The Kia e-Niro has been named the “Best Electric Car” for 2019 at the UK Business Car Awards, adding another feather in the hat for the compact battery electric SUV which went on sale in the UK in December 2018.
Awarded the title ahead of five finalists including the Audi e-Tron and Jaguar I-Pace as well as the Kona Electric from fellow South Korean carmaker Hyundai, the Nissan Leaf and the MG ZS EV.
Judged by a panel of experts including well known road testers, the Kia e-Niro was awarded the title for, among other things, its ease of use.
This is thanks in part to the driving range of the 64kWh e-Niro model, which is 455km on the WLTP cycle.
The Kia e-Niro is often compared to its EV twin, the Hyundai Kona Electric – which is also available with a 64kWh battery and longer range – but is slightly longer at 4375mm compared to the Kona’s 4180mm and this equates to more leg room in the back and more trunk volume.
Announcing the winner of the award at an event held in London on Wednesday, director of fleet and accident management at the AA Stuart Thomas said, “The Kia e-Niro combines the range capability of a premium electric car with the accessibility of a high-specification family crossover.”
The Kia makes the ownership experience of an electric car very easy and sets a new benchmark.”
While the e-Niro was the only Kia model to claim a title this year, it was joined by other Kia model s0 the Ceed, Stinger and Stonic which were recognised as finalists.
“It’s fantastic to see such a range of Kia models recognised within the awards this year,” said John Hargreaves, GM of fleet and remarketing at Kia Motors in the UK.
“They all offer unique fleet options for businesses, whether it be an electric option such as the e-Niro or a driver focussed model such as the Stinger.”
The Kia e-Niro has won at least two other awards this year including the coveted What Car? Car of the Year award – the first time Kia has taken home the prestigious title.
It also gained recognition as the contender in Autocar’s “Best Affordable Electric Cars 2019” awards when it was dubbed a “game-changer” in May 2019.
The Kia e-Niro has been slated for Australia, with early validation models spotted on Sydney roads ahead of a supposed 2020 release.
Excitement was sparked last week when founder of EV charging solutions provider Jet Charge Tim Washington stated on networking site Linked In that a partnership had been secured with Kia dealers.
“The Aussie EV landscape is getting more exciting every day, and today we’re excited to announce that we have partnered with KIA to deliver Dealer charging solutions for the upcoming KIA e-Niro,” he said.
However, it is understood that Kia have still not yet set a date for release for the e-Niro in Australia.
“Essentially what we are doing is making as much infrastructure preparation as we can in the hope that the car will get the all-clear some time in the future,” Kia Australia spokesman Kevin Hepworth told Car Advice.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.