Kia Motors has signed a MoU with the state of Andhra Pradesh that signifies its long-term commitment to building eco-friendly vehicles at its Anantapur plant. As part of the agreement, the company has gifted the state government a Kia Niro Hybrid, a Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid and a Kia Niro EV.
ICE-powered vehicles will help Kia foray in India and expand its business to become a high-volume brand, but the company will eventually launch alternative energy vehicles. In addition to the provision of the three Niro vehicles to the Andhra Pradesh government, it has announced that it is installing a vehicle charging station at Vijayawada, for representatives from the regional government to charge their eco-friendly vehicles.
The Niro is the South Korean automaker’s first model developed on a dedicated eco-car platform. Introduced in early 2016, initially it was available with a hybrid powertrain made up of a 1.6-litre GDI petrol engine, 240-volt, 1.56 kWh Li-ion polymer battery pack, 32 kW electric motor and 6-speed DCT. Its fuel consumption is as low as 3.7 L/100 km (Euro 6d TEMP), which converts to an impressive fuel economy rating of 27.03 km/l.
The Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid followed last year. It uses a bigger, 360-volt, 8.9 kWh Li-ion polymer battery pack and a more powerful, 59 kW electric motor. Its fuel consumption is far lower, just 1.3 L/100 km (Euro 6d TEMP), which converts to a notably higher fuel economy rating of 76.92 km/l. It can go up to 36 miles (58 km) on pure electric power.
The Kia Niro EV, also called Kia E-Niro, is available in two configurations. The basic employs a 39.2 kWh battery pack and a 100 kW electric motor. The high-end uses a 64 kWh battery pack and a 150 kW electric motor. The driving range (WLTP) is 289 km for the standard configuration and 455 km for the long-range configuration. Kia has provided the long-range Niro EV to the AP government.
Kia Motors is planning locally produced hybrids and electric vehicles, but it hasn't announced a launch plan for the Niro. Its President and CEO, Han-Koo Park, has said that a made-for-India EV will arrive by 2021, and we reckon he was referring to a battery-powered variant of the sub-4 metre SUV that will debut at Auto Expo 2020.
[Image Source 1: twitter.com]
[Image Source 2: twitter.com]