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Kia Corp. unveiled its its new electric SUV on Thursday, as the South Korean automaker and its affiliate Hyundai Motor Co. seek to catch up in the EV market.
The all-new Niro, an upgraded version of the model first released in 2016, will be available as a hybrid electric in the first quarter of 2022 and as an all-electric battery-powered model later in the first half, the automaker said at the Seoul Mobility Show. Kia didn’t disclose specs of the new model, including range or price.
“The all-new Kia Niro is an eco-friendly model that shows our will to realize sustainability,” Chief Executive Officer Ho-Sung Song told reporters at the auto show. The car uses environmentally-friendly materials, such as recycled fibers and benzene-free paint. The automaker aims to use 20 per cent recycled plastic in all models by 2030.
Niro’s first model gained popularity in Europe because of its price competitiveness and good driving range, said Kim Jin-Woo, an analyst at Korea Investment & Securities in Seoul. “The new Niro could be a reasonable choice for consumers seeking a compact electric vehicle if it has a driving range of more than 350 kilometers,” he said.
The previous model had a range of about 385 kilometers (217 miles) and cost around 46 million won (US$38,575). Kia had sold about 75,000 of the vehicles in Europe this year through the end of October, according to Hana Financial Investment.