Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Cars

Kia Niro EV Review — With 240 Miles Of Range, I Repeat: There Is No More Excuse To Not Own An Electric Car

CleanTechnica spent time behind the wheel of the Kia Niro EV for two days in Santa Cruz, California. I walked away feeling that, finally, we have no more excuses to not own an electric vehicle (EV).

CleanTechnica spent time behind the wheel of the Kia Niro EV for two days in Santa Cruz, California. I walked away feeling that, finally, we have no more excuses to not own an electric vehicle (EV).

Carmakers must really feel the heat when it comes to EVs lately. Kia started working on its Niro concept in 2014. Today, it has a hybrid version and, for those on the fence about going electric, a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). It also has a pure EV, which is what most of our readers care to learn more about. The key number speaks for itself — 240 miles of range. But beyond the range, this crossover is far more fun to drive than its internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts. So, what reasons can you find to buy a new gasoline car these days?

(Editor’s note: Well, there’s still one reason: The Kia Niro FE has a starting MSRP of $23,490, the Kia Niro LX $23,900, the Kia Niro EX $26,400, the Kia Niro S Touring $28,800, the Kia Niro Touring $32,250, and the Kia Niro EV’s price is likely to start around $37,000. With the $7,500 — if you can use it — that could be brought down to under $30,000, but that’s still considerably more than the lower priced trims. Many buyers simply can’t add $30,000+ to their budget for a people mover. It’s a shame, though, since electric vehicles can cut operational costs a great deal and save people in the long term, and it would be most beneficial to help the less wealthy get those savings. On the other hand, you can now get wicked good deals on used electric cars. So, there are ways to go electric on a budget, too — just not yet with 250+ miles of electric range.)

When I met Steve Kosowski, Kia’s Long Range Strategy & Planning Manager, it was obvious Kia is betting a lot on the Niro EV. Both he and Garrett Ono, Kia Product Strategy and Regulatory Compliance Manager, are very enthusiastic about the car, its future, and the role it plays at the company. Rightfully so — the Kia Niro EV is a winner according to the many journalists gathered to test drive the car. Notably, it was also a finalist in the 2019 CleanTechnica Car of the Year competition. The voters ended up giving the gold medal to the Hyundai Kona EV, but the Niro EV got the silver.

Stay tuned for an interview with both Garrett and Steve, as well as a longer test drive.

The Niro EV test drive was unique to me. After test driving EVs for 11 years, this was one of those rare times when range and charging weren’t on my mind. The first time it happened was also with a Kia, the Soul EV. The second time was with the Hyundai Kona EV, which shares the same platform as the Kia Soul EV. Stay tuned for more on that.

With 240 miles of range, the Kia Niro EV has enough range for a two-day stint. But the best features are the standardized wireless phone charging, auto-regen, anti-creep forward, and a few other things available across the Kia Niro lineup.

According to Steven Kosowski:

“Niro EV is a milestone vehicle for Kia and the Industry. It is the first mainstream EV crossover with real usable range — 239-miles — in a desirable design/style with a useful package, at an affordable price.”

Steve also talks about the fast pace of development at Kia:

“From Oct 2014 (first Soul EV launch) to Jan 2019, a little less than four years, the range has advanced from 93 miles to 239 miles (2.6×), and the battery energy density increased by +25%, while battery weight increased only 1.6x (640 lb to 1008 lb). Truly remarkable advancements in a short timeframe, and they align quite well with market/customer needs globally.”

Long trips in a Niro EV would be comfortable. The adaptive cruise control with the adaptive auto-regen means you drive the car with the steering wheel only. The lane keeping feature keeps the Niro EV well in its lane, but don’t take your hands off the steering wheel — it will remind you by beeping and, eventually, stopping. Can we call it autonomous level 2.5?

https://youtu.be/wvX8UFT3Y0U

Kia Niro EV, Final Thoughts

A decade of EV progression is leaving gas/diesel technology in the dust. It also makes the idea of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles difficult to grasp for daily commuting. Kia does a great job at presenting a compelling lineup of “alternative energy” vehicles and has no qualms putting its EVs center stage at auto shows. The official price for the Niro EV will be revealed next week, but I’m told it will be similar to other EVs with its range and capacity.

The final conclusion: the Kia Niro EV is a clear winner.

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.

 
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

Nicolas was born and raised around classic cars of the 1920s, but it wasn't until he drove an AC Propulsion eBox and a Tesla Roadster that the light went on. Ever since he has produced green mobility content on various CleanTech outlets since 2007 and found his home on CleanTechnica. He grew up in an international environment and his communication passion led to cover electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, renewable energy, test drives, podcasts, shoot pictures, and film for various international outlets in print and online. Nicolas offers an in-depth look at the e-mobility world through interviews and the many contacts he has forged in those industries. His favorite taglines are: "There are more solutions than obstacles." and "Yesterday's Future Now"

Comments

#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.

 

Support our work today!

Advertisement

Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports

Advertisement

EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats

Advertisement

Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Clean Transport

Originally published by Union of Concerned Scientists, The Equation. By David Reichmuth and Leslie Aguayo, a Climate Equity Program Manager from The Greenlining Institute Zero-emission vehicle...

Batteries

Arash Malek, the founder of Scentwedge, has shared a 3 year review of his Tesla Model 3. He has accumulated 80,000 miles in those...

Clean Power

Originally published on the NRDC Expert Blog. By Mohit Chhabra & Julia de Lamare A proceeding to reform net energy metering (NEM) policy is underway...

Cars

Norway’s Electric Car Association has released the results from its “Electric Car List 2021,” which includes survey responses on how satisfied electric vehicle owners...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.