affiliated automakers hyundai and kia have basically just doubled the number of all-electric models they sell here in the u.s., so we can't blame you if you're a little confused. until recently, the only all-electric models available were versions of the hyundai ioniq and kia soul, but debuting at the 2018 los angeles auto show were forthcoming evs based on the hyundai kona and kia niro, with an electric version of the redesigned soul just around the corner.
confused yet? well, here's the important stuff: the ioniq and the outgoing soul were relatively low-range by today's standards, with epa-rated ranges of just 124 and 111 miles, respectively; the kona ev, with a higher-capacity battery, is now rated at 258 miles. ranges for the next-generation soul ev and the new niro ev are still pending, but both have the same battery, which suggests that we should soon see them join the small but growing ranks of 200-plus-mile electric cars.
that brings us to the niro ev. it rides the same platform as all-electric versions of the kona and the redesigned 2020 soul, so it gets a 201-horsepower electric motor that puts out 291 pounds-feet of torque; it draws all that power off a 64-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack.
drivers can choose between eco, normal, sport and eco plus modes that balance comfort, drivetrain response and efficiency. visual differences versus the niro hybrid are what you'd expect for any electric car, including a closed-off grille, some aerodynamic effects on the bumpers and side sills, and special 17-inch wheels. the battery pack cuts cargo space by about 1 cubic foot, kia says, while the interior gets unique blue-highlighted upholstery and an available rotary shifter.
related: 2018 los angeles auto show: what you missed
the car goes on sale in well-equipped ex and ex premium trim levels. watch the video above to learn more about caveats regarding availability of the 2019 kia niro ev, as well as its on-sale date.
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