All go for electric

Niro

Kia e-Niro
Kia Niro EV unveiled in Korea
Kia e-Niro cockpit

IT'S all go for the new generation of electric cars as improved battery technology increases the distance they can travel between recharges.

Official tests have confirmed that the all-new Kia e-Niro - due to be launched in Europe later this year - will offer owners a driving range of up to 301 miles on a single charge when it's fitted with an optional high-capacity 64 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery.

And even the standard version, with its 39.2 kWh power pack, will travel up to 193 miles before needing a recharge.

The impressive figures follow testing and homologation under the World Harmonised Light Vehicle Procedure - WLTP - the latest test regime which is conducted under real world driving conditions and designed to provide a more accurate reflection of actual on-road performance than the previous European tests.

On the WLTP ‘urban' test cycle, the e-Niro clocked a potential range of up to 382 miles in city driving - further than many petrol cars.

And, according to Kia, when it needs a recharge it will take a mere 54 minutes to provide an 80 per cent top-up when plugged into a 100 kW fast charger - enough time for a full English at the motorway services.

Models equipped with the long-distance 64 kWh battery pack are paired with a 150 kW (204ps) motor, producing 395 Nm torque, enabling the e-Niro to accelerate from 0-to-62mph in just 7.8 seconds.

The standard 39.2 kWh battery pack is matched to a 100 kW (136ps) motor, also producing 395 Nm torque, covering the 0-62mph sprint in 9.8 seconds.

The e-Niro will come with a range of smart technologies to enhance battery efficiency and improve the car's range, including regenerative braking, coasting guide control (CGC), and predictive energy control (PEC) features, which says Kia, will enable drivers to recharge the battery pack and maximise vehicle range when coasting or braking.

The two systems are linked to the navigation system and take into account upcoming corners and topographic changes, suggesting when drivers could coast in order to harvest additional energy.

The e-Niro will be Kia's first fully-electric crossover utility vehicle, joining existing hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants of the Niro - of which more than 200,000 have sold globally since its introduction in 2016. The all-electric model will be revealed in European specification at the next month's Paris motor show, before European sales begin later this year. Full UK specification, pricing and on-sale date will be announced nearer to the on-sale date.

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