CES 2018: Kia Niro EV Debuts 238 Mile Range (Gallery)

Kia has just launched a fully autonomous, all-electric concept that it says shows the potential of its current Kia Niro hybrid crossover. The concept features a futuristic interior, a new electric power train, and updated sheet metal that hints at the design direction Kia wants to take its cars in as it continues to move up market. As cool as those things all are, however, there is one thing that should catch your attention above all the others: the 238 mile driving range.

That 238 number for the Kia Niro EV trumps both Tesla’s claimed range of 220 miles for its Model 3 and Nissan’s claim of 225 miles for its updated LEAF. If the final number is even close to 238, Kia might just be able to score a PR coup. Or, you know, at least steal some LEAF sales.

Check out Kia’s official CES press release for the new Kia Niro EV, below, then let us know what you think of Kia’s odds against Nissan and Tesla in the comments section at the bottom of the page. As for the pictures- you know the drill: click to enlarge.

 

    BOUNDLESS FOR ALL | KIA NIRO EV PRESENTS VISION FOR FUTURE MOBILITY

    Las Vegas – January 8, 2018 – Kia Motors today presents its future mobility vision at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Under its new ‘Boundless for all’ vision, Kia will bring a future in which opportunities for mobility and transportation are limitless. To broaden horizons with its mobility services, Kia is also demonstrating a range of new technologies as part of its new ‘ACE’ strategy to make its cars more Autonomous, Connected and Eco/Electric.

    “‘Boundless for all’ is Kia’s future vision – where everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the infinite value that future mobility will bring. This is Kia’s manifesto for its role as a mass mobility provider in the future. Consumers are bound today by the idea that a car is ‘just a vehicle’, but Kia is committed to providing a broader solution to mobility. ‘Boundless for all’ represents a future in which a vehicle can be so much more than the sum of its parts,” said Dr. Woong-chul Yang, Vice Chairman and Head of Kia R&D Center.

    Kia’s ‘ACE’ strategy is based around three core elements, presenting Kia’s vision for future personal transportation:

  • Autonomous – Kia plans to commercialize Level 4 autonomous driving technology, with ‘Smart City’ autonomous vehicle testing due to commence in 2021
  • Connected – By 2025, Kia will adopt connected car technologies across every vehicle segment, and aim to make every single model a connected car by 2030
  • Eco/Electric – Kia will introduce 16 new advanced powertrain vehicles by 2025, including a range of new hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, as well as an all-new fuel-cell electric vehicle in 2020
  • Alongside these technologies, Kia announced its plans to roll-out its ‘WiBLE’ car-sharing service – launched in Korea in 2017 – to new regions from 2018, starting with Europe.

    Beyond Autonomous Driving: Kia’s exhibition theme for ‘connected’ vehicles

    At CES 2018, Kia is presenting a range of interactive exhibits which combine existing and future technologies. These demonstrate how vehicles could be optimized for enhanced connectivity as they become more autonomous.

    Kia’s exhibits at CES 2018 hint at a future ‘Beyond Autonomous Driving’. Visitors can interact with Kia’s developing autonomous drive technologies through a VR simulator, while also experiencing a V2X diorama demonstrating how cars could connect with other vehicles and the urban environment.

    The company plans to operate a large-scale test fleet for autonomous technology on public roads from 2019, paving the way for commercial production of the technology. Kia aims to commercialize Level 4 autonomous vehicles in smart cities from 2021 with a new Smart City pilot project.

    “Kia’s connected cars will be both boundless and connected and offer a new kind of mobility experience. Virtual reality, self-driving cars, and ‘vehicle-to-everything’ connectivity were all once considered technologies of the distant future. As they rapidly become a reality, Kia is exploring how to deploy these new technologies for its customers. Our strategy and vision for future mobility is demonstrated by a range of interactive displays, showing what our customers can look forward to,” said Vice Chairman Yang.

    16 new electrified vehicles by 2025

    Kia will continue to expand its range of environmentally-friendly cars in the coming years, and plans to offer a total of 16 electrified vehicles by 2025, including a fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) in 2020.

    “By 2025, we will offer a total of 16 advanced powertrain vehicles, with five new hybrids and plug-in hybrids, five new battery EVs, and an all-new mass market FCEV. Due to launch in 2020, this FCEV will spearhead Kia’s efforts to realize a zero-emission future for mobility,” said Vice Chairman Yang.

    As part of this strategy, Kia is exhibiting the Kia Niro EV Concept at CES 2018. Combining the stylish design of a modern compact SUV with the high efficiency of an advanced battery-electric powertrain, the Kia Niro EV Concept represents the next step in the brand’s ongoing journey to electrification.

    Created by Kia’s design studio in Korea, the Niro EV Concept is a fully-electric compact SUV. Its aerodynamically-efficient body allows air to slip over, around and beneath the vehicle with ease. The traditional grille – no longer required for engine cooling – is replaced by a smooth interactive display panel, combined with ultra-slim lamp technology in the overall front. In profile, the concept draws inspiration from the current Kia Niro, with a modish compact crossover silhouette, elevated body and wide C-pillar. The Niro EV Concept’s seamless rear aspect has clean and sharp trailing edges allowing air to flow more easily off the back of the car.

    With a silent electric power train, and the anticipation that such a car would be driven most frequently on urban and suburban roads, the Kia Niro EV Concept boasts new technologies to enhance safety for pedestrians.

    The concept’s new Active Pedestrian Warning System (APWS) features a combination of front view cameras, object recognition technology and front speakers. If the system detects a pedestrian or cyclist crossing in front of the car, the speakers sound an alert targeted specifically at that person, warning them of the car’s presence. APWS is matched by the Niro EV Concept’s new interactive lighting system, which offers users and pedestrians a highly-intuitive visual communication with vehicle.

    Inside, the cabin has been designed with a pure, minimalist and digital appearance, creating greater user interaction with new technologies and features. With a wrap-around design to cocoon the driver and passengers, the dashboard’s horizontal layout has broad and smooth surfaces. The effect is an innate sense of space and calm in the cabin, enhanced by the soft shades of silver, grey and bronze covering every surface.

    The Niro EV Concept is powered by a next-generation electric vehicle powertrain, using new production technologies earmarked for near-future EVs from Kia. Energy is provided by a high-capacity 64 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack, paired with a powerful 150 kW electric motor. The Niro EV Concept suggests a driving range of 238 miles (383 kilometers), with zero tailpipe emissions.

 

Source | Images: Kia.

 

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.