The South Korean brother of Hyundai – Kia – has also chosen the Consumer Electronics Show over the North American International Auto Show in Detroit to debut their latest green model, the Niro EV Concept.
Kia has also used CES to deliver their latest mobility strategy – nicknamed ACE – which includes a full model range of connected cars by the year 2030, with more than 16 electrified vehicles already out and about by 2025 – and that includes hybrid, EV, or FCEV power. The ACE name is an acronym of the focal points – autonomous, connected, and eco/electric, so Kia also has plans for self-driving cars, with Level 4 autonomous driving technologies ready for 2021.
Back to the Niro EV Concept, we can see how the prototype has just about the same design credentials as the regular Niro, with some aerodynamic streamlining here and there. There’s one big and obvious change, though – the lack of a standard grille (there’s no need for one in an EV), which has been swapped for an interactive display. This in turn is part of an interactive lighting system used in urban environments for visual communication with other users and pedestrians. The prototype also features a system named Active Pedestrian Warning System, used to alert people of the silent Niro. The interior, meanwhile, is envisioned with “greater user interaction with new technologies and features”.
In terms of mechanical credentials, the Niro EV Concept comes with a ready for production series high-capacity 64kWh lithium-polymer battery pack hooked to a single 150 kW motor – and Kia mentions the powertrain is part of a next-generation unit that will be used in the near future for series produced vehicles. The new Niro EV Concept is expected to be able to cover up to 238 miles (383 kilometers) on a single charge.