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Kia Niro EV concept claims 383 km of range as Kia bets big on EVs, autonomy

9 January 2018 - Autoblog

Kia Niro EV concept claims 383 km of range as Kia bets big on EVs, autonomy

Kia has a lot to talk about at this year's CES, and one of the biggest announcements is the claimed range on its Niro EV concept.

If the concept has any bearing on a future production Niro EV, it won't simply be a rebodied version of the Hyundai Ioniq EV, which has a 110-mile range. Instead, Kia says the Niro EV concept has a range of 383 km. Those in the know with EVs will recognize that this is the very same range as the Chevy Bolt EV. The range comes from a 64 kWh battery pack, and it supplies power to a 150 kW electric motor, which equates to 201 horsepower. Again, that's a dead ringer for the Bolt EV, which makes 200 horsepower. If these numbers all translate to production, Kia will have a serious EV contender.

Kia also made it clear that it's getting serious about electrified vehicles. It announced that by 2025, it will have 16 vehicles with some form of electrified powertrain. Of those vehicles, five will be new hybrids, another five will be plug-in hybrids, and one will be a fuel-cell electric vehicle. That fuel-cell car is due to come out in 2020.

Finally, Kia is showing off some other interesting technologies at CES, many of which will be demonstrated in interactive Niro EV concept interiors. A number of these technologies involve how occupants interact with the car, such as with facial and vocal recognition, and touch and gesture controls. Apparently one example of the touch controls is on a leather-wrapped section of the Niro EV steering wheel.

Possibly the most interesting and practical technology is dual-zone audio. Kia's system uses speakers in headrests along with active noise-cancelling to allow front-seat and back-seat passengers to listen to two different things simultaneously without disturbing the others, and without the use of headphones. This could be seriously attractive for families that fight over whether to listen to news or music. No timeline was given for when any of these technologies might reach production.

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