The latest plug-in hybrid vehicle to arrive on the Irish market is the Kia Niro, which the company claims will give an electric-only driving range of up to 58 kilometres.
Plug-in hybrids, which owners charge themselves, have become a lot more popular in recent years as motorists opt to combine traditional petrol motoring with an ability to run on electricity. As they have grown in popularity, so too have their ranges and Kia is claiming 58 kilometres for the new version of the Niro, which comes into the crossover passenger car category.
Cars like this are best suited to people who have access to charging, either at home or at work, on a regular basis but the petrol engine is always there as a back-up or for longer journeys where charging might not be feasible.
The price of the new Niro is €35,995 - plug-in hybrids with their larger batteries are not cheap - and that price includes both VRT reductions and sustainable energy grants.
Kia is also making string claims for the car's emissions and consumption figures, citing CO2 emissions of just 29 g/km and fuel consumption of 1.3 litres of petrol per 100 km - figures that really need to be tested in real-world driving conditions, which we shall do in the not-too-distant future.
The Niro has been given a 5-star safety rating in the EuroNCAP testing process and comes with advanced emergency braking and smart cruise control as standard. It also gets leather upholstery, heated front seats and steering wheel, reversing camera, satellite navigation and Apple and Android compatibility.
The engine is a 1.6 four-cylinder petrol engine that combines with the battery and electric motor to give 14 horsepower and a 0 to 100 km/h time of 10.8 seconds.