Kia’s New Plug-In Hybrid Gets a Bigger Battery

November 30, 2017, 7:25 PM UTC
2018 Niro Plug-In Hybrid
2018 Niro Plug-In Hybrid
Courtesy of Kia/Photo Bruce Benedict

Kia unveiled Thursday a refreshed version of its Niro at the LA Auto Show, plug-in hybrid that now boasts a moe powerful electric motor and larger battery.

The 2018 Kia Niro Plug-in, the company’s third plug-in model, will be able to travel up to 26 miles in electric mode. The electric range still puts it behind the dominate Chevrolet Volt, which has a pure EV charge of 53 miles. But it the new Kia Niro will be in line with other competitors like the Toyota Prius Prime and Hyundai’s Ioniq Plug-In.

The Kia Niro’s total range, when it’s gassed up and charged, is up to 560 miles. The 1.6-liter gasoline direct engine is the same as before. But this model as a bigger 59 kilowatt-hour lithium-polymer battery pack and a powerful 60-horsepower electric motor.

The vehicle is expected to arrive in dealerships by the end of the year.

The Kia Niro is part of the Korean automaker’s plan to triple its global lineup of alternative fuel vehicles by 2020, which includes the Niro, Optima Hybrid, Optima PHEV and the Soul EV.