealerships by the end of this year!

Nice, but please provide an AWD version, then get ready to ship units.

They are leaving that to their sister company to build as the Hyundai Kona.

This is the car I want.

But I’m confused: With the Niro hybrid and the Niro PHEV already available, why is this car presented as a concept with all the show-car gimmickry?

I thought the Niro EV would be available later this year, but this visage makes me think it’s pretty far off.

(■_■¬) Nolltronymous

I agree. I wish it were available this year, but introducing it as a concept means that’s not likely.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous


The guy said the Niro will be available, middle of the year.

have a 2017 kia soul ev approx 100 mile range on a warm day. luv this car my 2nd ev. 1st was the coda and that was good. purchased new for $ 12, 000 includes fed rebate. drove 51,000 miles. $ 600 trade in to a total includes down payment $ 188 month 3 yr LEASE, 15,000 miles a year. THIS IS A GREAT CAR YET I NEED *AWD* oh well ! have an ice soul PURCHASED will try a set of DUNLOP MAXX @ snow tires. dont put a dime into a leased vehicle unless u will buy it back, i may for $ 8,950. Never by an ev makes ZERO sense due to resale value, even tesla resale sucks. however to purchase a used ev with a great warranty makes sense ! REMEMBER SAFETY IS ALWAYS # !. KIA SOUL # 1 INHS safety test.

Hi John, Did you have any issues or dislikes with your Coda? I’m going to check out a used low-mileage 2012 for $5k. The one I’ve driven before had a super sensitive “go” pedal, which I wasn’t crazy about, and hoped that it was adjustable in some way. Is there anything I should check out specifically when looking the Coda over? Thanks!

The truck looks like it has tits on the hood.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Barely an “A” cup bruh……

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

What is the DCFC speed/rate?
CCS or CHAdeMO? My guess is CCS.
Will there be an AWD option? When?

Need those answers before I can even think about this car.

115 miles in 30 minutes. The Bolt get 90 miles in 30 minutes. 100 kW charging, most likely.

This is at low SOC. The Bolt is shameful at higher SOC. If you go by Soul EV and Ioniq, this thing will charge fast up to 94%.

What you don’t know is what they are doing to their batteries long term versus what GM is doing long term. We know with the Volt’s battery they are lasting well.

80% are leasing. No one cares.

More like 40%. And probably lots of the 60% care.

“Helping the conquest is the rate at which buyers are switching vehicles. Currently, more than four of every 10 battery-electric vehicles are leased, substantially above the lease penetration rate for both hybrids and all vehicles, according to IHS.”


You’d think they would at least try to beat the Bolt’s EPA rating for bragging rights. How hard would it be to eek out an extra mile to 239?

I would be much more impressed if they beat its efficiency ratter than range…anyone can add more batteries in their cars, not that big of a deal.

Bro, you know all range are not create equal. This one will have heat pump and faster DCFC charger, all the way up to 94%.

You should ask your wife, the Bolt or Niro EV?

I have to admit I’m pretty darn disappointed. Why is it in concept status when they already have the ICE and PHEV versions rolling around. Why did they have to basically have to redo the interior. What is up with that stupid display on the hood. Why couldn’t they just fit a larger battery, a bigger motor and be done with it…

M3 - reserved -- Niro/Leaf 2.0/Outlander - TBD

Why Why Why ….

They do mention mid 2018 as release which is what they pegged last year for the EV release. The timeline hasn’t slipped like other manufacturers.

PHEV has just started coming online in USA after the year of the regular hybrid.

I think it’s very millennial to have that front grille; my daughter loved it. Wondering if the Pedestrian warning can be customizable as the front grille too.

That small center screen sure is last decade. Come on people!

The front looks like a frog.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Anyone know if they will have a TMS?

Don’t know for sure, but since the Hyundai Ioniq has one — see here:
It seems to do well —
I assume that newer designs like the Kona & Kia Niro will as well.
The older-design Kia Soul EV didn’t have a liquid-based TMS, but used cabin air, and even it did well according to this test:

Is it Kdawg approved? I don’t know about 57″ TV but you can put two chicks in the boot.


Production version will be unveiled in Geneva Auto show, March 18, 2018.