Kia Motors introduced Korea’s first electric vehicle, with the launch of the new Kia Ray EV – a zero-emissions city car with lively performance and a range of up to 139 km (86 miles) on a single charge.
For supply exclusively to the domestic Korean market, the Kia Ray EV is a close relative of Kia’s 1.0-liter gasoline powered Ray CUV, which went on sale in Korea last month. It shares that model’s major dimensions and, in a global first for an EV manufacturer, can share a production line with conventional combustion-engine cars.
The front-wheel drive Ray EV is powered by a 50kW electric motor and a high-capacity 16.4 kWh lithium ion polymer battery pack that is engineered for a 10-year life cycle and skilfully packaged under the rear seat and cabin floor.
Japan and the USA are already considering the introduction of a legal requirement for EVs to have a virtual engine sound, and Kia has taken the first step to commercialise this system in order to anticipate the global industry’s trend.
During 2012, Kia is planning to manufacture 2,500 units of the Ray EV, which will be provided to government departments and public offices as part of Kia’s long-term real-world research and development program to provide environmentally friendly transport to Kia customers around the world during the next decade.