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Kia e-Niro 2019 gears up for Australia

If confirmed, the e-Niro will be Kia's first fully electric vehicle in Australia.

Kia Motors Australia (KMAu) is in the final stages of confirming the fully electric e-Niro for a local launch, with two other battery-electric vehicles set to follow.

The vehicle, which made its European debut at the Paris motor show last month, may go on sale in Australia before the end of next year, according to KMAu general manager of media and corporate communications, Kevin Hepworth.

"We are pretty confident we will have the e-Niro in by next year," he said.

"That will be followed, in a managed time scale, by a small passenger vehicle and a larger SUV-style vehicle."

It's unclear what the two other electric vehicles will be, however it is believed that they will be built on a dedicated electric vehicle platform.

While high-end brands like BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz have all revealed road-going electric SUVs, Kia is the first mainstream carmaker to announce plans for a fully-electric, large SUV Down Under.

When asked if Kia's EVs will carry existing nameplates with the 'e' prefix, like the e-Niro, Mr Hepworth was unsure, however he revealed that the brand has a policy that all EVs should be immediately identifiable.

"People should recognise it as an electric vehicle," he said. "It doesn't need to have wings or whatever. But there should be recognition that this is a specific vehicle, and to that purpose it sits on a specific electric-vehicle platform."

Pricing for the e-Niro is still up in the air, though Mr Hepwroth said that it would not be in the $60,000 plus bracket like earlier electric vehicles from competing manufacturers.

"They will be marketed with the ever-present, unchanging Kia philosophy of great value," he said.

"It is a fact of life that they will be more expensive than an equivalent petrol vehicle.

"There is no point in putting a product out there that your key market (customers) can't afford. Early adopters will always pay more for a product. Not because they can, but because they want to have the newest, latest, greatest.

"We are not expecting to sell a lot of them. No one is going to sell a lot of electric vehicles initially."

Will the Kia e-Niro be a big seller when it arrives Down Under? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.