UPDATE: Kia Niro EV Gets Official EPA Range Rating + U.S. On-Sale Date


It’s bigger than the Hyundai Kona Electric, so the range is lower.

The 2019 Kia Niro EV is not new to us, as we’ve covered it extensively over the past year or so. However, with its U.S. debut at the LA Motor Show, we learn a couple of fresh details.

Most notably, the 64-kWh battery in the Niro EV provides the electric crossover with a range of 239 miles EPA. That’s actually quite a bit lower than expected and we’re not entirely sure why. For comparative purposes, the Hyundai Kona Electric, with the same battery pack, has an EPA rating of 258 miles.

Yes, the Niro EV is larger, but not so much so that it should lose ~20 miles of range compared to the Kona. We’ll dig deeper into this discrepancy soon.

***UPDATE: It seems as though Kia has removed this 239-mile reference from its press materials. We expect the actual rating to be higher.

But for now, let’s focus on the other juicy bit of just-released Niro EV news. Kia says it will go on sales in the U.S. in “early next year.” That’s right around the corner, but unfortunately, no pricing information is available at this time.

Lastly, all upcoming Hyundai / Kia plug-ins are switching over from CHAdeMO to CCS, so CCS is the fast-charge standard on both the Niro EV and the just-unveiled Kia Soul EV.

Onto the bad news. Like all Hyundai / Kia plug-in offerings, expect limited availability in select states only in the U.S.

2019 Niro EV

Full press blast below:


New EV Delivers a Fantastic New Package

State-of-the-art 64 kWh battery and 201-horsepower electric motor

Combined Charging System (CCS) DC fast-charge is standard equipment: approximately 100 miles in 30 minutes or 80 percent battery capacity in 75 minutes1

Multi-functional crossover format provides a vehicle for every lifestyle

LOS ANGELES, November 28, 2018 – The new Niro EV opens a world of new possibilities for consumers who love crossover characteristics but also want all the benefits electric vehicles have to offer. Not only can they have all the functionality of a traditional crossover, but they can have it while happily driving past filling stations.

Powertrain and Battery

Energy and power for Niro EV comes from a state-of-the-art, liquid-cooled 64kWh lithium ion polymer battery that is packaged under the floor of the vehicle to allow for minimal passenger space intrusion. Fast charging2 rates are brief, so even extended road trips can continue after only short charging intervals. Some specifications and features of the Niro EV battery and powertrain include:

201-horsepower electric motor with 291 lb.-ft. of torque

Charging protocol changed to CCS and battery can now charge at 100kW

Combined Charging System (CCS) DC fast-charge is standard equipment – approximately 100-mile recharge in 30 minutes or 80 percent total battery capacity in 75 minutes

Level 2 (240v) at 7.2 kWh charger needs approximately 9.5 hours for a full charge

The Driving Experience — A Blast on the Road and Flexible, Too

With 291 lb.-ft. of torque, the Niro EV’s powerful electric motor offers plenty of pull and, well, electrifying get-up-and-go. Add to that a low center of gravity due to the floor-mounted battery pack and a 106.3 inch-long wheelbase, the Niro EV delivers a vehicle that’s entertaining to drive, stable and feels planted and substantial on the road. Of course, driving style affects the amount of energy expended, and the Niro EV is equipped with a variety of tools that put lots of useful energy management control in the driver’s hands, including:

Four drive modes – Eco, Normal, Sport and Eco+ – that automatically adjust regenerative braking level, air conditioning and heating settings, and even set speed limits to help manage operating efficiency3

Smart regenerative braking operated via paddle shifters provides drivers the ability to slow the car and capture kinetic energy, returning energy to the battery and adding extra range. Drivers can choose from four regen braking levels (0 to 3) depending on how aggressive drivers want the regen effort and energy efficiency (range) needs. Brake and Hold System feature allows regen paddle shifter to bring the car to a full stop, adding energy to the battery that would be lost using normal braking4

Smart Regen System adjusts the regenerative braking level based on a vehicle being detected in front of the Niro EV and can create smoother coast-down driving, especially when descending a steep road5

Smart Eco Pedal Guide display on the instrument cluster that helps to keep the driver aware of real-time power distribution based on accelerator pedal input


Part of the great fun of EV ownership is the futuristic aspect of the vehicle you’re driving. The Niro EV is not only a blast because of its powerful and torquey motor, but it also makes a fantastic techy whirring noise when moving that evokes speedy sci-fi craft. One early tester confessed to driving the car in parking garages with the windows down just for the pleasure of hearing the motor. The sound, though, is actually produced by the Pedestrian Warning System, a speaker and controller assembly mounted behind the front bumper. Without it, the Niro EV would be silent, possibly very cool, but which some consider a potential hazard to pedestrians. So, the car makes its fantastic futuristic whir so everyone knows it’s coming. While we apologize to those who wanted to believe they really were piloting an earth-bound spaceship, they can take comfort in the knowledge that the Niro EV is still a very sophisticated machine.

Design – A Unique Expression of a Successful Style

When Kia designed and created the Niro, it was engineered to accommodate many different advanced electrified powertrains. First to arrive in 2016 was the hybrid, then in 2017 the Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV), and now a fully-electric powertrain. This battery-electric Niro EV is right on trend as consumers shift more and more to electric vehicles while looking for the attributes of crossovers, such as the higher seating position for easy ingress/egress and better visibility, and the utility and function for varied lifestyles (18.5 cu.-ft. of cargo space and 53 cu.-ft. with the backseat folded). In order to provide the Niro EV its own character, it has several unique exterior and interior design cues, including:


Unique front fascia with closed off grille – no need for an open grille, since there’s no internal combustion engine to cool
“Arrowhead” LED Daytime Running Lights
New lower air intake with EcoDynamics blue surround accent
Specially-designed 17-inch alloy wheels engineered to help reduce drag and improve efficiency
Reshaped rocker panels
Revised front and rear bumper fascias with blue trim accents – unique to the Niro EV


High-tech rotary shifter dial (shift-by-wire) with available customizable “mood” lighting

Large, multi-functional center console with many storage options, cup holders, storage compartments and 3 USB ports – 2 charging and one connectivity

Niro EV-only seat upholstery with blue highlights

Available special blue and black high-tech “holographic” graphic door trim

Technology — Equipment-Rich, Advanced Connectivity, Safety Features, and Driver Assistance Systems
The Niro EV is loaded with high-tech, advanced automotive technology to complement its status as a state-of-the-art, all-electric vehicle. Equipment includes the “Kia Drive Wise” suite of Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems, and a long list of standard and optional equipment, highlights of which are listed below.

7-inch color touchscreen6 with rear view monitor7 and parking guidance
6-speaker audio system (AM/FM/SiriusXM8) with USB input
Apple CarPlay9 and Android Auto10
Standard wireless smart phone charging11
Bluetooth wireless connectivity12 with voice recognition
7 airbags13 (dual front advanced air bags, dual front seat-mounted side air bags, side curtain air bags with rollover sensor, driver’s side knee air bag)
Vehicle Safety Systems14
Antilock braking
Traction control
Electronic stability control
Hill-start assist control
Tire pressure monitoring system
“Kia Drive Wise” Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS)15
Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA)
Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)
Blind Spot Collision Warning (BSW)
Driver Attention Warning (DAW)16
Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go
Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning
Parking Distance Warning – Forward and Reverse (available)
New for Niro EV is a revamped UVO17 telematics system that allows owners to monitor and control a long list of vehicle operations, including:

Notifications of battery and charging status
Real-time charging station update
Scheduled charging
Panic notifications – the vehicle will send a notification to the server if the panic alarm is triggered and the system dials 911 emergency services, provides the car position via GPS, and opens a live microphone so that emergency workers can communicate with the vehicle occupants
“Send-to-Car” points of interest (POI) and waypoints — owners will be able to plan a road trip with waypoints and send it to the vehicle’s navigation system
Pre-condition the vehicle cabin temperature prior to use18


Kia Motors Corporation sources EV, HEV, and PHEV batteries from multiple global suppliers. The battery specifications and exact cell chemistry varies for each application, which can impact materials and sourcing. Globally, battery manufacturers, including Kia suppliers LG Chem and SK innovation, source battery elements, including cobalt, from a variety of regions. These battery manufacturers regularly review mineral sourcing, and re-source to new areas to manage stability, cost, logistics, and other factors, ultimately looking at other ways to source cobalt and to reduce usage. Battery engineers are striving to progressively reduce the cobalt required, and are succeeding.

Made in Korea, Coming to America

The new Niro EV will be built in South Korea at Kia’s Hwaseong manufacturing facility, right alongside the Niro hybrid and plug-in hybrid. When it goes on sale early next year (pricing will be announced near the on-sale date), the Niro EV will be available in two trims, EX and EX Premium, which adds a host of upscale features to the already well-equipped EX. Premium EX features include:

8-inch color navigation19 touchscreen
Power tilt/slide sunroof
LED headlamps
8-speaker Harman/Kardon20 premium audio system with external amplifier and subwoofer
Auto-dimming mirror with Homelink21
Heated steering wheel
LED interior lighting
Mood lighting
Parking distance warning – forward and reverse22
Deluxe scuff plate

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35 Comments on "UPDATE: Kia Niro EV Gets Official EPA Range Rating + U.S. On-Sale Date"

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This is the exact opposite of the WLTP lol… WLTP:
Niro: 485km
Kona: 470km

Maybe they have different standard wheels for different markets?

I always found it a bit strange, if not outright incredible (in the traditional sense), that the Niro got more range than the Kona. In any case, even 384 km is a pretty healthy number. I’d be happy with that kind of range.

Now make more than 20,000/yr for the US! This car is going to sell so well!

Beside small numbers for compliance reasons, the bulk of production will go to Europe and South-Korea.
The sales channel in the USA is too inefficient and expensive.

But you can use the same method of buying as the Europeans do. Walk into a dealer and place a special order. Delivery times comparable with those for customers in Europe and South Korea.
But you can’t make a test drive. The dealers will sell their demo cars as fast as possible. Otherwise they might get too many orders.

This will not sell much over 20K/yr (if that) in US even if they made 1 billion of them. You can see from Bolts in dealer lots why, especially when you consider Tesla will be similarly priced (pre subsidy) and actually become available by the time Niro is out. At about $40K, you expect BMW (or even better Tesla) brand, not Hyundai badge.

Kia badge is far more desirable than Chevy when it comes to small cars and CUVs not to mention GM’s previous EV history.

$40K is BMW territory, yet you talk about Chevy and Kia? How many do you think will take $40K Kia seriously when similar money will get you Tesla (or even BMW gasser)? I suspect way under 20K/yr when cheaper Tesla becomes available next year.

If Kia is more desirable than Chevy, then that is the problem. So, we shouldn’t complain about GM cancelling the Volt then…

Buyers are at faults here.

“GM’s previous EV history”? You mean their recent history like the Bolt and Volt? Those are both great cars, and THE benchmark for their respective classes.

Why do you say Pre subsidy? The starting price I saw was $38,000. Most people will be able to get the $7500 federal rebate, and most of the carb states also have a state rebate, which brings the price under $30,000 for the vast majority that the Nio will be made available to. The cheapest Tesla is $45,000, and you won’t get any federal rebate for that. I don’t think Tesla will ever sell a $35,000 M3. If they do, it won’t be available to anyone not already on the waiting list for over 2 years. Teslas are great, just don’t compare them to Kona or Nio price wise.

“The cheapest Tesla is $45,000,”


Midrange is cheaper

Given the same shape, bigger box = more drag = less range. I find it reassuring that the laws of physics still apply.

The laws of physics find your reaction amusing.

(Actually, the laws of physics DGAF about what any of us thinks, which is one of the main problems with them, but that’s another point for a more serious discussion…)


Let the cacophonous nightmare begin:
“…It also makes a fantastic techy whirring noise when moving that evokes speedy sci-fi craft. One early tester confessed to driving the car in parking garages with the windows down just for the pleasure of hearing the motor. The sound, though, is actually produced by the Pedestrian Warning System, a speaker and controller assembly mounted behind the front bumper”

Every car comes with a pedestrian warning system, it is called a horn!

Trouble is the horn can be perceived aggressively. Pity other manufacturers havent copied GM’s (one?) good idea, there’s a horn, *and* a pedestrian horn on the Volt (aka Ampera)

If I press the horn a pedestrian is going to sh1t in their pants

Maybe instead of a continuous noise, EVs should have a “friendly” born in addition to the traditional, “Move your a$$!” horn.

The Soul, Niro and the Kona all look pretty much the same. I can appreciate different models being built on the same platform but why the repetition of what is essentially the same car? That said, I suppose many of us will pour through the differences to find the car that most exactly meets our preferences.

Disagree – or actually completely agree with your last statement – which disagrees with your earlier assertion. I don’t care for the Soul (personal preferences), and the Kona is a little to small inside. The Niro is perfect for my preferences.

They look totally different. They do admittedly look the same in as much as all sedans look the same though.

The Kona is also a Hyundai, and smaller physically than the Niro.

All Audis look pretty much the same…

Compliance vehicles, one per manufacturer (aka brand), as required by CARB and no doubt will be directed at the “limited markets” which have adopted the CARB reqs. The good news for EV enthusiasts (beyond the fact that these examples are starting to look more palatable to average humans) is that the legacy automakers will do what it takes to push those compliance cars out the door at the end of the year… great lease deals, $20k off MSRP deals (BMW just did that with i3s in CA and WA), etc. … and all those sub $10k BEV lease turn-ins are becoming the go-to vehicle purchase of parents for their teenagers in my neighborhood.

Looks like a winner to me!

Pretty good range considering the fact that the car still has plenty of room for aerodynamic improvements.

Perhaps they got the powertain and battery right.

But a car like this, built to more of a prius shape, could beat the Chevy Bolt and have a ~250 mile range on this battery.

Kind of a shame they didn’t take the car further into aerodynamics land.

No. They will sell more because of the blunt, battering ram nose. People hate the aerodynamic nose of the Bolt. It reminds them of the limitations imposed by physics. We prefer to live in a world of infinite consumption, and infinite growth.

This is for people who want a wagon/SUV shaped rear end. I’m one of them. A sedan or Kammback doesn’t work for me. Look at the Volt – fantastic car but it’s being discontinued since people (and not just N Americans any more) don’t want sedans.

We need lots of options in EVs, just like there are lots of options in gassers.

Man, the two columns in the spec table are awfully redundant (read: identical) 🙂 Thanks Kia! I’m pretty excited about this offering and the Hyundai Kona though. Where available, they seem like they’ll satisfy some of the CUV market in the US.

Are heated seats not an option? I only see a heated steering wheel in the Premium trim.

It’s standard in the Advence pack (which is the lowest) in Sweden.. Heated rear seats comes with the Advance Plus pack

Larger than a Kona? Could it be we finally getting a REAL SUV/CUV? Any news on the dimensions?

It isn’t a real SUV. Same size as the hybrid Niro on the roads today. About the same size as a Leaf.

Yep, finally a real SUV. Check out the Rivian R1S. Now that is going to be pretty impressive if they can get it to market.

UPDATE: Kia Niro EV Gets Official EPA Range Rating + U.S. On-Sale Date
Where is the US ON-Sale Date?