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Kia's e-Niro crossover goes almost 300 miles on a charge

It arrives in Europe at the end of 2018.
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Kia has launched the e-Niro, an all-electric version of its hybrid Niro, with some pretty strong claims about the range. The Korean automaker says it can travel 485 km (301 miles) on a charge, which would make it one of the longest-range EVs in the world. That's due in part to an optional 64 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery that's fairly large for the size of the car, along with a regenerative braking system. Kia's Driving Assistant System (Eco DAS) also extends range by telling the driver exactly when to coast or brake.

If you stick strictly to urban environments, the e-Niro can go 615 km (382 miles) on the WLTP urban cycle ("Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure"). If you need less range, a cheaper 39.2 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, with a range of up to 312 kilometres (193 miles) is also available. Provided you can track down a 100 kW fast charger, it takes only 42 minutes to recharge the e-Niro's 64 kWh battery from 20 to 80 percent.

The e-Niro is equipped with steering wheel paddles that let the driver tap three levels of energy recuperation. Like Nissan's Leaf, it uses a heating system that warms up the battery when it's charging, minimizing losses in the cold. It also has a pump that draws heat energy from the AC and electrical systems and delivers it back to the occupants to further improve efficiency.

Kia is making its range claims using Europe's new WLTP combined cycle, rather than the old NEDC tests. WLTP is less generous than New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), which let Renault, for one, claim 400 km (250 miles) range with the Zoe, when it could go more like 160 miles in the real world. However, WLTP is still a bit more manufacturer-friendly than EPA tests, which tend to show even lower ranges.

Models with the 64 kWh battery pack a 150 kW motor, producing 395 NM torque, which boosts the e-Niro from 0-to-62 MPH in 7.8 seconds. The standard 39.2 kWh battery pack is matched to a 100 kW motor, which will take you to 100 km/h (62 MPH) from a standstill in 9.8 seconds. Like the Niro hybrid and plug-in hybrid models, the e-Niro has front-wheel drive.

The e-Niro comes with an optional advanced driver assistance system, offering level 2 autonomy to keep it in the lane and follow other cars. It's also equipped with a standard vehicle stability system that keeps things steady under heavy braking and cornering.

Otherwise, the e-Niro offers the fairly bland styling of the hybrid Niro models, with similar features. It will enter production soon and go on sale in select European markets by the end of 2018, but there's no word yet on US availability.

Follow all the latest news from Paris Auto Show 2018 here!

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