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The mild hybrid edition is expected to be followed by a plug-in variant and pure battery EV.

A pure electric Kia Niro may have received a production greenlight, according to an executive hint.When presented with a direct question about the rumored Niro EV at an event for the hybrid edition's arrival, Kia Motors America product planning VP Michael Sprague said "stay tuned," as quoted by The Truth About Cars.

The company has already confirmed plans to launch a plug-in hybrid with a larger battery pack. Responding to rumors of an EV, Kia's COO in October suggested a feasibility study was still underway before a final decision would be made.

The Niro and the related Hyundai Ioniq are both built upon a new platform that has been designed to easily accommodate electric powertrain technology. Previous reports claim a Niro EV would likely target the Chevrolet Bolt and Model 3 with 200 miles of electric range, but TTAC speculates an interim model could borrow the Ioniq EV's existing batteries for closer to 100 miles.

Hyundai-Kia last year announced plans to offer at least 26 electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid models by 2020. The mix is expected to include two long-range EVs.