With its new Niro, Kia has plans to follow the lead of parent company Hyundai through a three-phase launch.
The Korean automaker will be rolling out the Niro in three variations, with a battery electric version coming out in 2018. That’s the same template being used for the Hyundai Ioniq.
Hybrid and plug-in hybrid variations of the crossover utility vehicle had previously been announced. The company had been suggesting that an all-electric model may come out, but now it’s been confirmed.
“The model variant gets the same technique as the Hyundai Ioniq Electric,” said Michael Cole, chief operating officer at Kia Motors Europe.
Production of the Niro Plug-in Hybrid will start up next month. Cole said that the all-electric Niro will be available in 2018.
It will be powered by the same electric motor as the Ioniq electric. The 28 kWh battery is expected to carry it 124 miles on a charge. Hyundai does have plans to release a longer-range battery that could go over 200 miles on a charge; and that lithium-ion battery could also be used in the battery electric Niro at the time of its launch.
The 2017 Kia Niro hybrid has been scheduled to go on sale before the end of the first quarter of this year. It will have a base price of $22,890, without destination fee.
InsideEVs expects the plug-in hybrid Niro to get 26 miles of battery range, and should go to Kia dealers in the U.S. in October or November of this year.
For years, rumors floated that Hyundai was getting ready for a “Prius fighter” with the three-variation Ioniq eventually stepping into that role. Perhaps the Kia Niro will join that challenge.