Kia will launch an electric version of its small Picanto in Europe within the next three years.
The next generation Picanto goes on sale next year and electric versions will go into production in Korea in 2012.
The Picanto EV will be powered by a 50kw lithium polymer battery, preferred by the South Korean carmaker to lithium-ion because they are smaller and produce more power according to Chi Young Jeong, senior research engineer at the company's technical centre in Namyang.
Last year Kia launched an LPG hybrid version of its Forte C-segment model on the domestic Korean market - a precursor to diesel hybrid systems that will come to Europe within the next two years, according to company insiders.
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