Motoring News

Big plans from KIA for multi-model Niro

Niro Plus ‘purpose-built vehicle’ (PBV) for some markets

• Even to Niro Plus taxi model for hide operators

• Units for business/recreation in some markets

SEOUL, South Korea – Kia has revealed Niro Plus, its first ‘purpose-built vehicle’ (PBV) to help people and businesses move beyond traditional automotion and to benefit future mobilitit.

It will be deployed as a general model and as zero-emissions taxis, modifying the first-generation Niro EV to meet the demands car-hailing with the target being a market leader by 2030 with PBVs of different shapes and sizes to cater for customers’ evolving needs and market.

The first, for 2025, will be similar in size to a mid-sized vehicle but with “scalability”.

Sangdae Kim, head of Kia eLCV Business Division, told The Corner: “We’re transforming to focus on popularising electric vehicles and introducing mobility products tailored for users globally to serve a market that holds great potential for development.” 

NIRO PLUS FOR WORK AND PLEASURE

Kia told The Corner it is planning a “general” Niro Plus for private buyers which can be used for various business and recreational purposes – including the already mentioned hailing services.

“For example,” The Corner was told, “Kia is envisaging a scenario in which a small-business owner will use a Niro Plus for work during the week then make the most of its versatility for weekend leisure activities such as camping, hitting the beach, or heading for the mountains.”

Larger PBVs would follow, perhaps even regular buses or mobile offices, and as plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hybrid (HEV) electric vehicles according to country-specific characteristics and needs.

WHAT ABOUT A TAXI VERSION?

The Niro Plus taxi model will be based on the first-generation Niro EV – Kia’s electric crossover. Since its launch in 2018 this version.

Several enhancements have been made to the first generation Niro to make the Plus ready to meet the robust demands of taxi operators. Length and height have increased by 10mm and 80mm respectively (compared to the first-generation Niro without roof rack to enlarge cabin space.

Slimmed-down structures have also contributed to the greater cabin space: the Niro Plus taxi has thinner seats and door trim.

An ‘all-in-one’ display for the taxi version should improve convenience and safety for the driver.

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