|James Brooks of Kia Motors with the new e-Niro and e-Soul|
This five-door, five-seat car completes the eco-friendly Niro crossover range alongside Niro Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid versions of which over 250,000 units have sold globally since the Niro's introduction in 2016. To date, Europe has accounted for over 100,000 sales of the hybrid crossover.
Plugged into a 100 kW fast charger, it takes just 42 minutes to recharge from 20pc to 80pc.
Kia say it offers buyers a convincing alternative to compact crossovers powered by traditional petrol or diesel internal combustion engines and gives owners the opportunity to complete both long distance drives and daily commutes with zero emissions and very low running costs.
The physical transmission has been replaced with a new 'shift-by-wire' rotator dial drive selector which extends out from the base of the central arm rest. The pair of paddles behind the steering wheel let drivers choose between five levels of energy regeneration and the driver can chose from Eco, Normal and Dynamic modes.
An 8-inch touchscreen enables owners source nearby charging points and monitor the level of remaining charge and range.
At 4,375 mm in length, it offers more cargo space at 451 litres than many other plug-in and electric vehicles. This can extend to 1,405 litres with rear seats folded.
The Medium Range option is from €33,495, has a range of up to 289 on a full charge, VRT relief and grants up to €10,000, a grant up to €600 for a home charger, and no BIK for company car drivers. The Long Range version, priced from €37,495, has a range of up to 455 on a full charge and the same grants as with the Medium Range and no BIK for company car drivers.
The new e-Niro is produced at Kia's Hwasung manufacturing facility in Korea. It is covered by Kia's 7-year, 150,000km warranty as standard. The warranty also covers the battery pack and electric motor.
Electrified models accounted for one in eight Kia cars sold in Europe last year, up from one in 10 the previous year. This new car is expected to add significantly to that tally.
Every exterior panel is new yet the car stays true to its boxy origins. At 4,194mm long, it is 55mm longer than the car it replaces.
With maximum torque of 395Nm available from a standstill, the long range e-Soul can do 0-100km/h in 7.9 seconds. Kia claims is up to 30pc more energy efficient than Europe's current best-selling electric car.
E-Soul K2 Long Range prices are from €35,995 (VRT band A0 annual road tax: €120), the K3 L/R is from €37,995. Both battery packs can be recharged from 20pc up to 80pc capacity in 42 minutes from a 100 kW DC fast-charger.
Both e-Soul and e-Niro prices include VRT reduction of €5,000 and €5,000 SEAI grant.
All versions are generously specced.