During fall of 2018, we received more news about the three Kia Niro crossovers. There’s the original Kia Niro hybrid crossover, released in 2017, followed by the Kia Niro plug-in hybrid crossover by the end of 2018. Coming soon is an all-electric version of the Kia Niro, the Kia Niro EV. We got some great news about the interior of the Kia Niro EV and its all-electric range. Now with news about its recent recordings for the Europe model, we wonder if Kia Motors is still running tests and optimizing this electric crossover, or have the numbers for the U.S. been solidified?
Last time we discussed the Kia Niro EV, the powertrain had changed a bit from its original debut. For the Niro EV, Kia developed a next-generation electric vehicle powertrain with two options for consumers to choose from. The standard setup was a 39.2 kWh battery system that can travel 150 miles emissions free, but consumers can opt-in for the high-capacity 64 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack for 280 miles! That’s pretty great for an electric vehicle.
Now with reports coming from Europe about the Kia Niro EV, sold under the name e-Niro, we can’t help but wonder if Kia Motors is still working out the kinks of the powertrain on a global scale. The e-Niro in Europe, while powered by the high-capacity 64 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack, has been certified to provide a driving range of up to 301 miles on a full battery. It’s only a 20-mile difference, but when taking regenerative braking into account, and the fact that 20 miles is a lot longer than some people think, that’s one extra afternoon of commuting downtown before needing to charge up.
The reason the Kia e-Niro is seeing different numbers is due to the World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), a test developed by the European Union to test a vehicle and measure its fuel consumption and CO2 emissions from passenger cars, as well as their pollutant emissions. Broken down into four parts with different average speeds, low, medium, high and extra high, each part of the test contains a variety of driving phases, stops, acceleration, and braking phases to receive accurate results. The Kia Niro EV however is tested using the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) cycle designed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Not quite sure how one can affect the other, but if the only difference between the European model and the U.S. model is how the driving range was tested, then maybe those 20 miles are in the bag after all.
Like the U.S. Kia Niro EV, the e-Niro will also be offered a smaller, more affordable 39.2-kWh power pack for an all-electric driving range of 193 miles on a full charge. With no official release date for the Kia Niro EV just yet, before it hits showrooms, this electric crossover may surprise us all with more great news about its fuel efficiency, technology, and performance.