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Kia e-Niro 2019: new electric range announced for what could be Australia's cheapest EV

Andrew Chesterton
Contributing journalist
CarsGuide

5 Dec 2018 • 3 min read

A measuring mistake has forced Kia to revise its much-touted EV range for its incoming e-Niro, with the independent organisation responsible for overseeing the process having applied the wrong testing procedure to what might well be Australia's cheapest electric vehicle.

As a result, Kia's Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) results have been revised downward, with the e-Niro now promising a range of 455km (down from 485km) for cars equipped with the biggest 64 kWh battery pack, and 289km (down from 312km) for the smaller, 39.2 kWh battery pack. The mistake impact sister brand Hyundai's Kona Electric, too, which has seen its range figures adjusted to 289km for the smaller battery pack and 449km for the bigger battery pack.

The e-Niro could well be Australia's most cost-effective EV when it launches in Australia next year, with Kia promising it will abide by Kia's philosophy of great value".

"They will be marketed with the ever-present, unchanging Kia philosophy of great value," Kia's communications chief, Kevin Hepworth, said at the car's Paris Auto Show unveiling. "It is a fact of life that they will be more expensive than an equivalent petrol vehicle.

"(But) there is no point in putting a product out there that your key market 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."

The e-Niro has just launched overseas, giving us a peek at the specification we can expect when the vehicle touches down in Oz.

Internationally, expect an EV-specific dash (ie: plenty of new blue trim), along with ambient interior lighting, wireless phone charging and an 8.0-inch infotainment screen that gets Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a host of EV features, like charge and range meters, and the ability to navigate to a charging point.

The e-Niro stretches 1805mm in width, 1570mm in height and 4375mm in length, and serves up a very useable 451 litres (VDA) of luggage space.

Watch for the e-Niro to land in Australia next year.

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