CES: Kia Niro EV concept

10 January, 2018, 01:36 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Kia CES

The Kia Niro EV boasts an evolution of the current Niro's design, with fresh front and rear light treatments and an illuminated "Niro EV" logo on the rear bumper. Like Hyundai, Kia proposes a new era of transportation that the carmaker calls "Boundless for all" which includes both electrification and fully autonomous cars. "Due to launch in 2020, this FCEV will spearhead Kia's efforts to realize a zero-emission future for mobility", said Woong-chul Yang, vice chairman and head of Kia R&D Centre. "Virtual reality, self-driving cars and "vehicle-to-everything" connectivity were all once considered technologies of the distant future, but as they rapidly become reality, Kia is exploring how to deploy these new technologies for its customers". As part of this, the manufacturer also aims to have a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle on the road by 2020.

Kia also showed off three "interactive, cockpit-style exhibits" at CES to display its new range of in-car technology, with systems for autonomous driving, an all-new human-machine interface (HMI) and what Kia claims to be the world's first in-car 5G internet connection.

The styling changes are pretty noticeable and one of the biggest modifications is the elimination of a traditional grille which is no longer required for engine cooling. Instead, the Kia Niro EV is created to address several problems that have put off many potential battery-car buyers: range and charging times. The company says it's equipped with a 150kW electric motor, along with a 64kWh battery pack.

Boundless for all’ Kia presents vision for future mobility at CES 2018
CES: Kia Niro EV concept

Kia says the goal is "an innate sense of space and calm" inside the auto, which is enhanced by "soft shades of silver, grey, and bronze" on every piece of the interior.

Well, we can understand this decision from Kia because there is not much to say about the performance of the Niro EV. The safety system uses cameras to monitor for objects and is fitted with speakers to alert people who might be in the vehicle's way. The new HMI also allows drivers to "log-in" to the vehicle using face and voice recognition thanks to technology developed with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Consider the Niro EV Kia's signal to get into the plug-in mainstream when the toned down production version goes on sale in the second half of 2018. Kia says it'll start that process in Europe, offering one-way trips rather than demanding the auto be returned to the same starting point.


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