Kia is getting as much eco-mileage as it can out of its Niro, which already comes as a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid. Now the mini crossover has turned fully electric at CES 2018. Called the Niro EV Concept, it claims an impressive 238-mile range on a full charge and is capable of charging up to 115 miles in 30 minutes.
All this range is accomplished through a 64-kWh lithium-polymer battery pack paired with a single electric motor. No performance figures are available, but we’d expect it to be similar to the Chevy Bolt’s 0-60 at 6.5 seconds.
This one isn’t technically a production car, but it’s mighty close to what a Niro EV production car would look like. The body and shape is all Niro-like, but with some revisions to make it more tech- and future-focused.
Kia’s human machine interface supports face and voice recognition that allows the car to recognize who’s piloting it, and then adjust the settings to their programmed preferences.
For this concept, Kia decided to come up with an active safety feature to warn pedestrians that a silent, electric vehicle is coming –- certainly a CES thing to do. A combination of front-view cameras, object recognition sensors and front speakers detect pedestrians or cyclists, then the car sounds an alert targeted at that person to warn them of the giant, rolling piece of metal about to run them over.
The interior of the car gets much more concept-like, with an airy, wraparound dash devoid of most the buttons you’re used to seeing on production cars. It looks pretty standard for CES, but don’t expect much of the interior to transfer over to the production car. Kia using a crossover for its first long-range electric is a sign of the times we live in where manufacturers are working hard to satisfy everybody’s tall-car needs.