In what the company claims is a global first, the EV can be built on the same production line as the gas model.
Kia Motors introduced the first Korean-made electric vehicle Thursday, with the launch of the Kia Ray EV. It’s outwardly identical to Kia’s 1.0-liter gas-powered Ray CUV, which went on sale in Korea last month. In what the company claims is a global first, the EV can be built on the same production line as the gas model.
The front-wheel drive Ray EV sports a 50-kW motor and a 16.4-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack. It claims a range of up to 86 miles, and a top speed of 81 mph. Recharging time is six hours using a 220-volt circuit, or 25 minutes in fast-charge mode. An EV-specific navigation system shows the locations of the nearest charging stations. Korea now has around 500 stations, and the government plans to increase the number to 3,100 by the end of 2012. Other nifty features include the Ray’s Virtual Engine Sound System, which plays recorded engine noises when the car is driving at slow speeds or backing up.
For now, Kia plans to sell the Ray EV solely in Korea. The company intends to manufacture 2,500 units in 2012, all of which will be sold to government departments.