Kia Niro EV
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Sunday May 4, 2019 – Kia Niro EV - This
week, with no fanfare, the all electric version of the Kia Niro began to arrive
on dealer lots in Southern California. The Kia Niro EV adds to the
existing line of small SUVs which include an ICE version and a Plug-in Hybrid.
I did a search of inventory here in the LA area and so far I only came up with
two cars on dealer lots. When I widened the search to 50 miles I came up
with a total of 14. All of the ones I saw were the EX trim.
The Niro is a compact SUV that has a total passenger volume of 96.6 cubic feet. Leg room in the front is 41.7 inches with 36 inches in the rear. It also offers 18.5 cubic feet of cargo space which expands to 53 cubic feet with the rear seat down. This should allow reasonably comfortable seating for 5.
Under the hood is a 201hp AC motor powered by a 64 KWh lithium ion battery pack that provides an EP estimated range of 239 miles on a charge. This is quite a bit less than the Hyundai Kona which uses the same battery pack but weighs around 1,200 lbs. less that the Niro EV's 4,916 lbs. and is also a little smaller. Performance-wise the Kia Niro EV can go from 0-60 mph in 7.8 seconds. Top speed is a surprising 103.8 mph.
The Niro EV can be charged from a 7.2 KWh level 2 charger that will fully charge the car in about 9.4 hours. Using the level 1 charger that comes with the car requires 59 hours to complete a full charge. The Niro EV comes with a CCS port that will allow DC fast charging. On the Kia site there is a disclaimer that seems to indicate that not all cars will be equipped with the CCS port so that is something to check before signing on the dotted line. DC fast charging should give about 100 miles of range in about 30 minutes and it will reach 80% in about 75 minutes.
Prices for the Niro EV start at $39,630 for the base level EX and $45,995 for the Premium trim level.
The Kia Niro is quite a good addition to the electric cars that are being sold and it could sell well if Kia stocks the vehicle in quantities. Unfortunately Kia does not appear to be doing that and so it is likely that sales are going to be slow. While the car is being stocked in only a very limited number of states technically you can go into any Kia dealership and order one but you will be lucky to find a dealer that is willing to do that. Hopefully we won't see the big markups that we saw when the Kona EV went on sale at Hyundai dealerships.
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