Kia is expanding the Niro lineup with a battery electric version of the subcompact crossover, which can drive 239 miles on a single charge.
The Niro EV is slated to arrive in the first quarter of next year as a 2019 model and will join the regular gasoline and hybrid versions. Initially it will be offered in the 12 states that follow California's emissions standards. Kia plans to eventually make the Niro EV available in all 50 states but is capacity-constrained, spokesman James Bell said. Pricing will be announced closer to launch, he said.
Power comes from a 64-kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery pack that drives a 201-hp electric motor. Kia says the 100 miles of driving range is available from a 30-minute charge and 80 percent of the total battery capacity.
The Niro EV has four drive modes — Eco, Normal, Sport and Eco+. Each one automatically adjusts the regenerative braking level, air conditioning and heating settings, Kia says. The battery pack is tucked under the floor, preserving the crossover's cargo room.
The Niro EV's appearance differs from gasoline and hybrid models. The EV sports a closed-off grille, new 17-inch wheels and redesigned rocker panels.
— Richard Truett