That's a pretty sweet deal.
With no more federal tax credits available for foreign-built electric vehicles thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, the best deal many EV buyers can hope for is some free electricity from a partner charging network. The second-generation 2023 Kia Niro EV will come with such a deal, 500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of complimentary charging sessions from any Electrify America station in the United States. With a 64.8-kWh battery pack, this should allow Niro EV owners to drive around 1,950 miles for free.
"With the launch of the new Niro EV, we are expanding our collaboration with Electrify America to enable Niro EV drivers to experience all-electric road trips with the added benefit of quick recharging," said Steven Center, COO & EVP of Kia America.
While the deal is certainly better than the free tank of gas included with a new internal combustion engine purchase, it's not the best EV charging deal we've seen. The Kia EV6 included 1,000 kWh of free charging, which is enough to travel around 3,500 to 4,000 miles. Some vehicles like the Audi e-tron GT came with three years of complimentary charge sessions, which is an incredibly valuable deal. It appears that comprehensive multi-year deals are fading away in favor of smaller offers as EVs become more popular and buyers require less persuasion.
"Kia and Electrify America understand the importance of DC fast charging for electric vehicle drivers," said Giovanni Palazzo, president and chief executive officer of Electrify America. "We are thrilled to expand the collaboration and help provide Niro drivers with confident DC fast charging on our coast-to-coast network of 800 stations."
The Niro EV can drive up to 253 miles on a single charge, meaning owners could juice up their vehicle from empty to full around eight times for free. With charging speeds up to 85 kW, the Niro EV takes around 45 minutes to go from 10% to 80% state of charge.
A single electric motor delivers 201 horsepower (the same as the outgoing model) with 188 lb-ft of torque. That torque figure is lower than the previous Niro EV, likely to improve range and efficiency.
Those charging speeds are far less impressive than the EV6, but the Niro EV is expected to offer a more affordable starting price for buyers who want a budget EV. Kia recently announced that the standard Niro will start at $26,490, making it one of the most affordable hybrid vehicles on the market. If the Niro EV follows a similar pricing structure as the outgoing model, we expect it to cost less than $40,000.