It doesn’t come as a big surprise the Niro will lose its combustion engine for an all-electric version, but it’s nice to have confirmation straight from Kia. The brand’s Chief Operating Officer in Europe, Michael Cole, has revealed in an interview with AutoRai.nl the crossover in EV guise will be launched at some point in 2018. He went on to specify it’s going to use the same powertrain as the Hyundai Ioniq Electric.
That means it will be equipped with an electric motor delivering 118 horsepower (88 kilowatts) and an instant torque of 215 pound-feet (291 Newton-meters). In the case of the Ioniq Electric, the 28-kWh battery pack has enough juice for 124 miles (200 kilometers) or 136 MPGe in United States, while in the overly optimistic New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) the pure electric Hyundai is rated at 170 miles (280 km).
Bear in mind Hyundai has already promised it will have EVs capable of covering more than 200 miles (322 km) by next year, so expect very similar numbers from the equivalent Kia versions.
Meanwhile, the regular hybrid Niro will soon hit dealerships at a starting price of $23,785 (including $895 destination) and is going to be followed in October or November by the plug-in hybrid version set to have an electric range of about 26 miles (42 km) thanks to a 8.9-kWh lithium-ion battery.
If you fancy the Niro, you might want to check out our First Drive of Kia’s hybrid crossover, which in the thrifty FE trim level will do 52 mpg city, 49 mpg highway, and 50 mpg combined after getting rid of the roof rails, pushbutton start, trunk cargo cover, and even the rear armrest. Those who would rather have more goodies will have to fork out at least $30,545 for the range-topping Touring trim.
Source: Kia via AutoRai.nl