The year of the EV continues and the Kia Niro looks to be joining the ranks of heavy-hitters coming to Australia in 2019. Kia announced the all-electric SUV late last year and a lot of people are excited to see what it has to offer — but where will it sit in the rapidly-growing Aussie EV space?
The main draw for the Niro — and one that Kia has been more than happy to talk about — is the reported 455 km range for the 64 kWh model. This number has fluctuated significantly in recent months (anywhere from 426 to 485 km) but remains an impressive figure regardless of the exact number on release. And with Kia competing directly against affordable offerings like the much-touted Hyundai Ioniq we can count on price being a major selling-point
With range being such a big part of the Kia Niro EV, what kind of charging setup is it going to need to run effectively? The Niro is coming with the choice of two battery packs; the aforementioned 64 kWh and a lighter & more affordable 39 kWh option (offering a reported 289 km range).
Using a portable charger won’t cut it for a full charge, but might get you out of a scrap with 11 & 20 km/h charge output for 10 & 15 amp chargers respectively. This is obviously a last-resort for most people; JET Charge recommends installing a 7.2 kWh type 2 charger for your everyday charges at home.
Using a 7.2 kW charger the 64 kWh model will get a full charge in ~9.5 hours. Certainly not an impossible prospect for your day-to-day, especially when you’ve got over 400 km to play with once its charged. Kia have also revealed the Niro will be compatible with Combined Charging System (CCS) DC fast-charge as standard — capable of pushing out 80% charge in only 75 minutes.
On the road
Big batteries aren’t all the Niro has to offer. Early test-drives and reviews have been positive with many media outlets drawing comparisons to the Hyundai Kona EV. It’s not hard to see why, either, with both cars offering similar range (455 km vs. 449), pace (the Kona does 0-100 in 7.6 seconds, the Niro in 7.8) and offering 39 & 64 kWh models.
A recent test from Inside EVs found the Niro slightly edged out the Kona on efficiency & range, despite specs suggesting the Kona would be slightly better. It remains to be seen exactly how the pair stack up, but we’re very interested to see what Aussie buyers find once they’re both on the road.
It’s also important to mention that a new EV isn’t all that Kia is bringing to the table. The Niro will also be available in standard & plug-in hybrid models for those seeking a balance between range & efficiency.
Are you excited to see the Kia Niro EV come to Australia? Do you think it will stack up against the Hyundai Kona and the other EV offerings due this year? Let us know in the comments, be sure to check out our test drive of the new Ioniq and stay tuned for more EV news & updates.