After announcing roughly 22 % more range for the Soul EV and the introduction of two plug-in versions (BEV and PHEV) for the Niro, Kia is getting ready to introduce another electrified car in 2018.
The very successful Hyundai IONIQ with its three variants (hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all electric) seems to influence Kia’s decision of offering more cars with multiple powertrains. However, unlike its sister company Hyundai, Kia isn’t exactly betting on very aerodynamic efficient cars. On the contrary, Kia is betting in CUVs and SUVs, which are less aerodynamic cars. The reason why is given by a Kia Motors official:
“Last year, Niro sold more cars than Ioniq, and the small SUV’s trend continues to be in the eco-friendly car market, so we decided to concentrate on the electric car in the form of CUV. The small SUV has a large interior space and gained popularity not only in Korea but also in global markets.”
A senior official of Kia Motors recognizes that range is very important:
“The long-distance electric car ‘Bolt’, which General Motors released in the US last year, has succeeded, and the demand for long-distance electric cars is growing. Stonic is an urban SUV type long-distance electric car that aims to be the best in its class in terms of mileage and performance.”
The Kia Stonic – that we see in the first image – will get an electric variant and is expected to share the 88 kW electric motor with the Hyundai IONIQ, while getting a bigger battery that pushes its range to 300 km (186 miles) – at least 44 kWh.
We already know that the Hyundai IONIQ EV will get a bigger battery capacity next year, this makes me think that the Hyundai IONIQ EV, Niro EV and the Stonic EV will share the same 44/46 kWh battery in 2018 – that Hyundai says that will improve the IONIQ EV’s range to 200 EPA miles (322 km).
At the moment Kia and Hyundai are probably the automakers that offer the best value for the money. They sell affordable cars that are reliable and have great warranty (7 years). It’s great to see these two South Korean automakers embracing electric cars and being powered by also two other South Korean companies, which are LG Chem and SK innovation.
What do you think about Kia’s bet in bigger electric cars and which car do you think will be more successful? The Soul EV, Niro EV or the Stonic EV?