Kia Niro EV concept: More than just an electric car

At CES 2018, Kia showed off the Niro EV concept, a fully electric version of its Niro model, boasting a new generation of advanced safety systems.

Wayne Cunningham Managing Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
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Kia Niro EV concept
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Kia Niro EV concept

Kia unveiled the Niro EV concept at CES 2018, building on both its Niro hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars along with its existing Soul EV.


We've recently seen the Kia Niro hybrid and Kia Niro plug-in hybrid vehicles, and now that lineup gets rounded out with a fully electric version of the car. Announced at CES 2018, Kia not only showed off the Niro EV concept, but detailed a new advanced safety system for the car.

Calling it the Niro EV concept may be a misnomer, however, as Kia said it will produce the car this year. 

Based on a 64 kilowatt-hour battery pack and 150 kilowatt motor, the Niro EV boasts a range of 238 miles, putting it up there with the longest range production electric vehicles. The concept also features what Kia calls its Active Pedestrian Warning System, using forward-facing cameras to detect pedestrians and cyclists.

As electric cars gain range, they are becoming more usable for the average driver, and most automakers are incorporating them into their lineups. Electric cars are particularly attractive in regions that regulate climate-changing CO2 emissions.

Kia says the Niro EV will be the first of five new fully electric cars hitting the market by 2025, in addition to new plug-in hybrid models and one fuel cell electric vehicle. The company currently offers the Soul EV, which manages 110 miles of range. The Niro offers a similar format, although with a less youthful style.

The camera-based safety system announced for the Niro EV will also find its way into other models from the company. That safety technology isn't new in the automotive market, and in the coming years will likely be required by transportation safety agencies in Europe and China.

Given the Niro EV's range and Kia's typically low price points, it should be an attractive option. However, Kia has not yet said whether a production version would be sold across the US, or just in selected states.

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