As part of Kia Motors future vision that includes 16 new advanced powertrain vehicles by 2025, the Korean auto maker unveiled the Niro EV electric vehicle concept at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Output is provided by a high-capacity 64 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack, paired with a powerful 150 kW electric motor. The Niro EV Concept suggests a driving range of 238 miles (383 kilometers), with zero tailpipe emissions.

The Niro EV concept sports an aerodynamically-efficient body that incorporates a smooth interactive display panel with ultra-slip lamp technology where the traditional grille would reside. allows air to slip over, around and beneath the vehicle with ease. The Niro EV Concept’s crossover profile resolves at the rear with sharp trailing edges to allow air to flow more easily off the back of the car.

New driver assists

Taking into consideration the Niro EV’s silent operation, the concept features a new Active Pedestrian Warning System (APWS) that combines front view cameras, object recognition technology and front speakers. If a pedestrian or cyclist is crossing in front of the car, the systems sounds speakers as an alert targeted specifically at that person, warning them of the car’s presence. APWS is matched by the Niro EV Concept’s new interactive lighting system, which offers users and pedestrians a highly-intuitive visual communication with the vehicle.

In addition to incorporating a new battery electric powertrain, Kia also says the vehicle will unveil an innovative approach to human-machine interface (HMI) as well as a motion graphic lighting system.

“Virtual reality, self-driving cars, and full vehicle connectivity were all once considered technologies of the distant future,” said Dr. Woong-cheol Yang, vice chairman and head of the Hyundai-Kia R&D center. “As they rapidly become a reality, Kia is exploring how to adapt these new technologies for its customers. At CES we will share our strategy and vision for future mobility, and exhibit a range of advanced technologies that our customers can look forward to,” said Dr. Woong-cheol Yang, Vice Chairman and Head of Hyundai-Kia R&D Center. 

The Niro EV is also part of a larger electrification effort at Kia. “By 2025, we will offer a total of 16 advanced powertrain vehicles, with five new hybrids and plug-in hybrids, five new battery EVs, and an all-new mass market FCEV. Due to launch in 2020, this FCEV will spearhead Kia’s efforts to realize a zero-emission future for mobility,” said Yang.

Technology showcase

Kia will also have on display new in-car features it will be offering in current and future production vehicle. This interactive ‘Beyond Autonomous Driving’ exhibit showcases existing and future technologies which will be building blocks in the company’s program to develop vehicle autonomy and mobility services.

As part of the display, Kia has three interactive, cockpit-style mockups showing how this new technology will be incorporated to enable a higher level of communication and interaction between vehicles and their occupants. Among the systems highlighted are advanced driver assistance technologies and control functions, as well as the world’s first in-car 5G connection.

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