A positive experience with the Soul electric vehicle has given Kia greater confidence as it prepares to open the order book for its latest electric model, the e-Niro crossover, by the end of the year.
The brand has revealed its e-Niro fully electric SUV at the Paris Motor Show.
The new model has a maximum range of 301 miles and will launch with a high-profile advertising campaign fronted by actor Robert De Niro.
Paul Philpott, Kia UK chairman and chief executive said: “The most important part of electric is management of residual values. We have been tracking RVs for the Soul EV and the encouraging news is that they are strengthening month-on-month.”
It indicates growing acceptance in the used market as people become less concerned about battery deterioration. Kia also offers its seven-year warranty on the battery, giving customers greater confidence.
E-Niro will launch with the higher output 64kW battery giving range of 300 miles with first deliveries next March. Supply will be tightly controlled and grown progressively to maximise residuals while pricing will be announced closer to launch.
Sales mix for the car will be 65% hybrid, 25% plug-in hybrid and 15% full electric in the first year.
“Full electric will grow as the infrastructure grows,” said Philpott. “That’s the main barrier left because range issues are being addressed.”
Kia will extend its electric network to all retailers from January; currently sales are restricted to 33 outlets. This reflects to rising volume as well as Kia’s ambition to bring more electric cars to market.
Unlike some rivals, Kia is not promising to offer an electric option on every model. The Picanto, for example, will be available only with petrol.
“We will put the appropriate powertrain as we see fit,” Philpott said. “We also have no plans to commercialise hydrogen yet. We will bring it to market when it’s commercially appropriate to do so.”
A high-capacity 64kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack provides a combined average driving range of more than 301 miles on a single charge, producing zero on-road CO2 emissions.
On the WLTP urban cycle, the e-Niro is capable of driving up to 382 miles.
Fleet customers will also be to specify the e-Niro with a 39.2 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, with a range of up to 193 miles from a single charge. Plugged into a 100kW fast charger, it takes only 42 minutes to recharge the e-Niro’s battery from 20% to 80%.
Models equipped with the long-distance 64kWh battery pack are paired with a 204PS motor, producing 395Nm torque, enabling the e-Niro to accelerate from 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds.
The standard 39.2kWh battery pack is matched to a 136PS motor, also producing 395Nm torque, and accelerating to 62mph 9.8 seconds. Like the Niro Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid variants, the new electric model is front-wheel drive.
E-Niro also features a range of technologies to enhance battery efficiency and improve the car’s range, including regenerative braking, Coasting Guide Control (CGC), and Predictive Energy Control (PEC).
CGC and PEC are linked to the navigation system and account for upcoming corners and topographic changes, suggesting when drivers could coast in order to harvest additional energy.
Full UK specification, pricing and on-sale date is yet to be confirmed.