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Another year, another auto show, and it seems an electrifying trend has taken root. What some may have thought was a passing phase has once again returned. The hot concepts coming to the 2019 New York International Auto Show are all electric vehicles. This week in technology, the 2019 NY Auto Show is what’s happening, and more than 40 vehicles showed up with some form of electric powertrain. This year, Tesla is going to have some competition with these concepts, but there is one in particular we fancy.
“The industry is going through tremendous change, and there’s no better example of that than the number of electrified vehicles now coming to market,” said Mark Schienberg, head of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association.
That statement so true with concepts like the Kia HabaNiro concept. Possibly set to be the first all-electric platform vehicle to come from Kia Motors, the HabaNiro could also make or break the claim of becoming an all-electric automaker. Although Alper Celik, Senior Product Manager for Kia Motors Europe, is confident that Kia can do it better than their competitors, the HabaNiro will need to have some serious selling points.
- Let’s talk about range. Driving on an all-wheel drivetrain (AWD), another trend for automobiles today, and always a plus for uncertain driving conditions. The Kia HabaNiro has an All-Electric Range (AER) of 300 miles.
- Slick design. Being able to drive 300 miles with zero emissions must take a lot of power. How do we keep it cool? The signature tiger-nose grille has been elongated to resemble a shark’s snout, with a set of gloss black aluminum “teeth”-shaped cooling blades. Coming in vibrant colors that pop, the four-seat vehicle is outfitted with protective metallic grey cladding, with a bright “Lava Red” aero panel and roof.
- Technology. The cooling blades for the electric platform are like those found on high-end electronic equipment. Another cool piece of technology is the front windshield Heads-Up Display (HUD) system that activates when the driver looks at the rearview mirror or the location of where it should be. Through HabaNiro’s Eye Tracking System (ETS), the driver’s eye movements can be read through an artificially intelligent (AI) system.
- Artificial Intelligence – This is where we’re skeptical. The 2020 Kia Telluride promised a lot of cool technology in the original Kia Telluride concept. Not all of it went into production. Sure, the Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving (R.E.A.D.) system Kia Motors presented at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show was cool, but is it viable in the next few years?
- It’s an “everything car”. Designed to fit the purpose and functionality of every vehicle segment, the all-electric platform is in the shape of a skateboard. The onboard batteries and motors are mounted in a such a way that they free up space for passengers and cargo that would normally be devoted to the engine compartment.
The first level of electric vehicles could barely top 100 miles per charge, and it took Tesla to set the score with an all-electric range of 200 miles. Could Kia Motors really do it any better? We’ll see soon enough. Let us know your thoughts on NowCar social media.