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Kia Niro makes world debut at 2021 Seoul Mobility Show

The new Kia Niro SUV has made its world debut at the 2021 Seoul Mobility Show ahead of its arrival in 2022.

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It’s a vital part of the brand’s rapidly developing plans for a more sustainable future – the current e-Niro is Kia’s best-selling EV – and will be a core model for fleets.

Powertrain details for the second-gen model have not been revealed but Kia has confirmed it will be available with hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric powertrains, as with the current version, starting from next year. The brand announced last month that it will only sell electric and fuel cell vehicles by 2035 in Europe and 2040 in key global markets and is gearing up to become a ‘Sustainable Mobility Solutions Provider’. It’s already seeing some progress; Kia’s EVs in the UK outsold diesel for the first time in October.

The company’s global plans are being boosted by the new Niro which, the brand says, “facilitates another step toward a more sustainable future”.

Completely redesigned from the ground up and heavily influenced in looks by the 2019 Habaniro concept, the new Niro is intended to “appeal to the complex needs of sustainability-conscious consumers”.

As with the newly revealed EV9 concept shown earlier this month, there’s a focus on sustainable and recycled materials. The headlining in the cabin is made from recycled wallpaper, the seats are made from Bio PU with Tencel from eucalyptus leaves, and BTX- free paint – a water-based paint formulated to avoid hazardous chemicals – is used on the door panels to minimise the impact on the environment and reduce waste.

Design also transforms Kia’s signature ‘tiger face’ while the front-end also gets new ‘heartbeat’ LED daytime running lights.

Kia is also debuting new ‘Greenzone Drive Mode’ technology. Similar to the BMW eDrive Zone digital service, the technology automatically switches hybrid and plug-in hybrid Niro. Models into EV drive mode in green zones such as residential areas, or nearby schools and hospitals. It’s based on navigation feeds as well as driving history data.

Alongside cleaner vehicles, Kia also announced this month that it’s working to reduce carbon emissions in all operational factors; from supply, logistics, vehicle production and vehicle use through to disposal of waste. The brand has committed to achieving carbon neutrality through its value chain by 2045.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.

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