By Lulu Chang

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kia nero ev niro

It’s been a few months since Kia first showed off its concept of the all new Kia Nero EV at CES 2018, and now, the Korean carmaker has debuted the zero-emissions vehicle in earnest for the first time at the International Electric Vehicle Expo in Jeju, South Korea.

The compact crossover is the latest offering in Kia and sister brand Hyundai’s pledge to produce 31 electrified vehicles by 2020, an ambitious goal that the two companies are well on their way to meeting. While the all-new Kia Nero EV will make its official debut in September at the Paris Motor Show, we’re learning a bit more about what to expect ahead of time.

The 64kWh lithium-polymer battery pack will give the new car a 236-mile range, making it possible for folks to take pretty significant road trips before being stopped to recharge. Alternatively, buyers could opt for a slightly less-souped-up battery pack at 39.2kWh — this will give the vehicle a range of 149 miles.

From a design perspective, the Niro has new front and rear light treatments, as well as a brightly lit Niro EV logo on the back bumper. The concept car debuted at CES also had backlit perforated leather trim, as well as Kia’s HMI infotainment center, which boasts face and voice-recognition technology for a more secure system.

This is not the first Niro Kia has produced. As it stands, there are also versions of the car as a hybrid, which depends upon a 1.6-liter engine and an electric motor, as well as a plug-in hybrid called the Niro PHEV. It’s unclear whether those cars will remain in production once the latest EV rolls into the market, though it would make sense to keep all three in play — that way, customers would have the option to choose between a hybrid, plug-in, and fully electric car.

According to Kia, the company has already received 5,000 orders for the Niro EV in Korea, and the car will officially go on sale later this year. Other markets will follow shortly thereafter, and we’ll be sure to update you with details once we hear more about a U.S. launch.

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