THE PURE-ELECTRIC version of Kia’s Niro crossover will come with a massive range of up to 301 miles between charges, it has been confirmed.
The Kia e-Niro was tested under the new World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), which is tougher than the old NEDC economy and emissions tests, and reflects a combination of highway and city driving. As a result, the 301-mile figure should be a more accurate picture of how far the 64kWh-batteried version will be capable of travelling in the real world.
Kia will also offer a “standard” version of the e-Niro with a smaller (39.2kWh) battery, which is good for a very usable 193 miles on the WLTP combined cycle — 25 miles more than a Nissan Leaf electric hatchback.
Speed and road conditions affect the range of electric cars greatly, of course; driving at motorway speeds will drain the e-Niro’s batteries much quicker. On the flip side, the WLTP test showed the 64kWh e-Niro is capable of travelling for up to 382 miles in urban conditions, which Kia proudly reminds us is further than “many” petrol cars.
Prices for e-Niro have yet to be announced but we can expect the long-distance model to cost a fair bit more than the top spec Niro hybrid (£27, 490) and plug-hybrid (£28,345). The e-Niro should represent astounding value for money when compared to the posher Jaguar I-Pace and Audi e-tron electric SUVs, though, which have a similar range (the Jag, with its 90kWh battery, managed up to 292 miles on the WLTP combined test) but are priced above £60,000. The entry-level Tesla Model X, meanwhile, costs from £75,850.
Kia’s first fully-electric crossover won’t be as quick or sporty as those premium rivals. The 64kWh model will come with a 201hp motor producing 291 lb-ft of torque, enabling the e-Niro to accelerate from standstill to 62mph in 7.8sec. The standard 39.2kWh battery pack is paired with a 134hp motor, also producing 291 lb-ft torque, resulting in a 9.8sec 0-62mph time. Like the Niro Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid variants, the e-Niro is front-wheel drive.
Plugged into a 100kW rapid charger, recharging the 64kWh model to 80% full takes 54 minutes, although most of the UK’s publicly-available rapid chargers at the moment offer half that power.
The e-Niro will be revealed in European specification at the 2018 Paris Motor Show at the beginning of next month, with the car going on sale later in the year.