Has one of Australia's electric car charging distributors just accidentally confirmed the Kia e-Niro is coming?
Kia hasn't announced if, let alone when, its first pure-electric vehicle will be offered in Australia. But a post on LinkedIn claims the brand's twin to the Hyundai Kona Electric, the e-Niro, is coming to local showrooms.
Jet Charge boss, Tim Washington, said on the social network he's "excited to announce that we have partnered with Kia to deliver dealer charging solutions for the upcoming Kia e-Niro".
However, Kia Australia insists plans to import the e-Niro haven't been confirmed.
“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,” said Kia Australia spokesman, Kevin Hepworth, reiterating what he told CarAdvice in September.
"We’ve gone as far as we are installing charge points into dealerships, and all dealerships are having technicians trained in servicing electric vehicles," Mr Hepworth said last month.
"We want it to happen, we’re pushing very hard to make it go ahead (however) neither (the e-Niro or e-Soul) are confirmed,” he added at the time.
Mr Hepworth said Kia is still working on the business case for two electric cars for Australia.
Kia initially planned to have the city-sized SUV here for the Australian Open tennis tournament in January 2020, but global demand has forced the company to aim for a 2021 arrival.
It's also considering the Soul EV, which is similarly sized to the e-Niro, but has a slightly more spacious interior thanks to its boxy exterior design.
The e-Niro shares its battery and motor with the Hyundai Kona Electric. It's offered with a 39kWh battery pack good for 289km of range, and a 64kWh battery – the same size as the Kona EV sold locally – promising 455km on the tougher WLTP test cycle.
The electric Kia Soul (above) is offered with the same battery packs and the e-Niro.
Stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest.