By on November 29, 2018

2019 Niro EV

The electric vehicle onslaught from Kia continues with the introduction of its 2019 Kia Niro EV. A far larger battery than the Niro PHEV and fast-charge capability conspire to give owners more time behind the wheel and less time juicing up.

We suppose one of the goals of Kia’s Niro EV is to offer an all-electric alternative to those not enamored by the Soul EV’s inspired-by-a-toaster styling cues. After, all both share a lot when it comes to their powertrains.

If you caught our coverage of the 2020 Soul EV, then you’re pretty much up to date in terms of the Niro EV’s power numbers. A 64kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery is packaged under the floor, supplying electrons to a motor capable of making 201 hp and 291 lb-ft of torque. Able to DC fast charge at 100kW, users should be able to replenish 100 miles of range in about half an hour. Filling it up to 80 percent of total battery from near zero will apparently take about 75 minutes.

2019 Niro EV

When Kia designed and created the Niro, it was engineered to accommodate many different advanced electrified powertrains. First to arrive in 2016 was the hybrid, followed by a Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) version one year later, and now a fully-electric EV powertrain.

Another reason customer might select the Niro over the Soul? More space. While their electrical systems and drivetrain are identical right down to the final gear ratio, the Niro casts a 172.2-inch shadow compared to the Soul’s 165.2-inch footprint. Wheelbase and width are also greater, though the Soul is marginally taller. Kia’s own listed dimensions report the Niro outstrips the Soul in every single interior measure save for headroom, a direct result of the smaller car’s extra height.

2019 Niro EV

The company has not listed cargo capacities for the new Soul EV but last year’s car provided 18.8 cubic feet of storage with the rear seats up and 49.5 cubes with them folded. That machine is a couple of inches shorter than the new 2020 model. Kia lists those same measurements at 18.5 and 53.0 cubic feet, respectively, in the 2019 Niro EV.

Beyond interior space, though, the two cousins are remarkably similar. Steering is a bit quicker lock-to-lock in the Soul but the turning circle is the same in both cars. Brakes are the same size, and acceleration to 60 mph is within margins of error for each. The Niro is about 100 lbs heavier.

2019 Niro EV

The new Niro EV will be built in South Korea at Kia’s Hwaseong manufacturing facility, right alongside the Niro hybrid and plug-in hybrid. Pricing will be announced when it goes on sale early next year. Note the cheapest Niro hybrid currently starts at just $23,490.

[Images: Kia Motors]

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