Kia may produce all-electric version of the Niro crossover

Niro may join Ioniq, Soul among Kia's all-electric vehicles.

  • Image Credit: Kia
Kia is considering producing an all-electric version of the Niro, the crossover vehicle that was the first from the South Korean company to be designed as a dedicated hybrid vehicle. Kia Motors operating chief Tae-Hyun Oh told the UK's Car Dealer magazine that the Niro's size, utility, and hybrid pedigree, along with stricter worldwide emissions mandates, may push the automaker to make a Niro EV. Kia, whose sister company Hyundai sells the hydrogen fuel-cell Tucson crossover in limited numbers, is also considering making a fuel-cell car in order to boost its green-vehicle pedigree further.

Kia has sold more than 1,000 Niro hybrid vehicles since that model debuted in August. An all-electric Niro would be based on the same platform as the Kia Ioniq. That model has hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery-electric variants, reflecting what Kia said earlier this year was a three-pronged attack to broaden the Ioniq's exposure. The all-electric version of the Ioniq, which debuted in South Korea earlier this year and is slated to start sales in the US by the end of 2016, has a 28-kilowatt-hour battery pack that provides a single-charge range of about 110 miles.

Currently, Kia sells an all-electric version of the Soul crossover. That model can go 93 miles on a full charge, though reports surfaced in September that the Kia Soul will get a refresh in 2018 that will boost its single-charge range in order to better compete with longer-range models such as the Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3.

The Niro was first shown off as a concept model at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, while a production version was unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show this February.

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