Kia has been making a big push into EV and hybrid cars by investing $10.2 billion into eco dynamic development. So far that has produced five cars, but more may be on the way.
The Niro line, in particular, has served as the backbone for the experimentation. In 2016, Kia released a Hybrid version of the Niro; in 2017 it was the Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV); and now in 2018, an EV version will possibly arrive.
Kia debuted the Niro EV concept at CES in Las Vegas. This won’t be a final production model Kia will ever release, but it is saying a future version will retain a lot of the characteristics. That’s a good thing, because the concept looks awesome.
The Niro EV Concept is outfitted with a 64kWh battery that will get 238 miles of range. That more than doubles the range that is available for the Soul EV (111 miles). Kia says the battery is capable of charging 115 miles in 30 minutes. That’s where the details were cut off as Kia was coy about revealing too much ahead of time.
Kia will announce more details of the Niro EV concept at a later time. For now, all we have is a gorgeous concept to gawk at.
The first thing you’ll notice about the car is the tighter design refinements Kia made over the current Niro design. It still keeps the basic form factor of the crossover, but everything from the headlights, side mirrors and back fascia look sleeker and modern.
With this being a concept, Kia took some fun liberties in design, and the most noticeable is the stealthy matte gray paint with minor dark gold accents found in the front and back bumper and wheels. Even the front grille isn’t your run-of-the-mill grille; it can display scrolling text. For this occasion, the message shown off greeted onlookers at CES.
Surprisingly, the interior didn’t look too over the top. It resembled dashboards you’d find in everyday cars. But Kia still had to throw in a few details just for kicks, and the display inlayed on the steering wheel was just that. The Niro EV concept on display just showed off demos on the display. We imagine it would serve as the primary way to control the car.
If Kia follows its cycle for the Niro line, we can expect the EV option by December. But that’s our best guess. Kia didn’t set a concrete date as to when we might see the production model Niro EV hit the road.