Kia Niro: HEV, PHEV, or EV. Which should you use?
Kia’s award-winning flagship family crossover, the Kia Niro, is one of the most popular vehicles in the Kia range, second to the Kia Sportage. The Niro was launched just last year and introduces a brand-new design and three electrified powertrains including hybrid (HEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and fully electric (EV).
Since its release its received various awards thanks to its design, practicality, and eco-friendliness. In this blog we’ll delve into each variant and by the end you’ll be able to decide which variant suits you best.
Please note that international imagery is shown, NZ specifications may differ from what is referenced in this international press release. For more information, please contact our vehicle specialists.
Niro Hybrid (HEV)
Hybrid cars combine both a petrol-driven internal combustion engine and an electric motor. The Niro HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle) is equipped with a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine and an electric motor. HEVs are designed to maximise efficiency and decrease emissions by utilising the electric motor to assist the engine during acceleration and low-speed driving.
Hybrids do not require external charging since they recharge themselves through regenerative braking and the engine. This means you don’t have to worry about running out of charge at inconvenient times. Considering this, the battery in the Niro HEV is smaller compared to other Niro models.
The Niro Hybrid is an excellent choice if you value fuel efficiency and want to reduce your carbon footprint without fully transitioning to electric vehicles. These vehicles are especially ideal for urban commuters and drivers who frequently encounter stop-and-go traffic, as the electric motor helps decrease fuel consumption in such conditions. Additionally, the Niro HEV is a good option if you need longer driving ranges and prefer the convenience of refueling at gas stations.
However, if you are looking for transportation with zero emissions or longer electric-only driving ranges, then fully electric vehicles (EVs) may be a better match for your needs.
Niro Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV)
The Niro PHEV recently won the 2023 Red Dot award for Product Design. The model stood out for embodying ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy and its innovative use of eco-friendly materials in the interior, such as vegan leather made from eucalyptus trees, 75% recycled fibers in the rear cargo screen, and recycled wallpaper.
The Niro PHEV operates using both a 1.6-liter petrol engine and an 11.1 kWh battery. Unlike regular hybrids, PHEVs have larger batteries that require charging. This combination of components allows for greater fuel efficiency compared to traditional petrol cars.
The Niro PHEV has an EV-mode feature which allows it to rely solely on battery power for shorter distances, typically up to 40 miles. This makes it an excellent choice for urban drivers with shorter commutes. By frequently using the battery power alone, it helps reduce fuel costs in the long term. Additionally, if the PHEV’s battery is depleted, it can still operate using the petrol engine, unlike fully electric vehicles.
This is a significant advantage of PHEVs, as they offer a longer driving range compared to Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) since gasoline acts as a backup when the battery runs out. PHEV drivers also don’t have to worry about range anxiety or finding charging stations, which can be a concern for BEV owners.
So, if you desire the flexibility of a hybrid vehicle with the added benefit of electric-only driving for shorter commutes, while still having the option for a traditional car range for longer trips, the Niro PHEV is a suitable choice for you.
Niro Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV or EV)
The Niro EV operates using a powerful lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 64.8 kWh. It can travel up to 285 miles on a single charge according to the WLTP driving range standard. In city driving conditions, it can achieve an impressive 375 miles*.
One of the main advantages of EVs is that they produce zero emissions and offer a smoother and quieter driving experience compared to vehicles with gasoline engines. By eliminating harmful pollutants, EVs are a more environmentally friendly choice for consumers who want to reduce their carbon footprint. However, the trade-off for this eco-friendly advantage is limited range. Fortunately, advancements in battery technology have been improving in recent years and continue to do so.
Most EVs can travel between 200 and 400 miles per charge on average. When planning longer trips, it’s important to identify charging stations along the route to avoid concerns about running out of charge. Although EVs generally have a higher upfront cost compared to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), they offer greater long-term cost savings. The cost of electricity per mile is typically lower than the cost of gasoline, and EVs often require less maintenance and incur lower expenses due to having fewer components. Additionally, EVs offer the convenience of being able to charge at home, which may be appealing to many consumers.
One notable feature of the Niro EV, and a reason to consider investing in an EV in general, is the Vehicle to Load (V2L) function. This feature allows the car to serve as a portable power supply, using the EV battery to power other electrical devices. For example, you can connect your vacuum cleaner to the Niro while cleaning it, or use the car to power electrical equipment while camping remotely.
As Kia embraces a more sustainable approach to manufacturing, the Niro EV not only demonstrates its eco-consciousness through zero carbon emissions, but it also boasts vegan leather upholstery, further contributing to its environmentally friendly attributes.
Ultimately, selecting the appropriate Niro variant for your needs primarily depends on your personal preferences and lifestyle requirements. Some things to consider before coming to a final decision may be your daily travel, driving range requirements, costs, and access to charging infrastructure.
Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) provide extended driving range, whereas plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) offer flexibility. On the other hand, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) offer the benefits of emission-free driving, advanced technology, and a quieter driving experience, making them a more innovative and environmentally friendly choice.
Some images shown are overseas models. Images used for illustrative purposes only and may show optional extras. Driving range figure standards are calculated using the World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). Actual results achieved will differ according to operating conditions and driving style. The figures for the all-electric range reflect the expected results under WLTP and are pending homologation prior to final confirmation. Charging speed and motor performance figures refer to Kia test results, final figures will be communicated at a later stage.