Kia’s Niro hybrid has just been launched in Europe and the United States and the automaker is already thinking of producing an all-electric variant.
At the opening of a new dealership in London, Kia Motors’ chief operating officer, Tae-Hyun Oh, told UK's Car Dealer magazine that they are considering an all-electric Niro. In an effort to meet stricter local emission regulations, Kia is “looking at a feasibility study to develop a Niro which is electric.” Kia already has plans to offer the Niro as a plug-in hybrid, taking into account what parent company Hyundai has done with the Ioniq, Kia may want to try the three pronged attack with the Niro too.
Sourcing batteries for a Niro EV won’t be a problem as the automaker is already using LG Chem’s batteries. Currently, one of the more high profile uses of LG’s batteries is in the upcoming Chevy Bolt which has an EPA-estimated 238 miles of range per full charge. A similar range could appear in the Niro EV if it ever goes into production.
Kia wants to increase their lineup of alternatively-fueled vehicles and Tae-Hyun Oh reiterated the company’s future plans. “We are looking at all the possibilities, because we have launched a hybrid, followed by a plug-in hybrid, and we’ve already launched an electric vehicle. So in the coming years we are prepared to launch a fuel cell. In this sense I think we are at a good stage to cover everything in the sector.”
The possibility of Kia producing a Niro EV is high, but we won’t really know until the automaker makes an official announcement.