Kia has introduced a new mid-rung variant of its Kia e-Niro EV which makes the 64kWh range-topping battery pack available in the sub-£35,000 price bracket, and therefore eligible for the government's £2500 plug-in car grant.
Last week, the government cut the plug-in car grant from £3000 to £2500, and lowered the threshold from £50,000 to £35,000 - meaning several electric cars at the lower end of the price spectrum became ineligible for the subsidy. The e-Niro range was effectively cut in two, with the shorter-range 39kWh variant remaining eligible, but the longer-range 64kWh car excluded from the grant.
Now, Kia has added the new e-Niro '2' Long Range, which pairs elements of the entry-level trim package with the bigger battery of more expensive variants. It is available to order now, and customer deliveries will begin in July.
Priced from £34,945 before the grant (so £32,445 on-the-road), the new model is capable of an official 282-mile range, and can be charged from empty to 80% capacity in less than an hour using a 100kW fast charger.
Kia claims the new model offers "more range than any other sub-£35,000 electric vehicle".
The 2 Long Range also uses the e-Niro's higher-output 201bhp electric motor, so gets from 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds and tops out at 108mph.
Standard equipment comes from the entry-level e-Niro, so the infotainment touchscreen is an 8.0in item and the wheels are 17in in diameter. But smartphone mirroring functionality is equipped as standard, as are a reversing camera, rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control and keyless start.