Singapore,12 June 2019 - Kia Singapore jumps on the EV bandwagon, launching its first Electric car, the Niro EV. First things first, EVs do not come cheap. Even with the Kia’s reputation for offering almost the same car, priced at the lower end of the price spectrum, cars like the Cerato are doing well here.
But the new Niro EV, priced at $184k, clearly places this car in the early adoption consumer box. Kia’s Singapore dealership, Cycle and Carriage has stated that the Niro EV will be launched in two phases, the first to cater to the lucrative fleet and corporate customers, meaning that if you are someone who often utilises ride hailing services, you might easily find yourself in one of these in the near future. The second launch will be for the consumer market, which will happen in the third quarter of 2019.
While take-up amongst private owners is rather on the slow end at the moment, demand is beginning to grow, with brands like Kia’s sister company, Hyundai already fielding their Kona and Ioniq electric models. Nissan too has also been near the forefront with its Leaf electric car, and Jaguar’s i-Pace is the most luxurious EV on offer.
The Niro EV utilises a 64kWh lithium ion polymer battery pack that delivers a claimed 455km on a single charge. When plugged into a 100kW fast charger, the Niro EV takes 54 minutes to recharge from 0-80%.
A powerful 204ps electric motor, offering generous torque at 395Nm, takes the Niro EV to 100km/h in 7.8 seconds. In ensuring that the Niro EV handles well, the battery is located beneath the boot floor, and lower down in the body.
Smart Regenerative Braking operated via paddle shifters, behind the steering wheel, also allows drivers to choose from four regenerative braking levels (0 to 3).
In keeping occupants safe, the Niro EV features Blindspot Collision Warning, which utilises sensors at the side and rear of the car, to help as a second set of eyes, helpful especially when making lane changes.
Defining exterior details like its more aerodynamically efficient non-vented ‘tiger-nose’ grille, which houses an integrated charging port; and new aerohead shaped LED daytime running lights, together with five-spoke 17” aluminium alloy wheels sets the EV model apart from the hybrid.
The biggest change in the interior is in the centre console. A new shift-by-wire drive selection knob replaces a conventional gear lever.
Passenger accommodation is decent enough for four adult passengers, and cargo room is a respectable 451 litres.
But at its hefty price tag, the Niro might be more ideal for those who will clock higher mileages in their daily commute, since charging is (at the moment) much cheaper than topping up with fossil fuels.