Does it have a future here in America?
If you go right now to the Kia USA website you won't find the new 2020 Kia Niro EV. Only the 2019 Kia Niro EV is advertised with a starting price of $38,500, which does not include federal and state tax breaks. Given Kia's recent announcement about plans to shift a chunk of its current EV inventory to Europe along with the fact that the Niro EV isn't exactly a strong seller in America, does this mean the model won't return for 2020 to US dealers? Thanks to Torque News, we officially have the answer.
James Bell, Kia's North American Director of Corporate Communication and Social Media, has gone on record regarding the vehicle's US status: "The Niro EV will continue in the Kia line up and is an important part of our future plans."
Unfortunately, we still don't know when the Kia website will be updated with 2020 model year details, but rest assured the fun-to-drive EV crossover isn't going anywhere. It wouldn't make much sense if it would, despite Kia only selling around 100 units monthly. Remember, the Niro EV's corporate cousin, the Hyundai Kona EV, has proven to be a strong seller in popular EV markets, specifically California. Electric vehicles have yet to go mainstream, but sales are gradually increasing.
Now that 2020 has arrived, the beginning of a new decade, automakers continue to jump on board the EV bandwagon.
In case prospective Niro EV customers still suffer from range anxiety, there's also the standard conventionally-powered Niro and the Niro PHEV, both of which have lower starting prices of $23,490 and $28,500, respectively. According to the EPA ratings, the 2019 Kia Niro EV is capable of traveling up to 239 miles on a single charge. The Tesla Model 3 Standard Range, for example, has an EPA range of 250 miles, while Long Range versions can deliver 322 miles.
Point being is that the Niro EV is competitive against the Model 3 and costs less money as well. It would have been a mistake for Kia to discontinue it from the American market after only a single model year.