Kia Motors have unveiled an all-electric version of the Niro Hybrid vehicle at CES this week.
The Niro EV Concept shows off Kia's focus on embedded communication technologies as well as an impressive range of 238 miles. If its production model is able to keep its concept specs the Niro will become a tough competitor against the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Tesla’s Model 3.
The Niro EV will nestle in among the existing Niro Hybrid and Niro Plug-in Hybrid vehicles in the Kia range. To make the EV stand out from the crowd Kia has thrown in a bunch of new technology and styling. The car's front grilles, no longer needed for air cooling, have been replaced with an interactive display and slim LED lights.
The concept vehicle also features Kia’s new Active Pedestrian Warning System, which means the Niro EV Concept can alert pedestrians or cyclists with both visual and aural cues if the car senses a collision is likely.
The interior of the car gets a high-tech makeover with audio and heating systems that are controlled by touch and gesture, as well as the steering wheel that acts like a remote.
Kia announces new 'ACE' strategy
Kia used CES 2018 to announce its new 'ACE' strategy to make its cars more Autonomous, Connected and Eco/Electric. Like many major carmakers, Kia is investing heavily in autonomous driving. Visitors to its CES display can interact with some of Kia's developing technologies through a VR simulator.
Kia has plans for large-scale testing of its autonomous driving technology on public roads by 2019. Dr. Woong-chul Yang, Vice Chairman and Head of Kia R&D Center described Kia’s autonomous driving vision:
“Kia’s connected cars will be both boundless and connected and offer a new kind of mobility experience. Virtual reality, self-driving cars, and ‘vehicle-to-everything’ connectivity were all once considered technologies of the distant future. As they rapidly become a reality, Kia is exploring how to deploy these new technologies for its customers. Our strategy and vision for future mobility is demonstrated by a range of interactive displays, showing what our customers can look forward to.”
Embedded communication rolled out by 2030
Kia outlined its plans to embed connective technology across its range saying: “By 2025, Kia will adopt connected car technologies across every vehicle segment, and aim to make every single model a connected car by 2030.”
Visitors to CES are able to get a glimpse of what this might look like with its presentation of a vehicle interface with 5G connectivity. Finally, Kia has announced its plans for a "zero-emission future for mobility." Vice Chairman Yang wrote in the company's press release: “Kia will introduce 16 new advanced powertrain vehicles by 2025, including a range of new hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, as well as an all-new fuel-cell electric vehicle in 2020.”