► New Kia e-Niro is here
► Second full electric Kia
► 300-mile range, on sale March
The Kia e-Niro blew into the Paris motor show, ushering in a new era of electric cars for the fast-growing Korean brand.
This is a significant moment for Kia: it's been selling the Soul EV for some years now, but it's only ever been a bit-part player (selling some 350 a year in Britain). Now the e-Niro EV is here, that number should - in time - sky-rocket.
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The new Kia e-Niro: the long-range electric car is here
The secret to the electric Niro's likely appeal is long range: Kia claims a 301-mile capability on a full charge, thanks to a capacious (and doubtless expensive) 64kWh battery. That battery is covered by the brand's industry-leading seven-year/100,000-mile warranty, incidentally.
The company will in fact sell two different capacities in Europe, but the UK won't import the lesser 39kWh battery. 'We want to hammer home the message that this is a car with a viable daily range - and one you can charge from 20% to 80% capacity in 40 minutes,' UK chief executive and president Paul Philpott told CAR magazine.
No prices have been set yet for the e-Niro, but Philpott hopes to announce the cost early in the new year, once the government's commitment to the plug-in car grant is known.
First deliveries are slated for March 2019 and all 192 UK dealerships will be trained to sell it (unlike the 33 specialists who've sold the Soul EV).
Kia Niro: the background
The Niro is now offered with a variety of hybrid and plug-in powertrains; globally 200,000 have been sold since 2016 (65,000 of them in Europe) and the arrival of the full electric version completes the set.
It's a timely arrival: Kia forecasts that pure EV sales in Europe will top 200,000 this year, rising to 1 million by 2022. By combining the market's thirst for electrification with the popular crossover bodystyle should broaden the e-Niro's appeal.
More on the e-Niro soon, once we've sat in it and met its creators at the Paris motor show.
Paris motor show 2018: our full guide