Kia Niro EV Helps Usher in a New Generation of Technology

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

Kia has unveiled the Niro EV Concept at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show.

The all-electric concept car made its world debut in Las Vegas at CES 2018 and the Korean automaker is also using the show to outline its vision for future mobility and technology strategies. Not only does the new concept represent the next step in the company’s ongoing journey to electrification, it also features a never-seen-before human-machine interface (HMI), along with an advanced new “motion graphic” lighting system.

Attendees to the show also get a chance to see three interactive, cockpit-style exhibits that are designed to show how Kia will incorporate new technologies to enhance communication and interaction between occupants and vehicles. Those new technologies include new advanced driver assistance technologies and pioneering HMI functions, along with the world’s first in-car 5G connection.

All of Kia’s presentations at CES 2018 fall under the automaker’s new “Boundless for all” vision, which Kia says will bring a future in which opportunities for mobility and transportation are limitless. The company is also demonstrating a range of new technologies as part of its new “ACE” strategy to make its cars more Autonomous, Connected, and Eco/Electric.

SEE ALSO: 2017 Kia Niro Review

Kia says it plans to commercialize Level 4 autonomous driving technology with “Smart City” autonomous vehicle testing scheduled to start in 2021. By 2025, the automaker will adopt connected car technologies across every vehicle segment, with the goal of making every single model a connected car by 2030. As for the Eco/Electric element, Kia will introduce 16 new advanced powertrain vehicles by 2025, including a range of new hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles, as well as an all-new fuel cell vehicle in 2020.

One of those vehicles will be the Kia Niro EV, previewed by the concept in Las Vegas. Details haven’t been revealed just yet, but Kia did say the EV offers 238 miles of driving range on a single charge.

The company also announced the addition of UVO Agent for compatible Kia vehicles that allows Kia owners to interact with the Google Assistant on their phones or Google Home to execute a variety of remote commands. The Korean automaker says the integration with Google Assistant is now available on the 2018 Niro PHEV, Soul EV, Optima PHEV, and K900.

Simple voice commands such as, “Tell UVO to start my Soul EV,” or “Tell UVO to lock my Niro,” can be executed remotely through the new feature. Other commands include remote start/stop engine, remote climate control, remote charge start/stop, remote horn and lights, and remote lock.

In addition, the Google Assistant can provide owners with real-time answers, activate streaming music services, smart home devices, and smart car and connected car technology for seamless connectivity directly into Kia vehicles.

Discuss this story on our Kia Niro Forum

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

More by Jason Siu

Join the conversation
  • Lambo9871 Lambo9871 on Jan 09, 2018

    I think the production version will look nothing like the concept.

  • Chris Chris on Jan 09, 2018

    I was hoping when I saw this article that it might says they were playing with AWD. At least auto start must be on it in some capacity.