Niro is Kia's

electric hero

Kia e-Niro, Paris reveal 2018
Kia Ceed GT-Line, Paris reveal 2018
Kia Proceed, Paris reveal 2018, Emilio Herrera (left) and designer Gregory Guillaume

KIA is joining the long-range electric vehicle club with a battery powered version of its Niro compact SUV.

Rated at more than 300 miles on a single charge under official tests, it is one of a handful of electric cars currently available that have credible range.

And around town the e-Niro is even more energy efficient notching up some 380 miles on the new WLTP test programme.

The e-Niro, which will be available in the UK early next year and priced from around £28,000 including the Government grant for low emission vehicles, made its European premiere at the Paris Motor Show where Kia also took the wraps off a sporty new GT-Line version of its latest Ceed hatchback.

The Korean car maker also revealed a performance oriented Ceed GT and a new Proceed flagship for the range with a shooting brake style body to rival crossovers.

Like the e-Niro, the newcomers will be on the road early next year as Kia continues its push of new models.

Emilio Herrera, Kia's European chief, said: "Annual sales of electric vehicles across Europe are expected to reach 200,000 this year, rising to nearly one million units by the end of 2022, while the crossover market is also forecast to continue expanding in the coming years.

"The e-Niro is a clear demonstration of the progress Kia has made in delivering comfortable, practical and fun-to-drive vehicles that lead the way in zero-emissions driving."

He said that Kia planned to have no fewer than 16 electrified vehicles pn the road by 2025 and the company was planning to launch a fuel cell EV within two years.

The e-Niro is Kia's second pure EV and will be powered by a 64kWh battery - the same powertrain as used by its Hyundai sister ship, the Kona EV.

With such a range the e-Niro is up with the likes of the Jaguar I-PACE and American-made Teslas as the only electric vehicles which can near 300 miles on a single charge.

The e-Niro's motor develops 204ps giving the car a 0 to 60 acceleration of 7.8 seconds - quicker than the hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions which Kia already sells.

Meanwhile, the extended Ceed family was getting it first public exposure with the three new models completing the European-built range.

The Proceed and GT models were unveiled a couple of weeks ago but the Ceed GT-Line is completely new and comes with sporty body cues such as black highlights around the grille, new-look bumpers and brightwork around the front fog lamps.

It will be available in both hatch and estate body styles and the GT-Line treatment also includes a black roof lining. It sits on 17-inch alloys with 18-inch rims an option.

Engines in the GT-Line are Kia's 1.0-litre three cylinder and 1.4-litre turbo petrol units as well as the company's new 1.6 Smartstream diesel developing either 115 or 136ps.

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