Interview: Kia Niro; What does it look like when it is working well? Depends on needs and the version you have

We have talked recently with Roland Rivero Kia’s product manager, about their Niro in particular, their car that has electric options to it. While there are many specific product features, introducing electrification vehicles into the Australian market requires understanding and finesse.

In our chat Roland discusses

  • The split between the different versions from the car which in percentage terms will be: 20% for the fully electric model; 70% for the mild hybrid and 10% for the plug-in hybrid
  • Why is a plug-in hybrid percentage so low when it can do over 50km on batteries, which is good for many trips in the urban area and then have the flexibility of a petrol engine for long trips.
  • When does the petrol engine come in? When the battery runs out or when you need a surge of power (more than 70% of the throttle) or for holding a high speed (over 129 km/hr).
  • The value of a plug-in hybrid is an indication of an evolving nature of helping the customer understand how they might choose and use a vehicle to their advantage.
  • The key element is the customer’s circumstances
  • The Niro they have now imported into the country was launched overseas some years ago and it is due for an update within a year. How does that affect the sales now?
  • Kia is not just putting its toe in the water but is implementing a long-term strategy with the electrification of vehicles.

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