Kia Motors announces the arrival of their first electric vehicle, the Ray EV - which is also the first all-electric vehicle ever produced by a Korean manufacturer - that will be marketed in their homeland exclusively. Last month they unveiled the Kia Ray CUV (crossover utility vehicle), powered by a ‘regular’ 1.0-liter gasoline engine, and - powertrain aside - this new version retains most of the features of its slightly older sister, meaning dimensions, interior finishing and all that. This fact will allow the two versions of the Ray to share a production line, something that Kia claims to be a ‘first’ in the industry.
Kia Ray EV is equipped with a 50 kW electric motor and a 16.4 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack that is located under the rear seat and cabin floor. The engine produces an output of 67 hp and 167 Nm of torque, providing the car with a range of 139 km (86 miles) on a single full charge, that can be achieved in six hours via a standard 220V outlet and in about 25 minutes with the fast-charge mode. Although the front-wheel drive Ray EV is 187 kg (412 lb) heavier than its gas-powered counterpart, it boasts faster acceleration thanks to its 77% greater torque, sprinting from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 15.9 seconds, with a top speed of 130 km/h (81 mph).
Other remarkable features include a recharging station locator integrated into its navigation system (about 500 of them are currently in use in Korea, and another 3100 will be installed by the end of 2012), a regenerative braking system, Virtual Engine Sound System for speeds below 20 kph (12 mph), Hill Assist Control to prevent roll-back and two inlet charging ports located in the front grille and fuel filler cap (for regular models) for normal and fast charging. Kia plans to build 2,500 units in 2012, which will be used by government agencies and public offices, while it is unclear whether there are plans for exporting it in other markets. Click on the ‘Continue reading’ link below to see the basic specs of the Kia Ray EV.
View the full Kia Ray EV photo gallery