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Kia Niro EV reveal: 236 mi range, sales starting 2018 in Korea

IndyGopher

Member
Feb 18, 2018
27
16
Indianapolis
Thoughts on the Niro EV unveiled yesterday in Busan? Kia Niro EV specs revealed at latest Korean car show

According to Kia, sales will start in Korea this year with two battery options, the larger of which is supposedly rated at 236 miles of range. No pricing or global sales timeline yet. I think the PHEV starts at like $28,xxx in the US, and the BEV will obviously be more expensive. But as a value brand, you'd think Kia will definitely undercut the Bolt with their larger battery option, and one would think they'd have to slot under a base Model 3. So perhaps a starting price on the larger battery of $33,5xx to $34,5xx? The smaller battery option would obviously be even cheaper and would compete directly with the Leaf on range and options. Considering Kia can sell a ton of these with the full $7,500 tax credit, one would think the Niro could be a pretty attractive option to people waiting for a $35k Model 3 (myself included). Everything is speculative at this point, of course, so a lot could change by the time we see one on a lot in the US. They might even limit sales to CA and OR if battery supplies are limited, although they haven't done that with the PHEV. Time will tell...
 
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Reactions: PhilDavid

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,478
6,228
Los Altos, CA
The Niro and Kona are quite small for their body shape. That leads to unnecessary aero losses while not providing substantial additional utility. Putting that powertrain, including the 64kWh battery pack, in an Ioniq shaped body would be a very nice, efficient, and long range product.

I happened to park next to a Niro PHEV today, so you can see the size comparison to the RAV4 EV.

2018-06-08_14-03-14_257.jpg
 

IndyGopher

Member
Feb 18, 2018
27
16
Indianapolis
The Niro and Kona are quite small for their body shape. That leads to unnecessary aero losses while not providing substantial additional utility. Putting that powertrain, including the 64kWh battery pack, in an Ioniq shaped body would be a very nice, efficient, and long range product.

I happened to park next to a Niro PHEV today, so you can see the size comparison to the RAV4 EV.

Yeah, I've driven a Niro at a car show and found it to be quite small. It's obviously a marketing ploy calling it a "CUV," putting roof rails on top, and adding a liftgate. It's barely a station wagon. That said, they sure do seem to have a read on the market with that design as it seems most people simply aren't that interested in sedans and hatchbacks, regardless of efficiency.

I read an article yesterday speculating a $40k starting price on these (same as in Norway, where it's already announced) with only about 20k being available in the US (and only in CARB states). I was obviously way off in my estimations/hopes above that a) they might try to make a success out of these and compete with Nissan and Chevy and b) they'd price aggressively. If the article is true, I don't see how they sell many of these at all...and I'm not entirely sure why they're even producing them as the PHEV Niro meets the company's obligations in CA and OR. Guess I was really hoping they wanted to make a bigger impact on the mainstream...
 

McRat

Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2016
5,771
5,414
LA
Sounds like Chevrolet Bolt clone, down to the motor size. Wonder if there is parts interchangability.
 
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Reactions: Brando

seattlite2004

Active Member
Apr 12, 2016
1,186
1,342
Puget Sound
No, the Bolt was designed by LG, and put into a GM chassis that they already had.
GM's Korea studio 'broke the mold' with Bolt

Regarding LG partnership:
According to GM , LG Chem will manufacture and supply all of the following systems:
  • Lithium-ion Battery Cells and Battery Pack
  • Battery Heater
  • Electric Drive Motor (GM design)
  • Power Inverter Module for DC-to-AC conversion (GM design)
  • Onboard Battery Charger
  • Electric Compressor for Climate-Control System
  • High-Power Distribution Module
  • Accessory Low-Power Module
  • Power Line Communication Module (for communication with DC quick-charging station)
  • Instrument Cluster
  • Infotainment System
That list includes parts and assemblies jointly designed by both companies.
 
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Reactions: Brando

McRat

Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2016
5,771
5,414
LA
No, the Bolt was designed by LG, and put into a GM chassis that they already had.

Yes, and the EV1 was so popular that GM had to stop making them or it would destroy the gasoline car market globally and put us in a second Great Depression. Wait. That's an urban myth too. Many of the EV1 that were abandoned were 0 mile cars, and many people returned them early. Time Magazine's "50 Worst Cars Of All Time" recipient. Nothing at all like the movie "Who Killed The Electric Car".

Kind of like the historical accuracy of Braveheart, but Braveheart wasn't trying to slander anybody living.

Bolt was a clean sheet design and a global effort, with the design work from the Korean studio. It is low for a GM at 42.5% Total Domestic Content.

2017 Auto Index
 
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Reactions: R.S

wycolo

Active Member
May 16, 2012
3,095
429
WA & WY
If I had a Bolt I still would jump in the SparkEV for a 6 to 8 stop typical shopping day in town with about 25 miles clocked. Likewise the MS - smaller & lighter is simply more fun and much less a PIA to maneuver. I do agree with Ghosn that the 80 mile battery should now be ~120 miles as a minimum.
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jsimon7777

Member
Feb 1, 2018
294
135
Castro Valley
The problem with the Spark EV and Bolt are the penalty box interiors. If any of the small EVs were actually comfortable for those 80 miles in a day, I might consider getting another.
 
B

banned-66611

Guest
What's all this nonsense about it being small?

It's way bigger than the Model 3, for example. 451L Vs just 424L, and the M3 figure includes the frunk.

Bjorn noted that it felt similar to the iPace for space. It's nice and tall, easy to get in and out of when a good upright driving position. I'm done with recumbent seats.

Sat nav looks excellent too.
 

daktari

Member
Jan 21, 2017
908
1,030
Norway
A compact, but not small, family sized wagon. Seems rear seat legroom is huge. But the boot is smaller than the I-pace which is almost 100x100 cm.
 
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banned-66611

Guest
Battery appears not to be the same as the Kona as previously thought. Seems to have a slightly higher capacity, charging speed falls off a little slower.
 

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