All-Electric Kia Niro Revealed at International Electric Vehicle Expo

Production model gets subtle styling changes and a choice of two battery packs.

The Korean auto-maker Kia has revealed its new all-electric variant of the Niro crossover SUV at the 5th International Electric Vehicle Expo in Jeju, Korea. It is scheduled to make its European debut at the Paris Motor Show later this October.

The crossover was designed at Kia’s design centers in California, the U.S., and Namyang, Korea. The Kia Niro EV like its name-sharing siblings combines city-friendly compactness along with the practicality and appeal of a compact SUV, in an aerodynamic shell.

In terms of aesthetics, the Niro EV production vehicle has been inspired a great deal by the Niro EV Concept unveiled at CES 2018 in Las Vegas, albeit it has been toned down to look more like its road-going peers. The front fascia is characterized by a faux “tiger nose” grille with a neatly integrated flab concealing its charging port. While the profile of the air intake remains largely the same, arrowhead-shaped LED daytime running lights and fog lamps have been added to the lower valance. Kia’s clean and high-tech design brings tapered rear windows to emphasize the car’s sleek profile, while the glossy finish on the plastic wheel arches seen on the concept have been replaced by matt finish. And the production vehicle also gets more conventional dual-tone five-spoke alloy wheels instead of the examples showcased at CES 2018. As expected, the bronze accents have been replaced by blue-green trims indicative of its electric car status.

More importantly, powering the Niro EV is Kia’s next-generation electric vehicle powertrain. It is equipped with a high-capacity 64 kilowatt-hour lithium-polymer battery pack, which will enable the Niro EV to drive over a respectable 280 miles on a single charge, or more than 187 miles with the optional 39.2 kWh battery pack.

The rest of the performance specs haven’t been announced yet, but we believe they are holding off for just before its Paris showing. However, the Hyundai Kona EV‘s electric powertrain figures may be suggestive of Niro’s numbers. The Kona comes with a 201-horsepower electric motor which sends power to the front axle when equipped with the 64 kWh battery and a 133-hp electric motor when equipped with the smaller unit.

The Kia Niro EV will hit Korea markets in the second half of 2018, while other regions will have to wait a little while longer.