The Kia Niro EV concept broke cover at the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show 2018 in Las Vegas. Its main talking point is the driving range - 380km! That is quite phenomenal for an urban crossover and truth be told, the Niro EV may not be too far from production reality. Kia points out that the Niro EV isn't based on Hyundai's Ioniq platform and uses a 204PS electric motor that draws energy from a 64 kWh battery pack. The Hyundai Ioniq Electric, on the other hand, uses a 27-kwh battery pack that feeds every to 118PS motor.
The concept shown at CES draws inspiration from the production-spec Niro, but has an elevated stance and a wider C-pillar. Up front, the traditional grille is replaced with an interactive display panel. This, in conjunction with the interactive lighting system, creates a visual communication between the vehicle and the pedestrians. Since the silent movement of EVs is also a point of safety concern, Kia has incorporated what they call the Active Pedestrian Warning System (APWS). The system is front-facing cameras, object recognition technology and speakers mounted on the face of the car. Whenever the system detects pedestrians or cyclists, the vehicle plays an audible warning focussed specifically at the person to warn them of the vehicle's movement.
On the inside, Kia has incorporated active noise canceling speakers within the head restraints. The idea behind this is to let users at the front and back listen to different music if they like without disturbing each other or without having to use headphones.
Whether these technologies make it to production, remains to be seen. Kia hasn't given any specific timeline on when the Niro EV will go into production, but we expect a late 2018 arrival.