Now Kia just needs to produce them in volume

Kia starts the year 2019 with a reinforced and refreshed lineup of plug-in electric cars. First of all, there is the all-new Kia Soul EV (e-Soul) in two battery versions (64 kWh and 39.2 kWh) and the new Kia Niro EV (e-Niro) also in two battery versions (64 kWh and 39.2 kWh), although the Standard battery packs are to be available only on some markets it seems.

The third strong contender is the refreshed Kia Niro PHEV.

Here we are focusing on the e-Niro, the long-range relatively affordable (for an EV) crossover with decent specs and a solid design. Down below you can find two galleries with tons of photos of the exterior and the interior, as well as brief specifications, plus a detailed overall description and specification in the attached press release.

With thousands of orders for the e-Niro under its belt, Kia now needs just to produce and supply them before the market situation will change and there will be more competitors in the quickly expanding crossover/SUV EV segment. Currently, at least in some markets, you need to wait a year for the e-Niro.

Kia Niro EV (e-Niro) Specs

Long-range version:

  • 64 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack
  • Energy density (cell) 250 Wh/kg
  • Nominal voltage of 356 V
  • range of 239 miles (385 km) EPA or 455 km (282 miles) on the WLTP (combined cycle)
  • 150 kW and 395 Nm electric motor (front-wheel drive)
  • top speed of 104 mph (167 km/h)
  • 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.8 seconds
  • 30-70 km/h (18.7-43.5 mph) in 2.8 seconds
  • 60-100 km/h (37.3-62 mph) in 3.8 seconds
  • 80-120 km/h (49.7-74.6 mph) in 5.0 seconds
  • DC fast charging at up to around 100 kW from 20% to 80% in 42 minutes
  • 7.2 kW on-board charger
  • Curb weight - 1,737 kg (min) - 1,791 kg (max)
  • Gross weight - 2,230 kg

Standard version:

  • 39.2 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack
  • Energy density (cell) 250 Wh/kg
  • Nominal voltage of 327 V
  • range of 289 km (179 miles) on the WLTP (combined cycle)
  • 100 kW and 395 Nm electric motor (front-wheel drive)
  • top speed of 96 mph (155 km/h)
  • 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.8 seconds
  • 30-70 km/h (18.7-43.5 mph) in 3.4 seconds
  • 60-100 km/h (37.3-62 mph) in 5.6 seconds
  • 80-120 km/h (49.7-74.6 mph) in 7.6 seconds
  • DC fast charging at up to around 100 kW from 20% to 80% in 42 minutes
  • 7.2 kW on-board charger
  • Curb weight - 1,592 kg (min) - 1,646 kg (max)
  • Gross weight - 2,280 kg

Kia Niro EV (e-Niro) Galleries:

Gallery: 2019 Kia Niro EV (e-Niro)

Gallery: Kia Niro EV (e-Niro)

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Crossover practicality, zero-emissions, and an all-electric powertrain: the new Kia e-Niro

  • High-capacity 64 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery provides driving range of up to 455 kilometres on a single charge
  • Combines efficient electric power with crossover space and practicality
  • Innovative technologies to harvest and conserve electric energy
  • Comprehensive range of advanced driver assistance systems available
  • Completes eco-friendly Niro crossover range, alongside Niro Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid versions
  • Global Niro sales of more than 275,000 since 2016; 100,000 sold in Europe
  • On-sale in select European markets since the end of 2018

April 2019 – The all-new Kia e-Niro is the first fully electric crossover utility vehicle produced by Kia. With a range of 455 kilometres (282 miles) on the WLTP combined cycle, the all-electric e-Niro combines driving enjoyment, eye-catching design, crossover utility and a zero-emissions powertrain – to create one of the most capable electric vehicles on-sale worldwide.

The e-Niro occupies a unique position in the market as an all-electric crossover, with intelligent packaging, high practicality, and a long-distance driving range. Buyers will also benefit from a range of dedicated electric vehicle (EV) in-car technologies, new safety features, and stand-out exterior and interior design.

Emilio Herrera, Chief Operating Officer of Kia Motors Europe, commented: “A combination of cool crossover design and advanced powertrains led to 45,255 Niro sales across Europe in 2018, and more than 9,000 year-to-date in 2019, making it one of our best-selling models. Annual sales of electric vehicles across Europe are expected to reach 200,000 this year, rising to nearly one million units by the end of 2022, while the crossover market is also forecast to continue expanding in the coming years. The e-Niro is a clear demonstration of the progress Kia has made in delivering comfortable, practical and fun-to-drive vehicles that lead the way in zero-emissions driving.”

The new e-Niro joins existing Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid variants of the car – of which more than a quarter of a million have sold globally since the Niro’s introduction in 2016. To date, Europe has accounted for more than 100,000 sales of the hybrid crossover.

The e-Niro is Kia’s second globally-sold electric vehicle after the first-generation Soul EV. The new model went on sale in select European markets from the end of 2018.

 

Exterior design

Futuristic design inspired by 2018 Niro EV Concept

Designed at Kia’s design centres in California, USA and Namyang, Korea, the e-Niro incorporates the practicality and appeal of a crossover in a sleek, aerodynamic body with subtly sculptured surfaces. The car demonstrates that, in seeking greater on-road efficiency, electric vehicle buyers need not sacrifice emotionally engaging design or crossover versatility.

The e-Niro differentiates itself from the existing Niro Hybrid and Niro Plug-in Hybrid with a series of exclusive design features. Taking inspiration from the Niro EV Concept unveiled at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the exterior is based on a ‘Clean and High-tech’ design concept. Its futuristic and aerodynamic ‘tiger-nose’ grille features an integrated charging port, bearing a de-bossed Niro logo. Redesigned air intakes and new arrowhead-shaped LED daytime running lights combine with blue trim highlights to help it stand out further.

The closed ‘tiger-nose’ grille design is housed within a newly designed front bumper, giving the car a clear family identity, while aiding aerodynamic performance, and providing a sleek and purposeful character to the front of the vehicle.

In profile, the slim character line, tapered rear windows and sturdy sill line help to emphasise and elongate the car’s sleek profile, while allowing greater room for the muscular wheel arches. The e-Niro rides on new 17-inch aluminium alloy wheels with a diamond-cut two-tone finish, housing Kia’s smart regenerative braking system.

At the back, redesigned rear bumpers feature similar blue trim highlights to those found at the front of the car. A bold LED rear light design gives the e-Niro a distinct and recognisable rear light signature.

The e-Niro is available in a selection of eight contemporary paint colours – a palette of bold or more neutral shades which emphasise the car’s eco-friendly design and complement the blue trim adorning its bodywork.

 

Interior design

Modern interior with dedicated electric powertrain technologies and crossover utility

Inside the Kia e-Niro, the cabin combines a modern design with generous space and technologies that complement its zero-emissions powertrain. The interior is differentiated from other Niro models with a range of new features and design elements.

The design of the centre console represents the biggest change for the e-Niro, with the all-electric powertrain negating the need for a traditional gear stick and gear linkage. The physical transmission has therefore been replaced with a new ‘shift-by-wire’ rotator dial drive selector. The drive selector dial sits on its own highly-ergonomic panel which extends out from the base of the central arm-rest. In addition to the rotator dial, this new panel also houses buttons for the electronic parking brake with auto-hold functionality, heated and ventilated seats, heated steering wheel, drive mode selector, and parking distance warning. The new panel requires no bulky transmission tunnel, enabling Kia’s designers to create a larger storage area at the base of the centre console.

The dashboard features eco-style blue trim around the vents, echoing the trim highlights found on the outside of the car. The cabin is trimmed in a choice of fabric and synthetic leather, full synthetic leather, or real leather. In each guise it is available in black or dark grey, or in a dedicated new e-Niro interior colour scheme with black upholstery and bright blue stitching, echoing the colour accents on the exterior of the car. For cars trimmed in leather and synthetic leather, the perforated upholstery features a vivid blue inlay, further complementing the blue details around the cabin and exterior of the car.

A new mood lighting system illuminates the centre console and shift dial with subtle lighting, in one of six colours – white, grey, bronze, red, green, and blue. New high-gloss black and blue trim also lines the doors of the e-Niro, further enhancing the futuristic atmosphere of the cabin. The shelf at the base of the instrument panel features a high-grip rubberised surface to hold the driver’s smartphone in place. Buyers can specify this shelf with an optional wireless smartphone charger.

The 8.0-inch touchscreen HMI (human-machine interface) in the centre of the dashboard offers a series of features specific to Kia’s new electric vehicle. It enables owners to locate nearby charging points, and monitor the level of remaining charge and range. It also lets owners gauge their trip and lifetime CO2 reduction from driving the e-Niro, compared to a gasoline car of a similar size. The HMI lets owners set an approximate departure time for their next journey, enabling the car to heat itself to a set temperature before the driver departs. The charge management function also intelligently manages the flow of electricity to the battery when charging, to help extend the life of the battery.

The fully-digital 7.0-inch Supervision driver instrument cluster shows driving and battery charge information on-the-move. The display also gauges the driving style of whoever is sitting at the wheel, attributing a percentage to the amount of ‘economical’ driving they manage on each journey. For drivers preferring to enjoy the car’s low centre of gravity and instant off-the-line acceleration, the display also shows what percentage of a journey has been completed with ‘dynamic’ driving.

A charging indicator is integrated into the top of the dashboard, with three lights displaying whether the battery pack is recharging or fully charged when plugged in. This enables owners to quickly see the car’s charging status at a glance when charging.

When the Niro was first launched in 2016, its new platform was engineered to accommodate a variety of advanced powertrains. The introduction of a battery-electric powertrain has had minimal impact on packaging and versatility, meaning the e-Niro offers greater practicality and versatility by design than many other electric and hybrid cars. Its 2,700 mm wheelbase ensures all occupants enjoy generous legroom, while space and a sense of roominess is boosted by its crossover design. Its body is 1,805 mm wide and 1,560 mm tall, ensuring maximum head- and shoulder-room throughout the cabin. At 4,375 mm in length, it offers more cargo space – 451 litres (VDA) – than many other plug-in and electric vehicles. With the rear seats folded, the cargo space can be extended to 1,405 litres. The boot features a dedicated storage area beneath its floor, providing space for owners to store the charging cable.

 

Powertrain

455-kilometre driving range from next-generation all-electric powertrain

The Kia e-Niro has been designed to merge crossover-inspired design with long-distance, zero-emissions driving and enjoyable performance. It achieves this with a next-generation electric powertrain, using new production technologies developed specifically for Kia electric vehicles.

The e-Niro offers buyers a convincing alternative to compact crossovers powered by traditional gasoline or diesel internal combustion engines. It gives owners the opportunity to complete both long distance drives and daily commutes with zero emissions and ultra-low running costs.

In Europe the Niro will be equipped with a high-capacity 64 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack. On the WLTP combined cycle, it provides a driving range of more than 455 kilometres (282 miles) on a single charge, producing zero on-road CO2 emissions. On the WLTP urban cycle, the e-Niro is capable of driving up to 615 km (382 miles). Buyers will also be to specify their e-Niro with a 39.2 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, with a range of up to 289 kilometres (179 miles) from a single charge on the WLTP combined cycle. Plugged into a 100 kW fast charger, it takes only 42 minutes to recharge the e-Niro’s battery from 20% to 80%.

Models equipped with the long-distance 64 kWh battery pack are paired with a 150 kW (204 ps) motor, producing 395 Nm torque, enabling the e-Niro to accelerate from 0-to-100 kph in just 7.8 seconds. The standard 39.2 kWh battery pack is matched to a 100 kW (136 ps) motor, also producing 395 Nm torque, and accelerating to 100 kph from a standstill in 9.8 seconds. Like the Niro Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid variants, the new electric model is front-wheel drive.

 

Technologies and features

Smart regenerative braking system The e-Niro provides owners with a range of technologies to enhance battery efficiency and improve the car’s range.

Regenerative braking technology allows the Niro to harvest kinetic energy and recharge the battery pack while coasting or braking, while predictive driving assistance technologies use navigation information to adjust the level of energy regeneration, depending on upcoming road conditions.

Although the electric motor requires no transmission, the car still features a pair of paddles behind the steering wheel. These paddles let drivers choose between five levels of energy regeneration: ‘Off’, Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 and ‘One Pedal’. The higher the level chosen by the driver, the more energy the regenerative brakes try to harvest, with Level 1 offering the lowest and Level 3 offering greater levels of energy regeneration. One Pedal mode enables the maximum level of brake energy regeneration, and, in general driving, enables the driver to control the e-Niro’s speed simply by modulating the accelerator. As the driver takes their foot off the accelerator, coasting is replaced by a moderate braking effect to harness more kinetic energy – though heavier deceleration may still require braking input from the driver.

An auto renegeration mode is also available, enabling the vehicle to adjust the level of kinetic energy regeneration by itself depending on traffic conditions, using the cameras from the Smart Cruise Control system.

The instrument cluster also displays the number of kilometres ‘saved’ by the e-Niro’s energy harvesting systems on each trip or charge.

The Niro’s Electric Parking Brake (EPB), is operated by a button on the new centre console panel. The driver can manually apply the parking brake once stopped. When moving off, the EPB switches off automatically, allowing a seamless start.

A battery heating system is also fitted to the e-Niro, designed to insulate and warm up the battery while the vehicle is plugged in, minimising the adverse effects of cold temperatures.

The e-Niro is also available with an advanced heat pump as an option, which draws on heat energy from the air-conditioning and electrical systems. Instead of relying entirely on battery power to heat the cabin, the heat pump recycles this heat energy to improve the efficiency of the car’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system. The system is made up of a compressor, evaporator and condenser, which improve the car’s ability to efficiently heat up the cabin, minimising electricity consumption from the battery. In turn, this increases the e-Niro’s overall driving range.

The e-Niro is also equipped with a Drive Mode Select system, enabling owners to tailor their driving experience. Switching between Eco, Eco+, Normal and Sport modes, Drive Mode Select alters the level of effort required to steer the car, and subtly changes the character of the powertrain. Eco mode maximises the potential for greater battery energy efficiency by limiting the maximum torque and power of the motor, softening throttle responses, and offering more relaxed steering inputs., Eco+ mode adjusts the maximum vehicle speed and energy-consuming systems (such as HVAC) to achieve the highest possible energy efficiency. Normal mode is the most suitable for day-to-day driving, combining the innate efficiency and performance of the electric motor with direct steering and throttle responses. Sport mode enhances throttle responses and enables maximum acceleration, as well as weighting up the steering for more decisive responses to driver inputs, bringing the e-Niro’s engaging handling character to the fore.

 

Ride, handling and NVH

Low centre of gravity with fully-independent suspension for stable ride and handling

The Kia Niro was engineered from the start to accommodate a specific range of hybrid and fully-electric powertrains. The Niro’s ride and handling therefore was always readily adaptable to the introduction of an all-electric powertrain.

Furthermore, the electric powertrain packaging means the new model benefits from a more favourable weight distribution and lower centre of gravity than its stablemates. Its flat battery pack is located beneath the cabin, giving the e-Niro’s a centre of gravity more akin to that of a sedan or a hatchback. Combined with its relatively wide stance, the e-Niro offers drivers maximum stability and driving enjoyment on winding roads, and minimal body roll under cornering. The battery pack’s location means the majority of the powertrain’s weight is located between the two axles (instead of at the front of the car), enabling a more equal distribution of weight. This helps to further restrict understeer and enables a linear and predictable handling character.

The car is equipped with fully independent rear suspension, tuned to deliver high stability and immediate handling responses and filter out small vibrations at higher speeds when travelling over poor surfaces. For the e-Niro, Kia’s development teams have subtly adapted the suspension to accommodate the weight and weight distribution of the new powertrain, while maintaining the fundamental driving character of its Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid stablemates.

The new e-Niro features a marginally quicker steering rack ratio (now 60 mm-per-revolution of the steering wheel, compared to 58 mm/rev on the Niro Hybrid) and is the first model in the Niro family to offer Torque Vectoring by Braking. These changes greatly improve the car’s agility and enable a more engaging handling character.

The e-Niro’s regenerative brakes – 305 mm in diameter at the front, 300 mm at the rear – exhibit a consistent, linear deceleration and braking feel, and harvest kinetic energy to recharge the battery pack on the move.

The Niro is refined and quiet at low speeds thanks to its all-electric powertrain. The e-Niro boasts an even lower drag co-efficient (0.29 Cd) than Niro Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid models (0.30 Cd), suppressing wind noise and enhancing its aerodynamic efficiency. This is aided by laminated windscreen glass, a cowl over the front windscreen wipers, specially-profiled door mirror casings and covers over the holes in the roof rails – which sit flush on the bodywork. Road noise is minimised further by high-insulation rigid bushes in the front subframe, high-strength steel in the rear wheel arches, to reduce high frequency vibrations around the rear of the car and additional sound insulation material in the A- and B-pillars.

 

Safety

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

Matching the next-generation nature of its powertrain, the e-Niro offers drivers a range of Kia’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, supporting motorists in a range of driving conditions and scenarios to mitigate the risk of collisions.

The car is equipped, as standard, with Kia Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) for maximum stability under braking and cornering. If VSM detects a loss of traction, it uses the car’s Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system and the electric motor-driven power steering to help the driver retain control.

 Other active safety systems available in the e-Niro include Forward Collision Warning with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go, High Beam Assist, Driver Attention Warning, and Lane Following Assist. Lane Following Assist is a ‘Level Two’ autonomous driving technology which tracks vehicles in front of the car in traffic, and detects road markings to keep the e-Niro in its lane on the motorway. The system controls acceleration, braking and steering depending on the convoy of vehicles in front, using external sensors to maintain a safe distance. Lane Following Assist operates between 0 and 130 kph.

 

Warranty and manufacturing

On-sale in Europe with 7-Year, 150,000-kilometre warranty

The new Kia e-Niro is produced at Kia’s Hwasung manufacturing facility in Korea, and went on-salein select European markets at the end of 2018. The e-Niro is covered by Kia’s quality promise, with the brand’s industry-leading 7-Year, 150,000-kilometre warranty as standard. The warranty also covers the battery pack and electric motor.

- Ends -

 

 

KIA e-NIRO – TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS (EUROPE)

 

Body and chassis

Five-door, five-seater all-electric crossover, with steel and aluminium unitary construction bodyshell. An electric motor drives the front wheels via a single-speed reduction gear set, powered by a lithium-ion polymer battery pack.

 

Powertrain

Electric motor

Type                           Permanent magnet AC synchronous motor

Voltage                       356 V (long) / 327 V (standard)

Max power                 204 ps (150 kW)  @ 3,800 – 8000 rpm (long-range)

                                    136 ps (100 kW)  @ 2,600 – 8000 rpm (standard)

Max torque                 395 Nm (291.5 lb ft) @ 0 – 3,600 rpm (long-range)

Max torque                 395 Nm (291.5 lb ft) @ 0 – 2,400 rpm (standard)

 

Long-range battery pack

Type                           Lithium-ion polymer

Voltage                       356 V

Energy                                    64 kWh

Power                         170 kW

Capacity                     180 Ah

On-board charger      7.2 kW

Energy density (cell)  250 Wh / kg

 

Standard battery pack

Type                           Lithium-ion polymer

Voltage                       327 V

Energy                                   39.2 kWh

Power                         104 kW

Capacity                     120 Ah

On-board charger      7.2 kW

Energy density (cell)  250 Wh / kg

 

Suspension and damping

Front                            Fully-independent by subframe-mounted MacPherson struts, coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers, with anti-roll stabiliser bar

Rear                            Fully-independent subframe-mounted multi-link, coil springs and twin tube gas-filled shock absorbers, with anti-roll stabiliser bar

 

Steering

Type                            Electric motor-driven rack-and-pinion power steering

Steering ratio               13.3:1

Turns, lock-to-lock      2.57

Turning circle              5.3 metres

 

Brakes

Front                            305x25 mm ventilated discs

Rear                            300x10 mm solid discs

Parking brake             Electronic parking brake

 

Wheels and tyres

Standard                     Alloy 17-inch, 215/55 R17 tyres

Spare                          Tyre mobility kit

 

Dimensions (mm)

Exterior

Overall length              4,375              Overall width              1,805**

Overall height              1,560*            Wheelbase                 2,700

Front overhang           885                 Rear overhang           790

Front track                  1,576              Rear track                  1,585

Approach angle           16.6°              Departure angle         29.0°

Ground clearance       155

*1,570 with roof rack

**excluding door mirrors

 

Interior

                                   1st row             2nd row

Head room                 1,018               957

Leg room                    1,059               914

Shoulder room           1,423               1,400

Hip room                    1,364               1,228

 

Luggage capacity (litres, VDA)

Behind second row    451

Behind first row          1,405

 

Weights (kg)

                                               Long-range     Standard

Curb weight (max)     1,791               1,646

Curb weight (min)      1,737               1,592

Gross weight              2,230               2,080

 

Performance and range

                                               Long-range     Standard

Top speed (kph)         167                  155

0-to-100 kph (sec)      7.8                   9.8

30-to-70 kph (sec)      2.8                   3.4

60-to-100 kph (sec)    3.8                   5.6

80-to-120 kph (sec)    5.0                   7.6

Max vehicle range*    455 km           289 km

                                   282 mi             179 mi

Energy consumption  159 Wh / km   153 Wh / km

*WLTP combined cycle

 

APRIL 2018