The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is rapidly turning in to a de facto Motor Show, and Kia has chosen CES to debut the electric version of the Niro in concept guise. Like Hyundai, Kia proposes a new era of transportation that the carmaker calls "Boundless for all" which includes both electrification and fully autonomous cars. There will be five electric cars in the group as well as a fuel cell SUV likely twinned with the Hyundai Nexo that was also unveiled at CES.
A spokesman for Kia UK said: "Kia is aiming to be a leader in electric vehicle technology and will have 16 electrified models in the range by 2025, many of which will be arriving very soon indeed".
Should the system detect a pedestrian or cyclist crossing in front of the vehicle, the speakers sound an alert targeted specifically at that person, warning them of the car's presence.
To differentiate it from the standard Niro hybrid and Niro plug-in hybrid, the EV Concept replaces the standard grille with an interactive display and slim LED lights. There's also a safety system with cameras to detect pedestrians or cyclists and an external speaker to warn them if they don't hear the Niro EV approaching. The interior, meanwhile, is envisioned with "greater user interaction with new technologies and features".
That power is a 150 kW electric motor, running off a 64 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack. "Due to launch in 2020, this FCEV will spearhead Kia's efforts to realize a zero-emission future for mobility", said Woong-chul Yang, vice chairman and head of Kia R&D Centre.
As for technology, the Korean automaker expects to commercialize Level 4 autonomous vehicles in smart cities by 2021.
The manufacturer already has one of the largest plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles presences of any manufacturer, and is looking to further this with the announcement of 16 new electric vehicles by 2025.
"Virtual reality, self-driving cars and full vehicle connectivity were all once considered technologies of the distant future". We wouldn't be surprised to see a Niro EV make it to production with at least some of the cool new tech displayed at CES.