Kia releases first electric SUV with 385km maximum driving range

Park Sae-jin Reporter Posted : 2018-07-19 14:56 Updated : 2018-07-19 18:19
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[Courtesy of Kia Motors]

SEOUL -- South Korea's second-largest carmaker, Kia Motors, released a full electric vehicle version of its sport utility vehicle, Niro, which is capable of running for up to 385 kilometers (239 miles) with a single charge.

Niro was first released in 2016 as a plug-in hybrid SUV mounted with a 1.6-liter gasoline engine and an electric motor. "Niro EV", rolled out on Thursday, has a 64kWh battery system and a 204-horsepower electric motor.

Kia, an affiliate of Hyundai Motor, said Niro EV provides a semi-automated driving experience with smart cruise control and highway driving assistant (HDA) features. It is highly energy efficient as it can generate electricity while residual heat can be used to minimize energy for the operation of an air conditioning system.

The cheapest trim carried a price tag of 47.8 million won ($42,259) and the expensive trim was priced at 49.8 million won. With government subsidies, a driver in Seoul can buy the cheapest trim for 30.8 million won.

South Korea relatively has a low distribution rate of EV vehicles mainly because of high maintaining costs. Kia attracts consumers by running an aggressive promotion for Niro EV, including lifetime warranty for high-voltage batteries.