Kia Motors has just 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 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, launched 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 packaged under the rear seat and cabin floor.
Although the Ray EV weighs 187 kg more than the gasoline model, the electric motor’s torque, 167 Nm, ensures responsive performance. The EV’s 0-100 km/h acceleration is quicker than the gasoline models while top speed is rated at 130 km/h. Recharging times are six hours using a 220V household supply and just 25 minutes in fast-charge mode.
The Ray EV’s automatic transmission offers the driver a choice of two modes while in ‘D’ drive. ‘E’ (or ‘eco’) mode optimizes the delivery of the motor’s torque to achieve minimum battery consumption and maximum driving range. ‘B’ (or ‘brake’) mode can be selected when driving downhill on highways and on mountain roads to maximize braking power.
Kia is planning to manufacture 2,500 units of the Ray EV 2012, which will be provided to government departments and public offices as part of Kia’s long-term real-world research and development program. Kia's goal is to provide environmentally friendly transport to their customers around the world during the next decade.