Dec 30, 2011
Chris Weiss

Korea’s First Electric Vehicle: Kia Ray EV

Kia has introduced the Korean market’s very first EV in the way of the Ray, a boxy urban car. The new model will begin production next year, with Kia supplying it to fleet customers for testing.

The Ray is essentially an electric version of the efficient Ray CUV, which went on sale in Korea last month. The Ray EV shares the Ray CUV’s dimensions and will be built on the same assembly lines as the gas model.

The only exterior features distinguishing the EV from the CUV are its grille-mounted charging hardware, fast-charging port in place of gasoline door, ‘Zero Emissions EV’ badging and 14-inch alloy wheels. Inside, a unique instrument panel serves to deliver information about the electric motor. The EV-specific navigation system conveys information about the nearest charging stations and the distance the vehicle can travel at its level of charge.

The Ray EV uses a 50 kW motor to power the front wheels. The motor gets its juice from a high-capacity 16.4 kWh lithium ion polymer mounted under the rear seats. That battery provides up to 86 miles of range and recharges in six hours via 220V connection or 25 minutes with fast-charging system. The Ray EV is capable of speeds up to 81 mph, so it’s good for highway driving as well as city driving.

Kia’s Vehicle Engine Sound System (VESS) ensures that pedestrians are aware of the vehicle when it’s backing up or traveling at speeds below 12 mph.

The Ray EV utilizes two drive modes to maximize performance and efficiency. Eco mode optimizes torque flow and decreases battery use to maximize range. Brake mode maximizes braking performance for hilly or mountainous terrain.

Kia plans to build 2,500 units next year and send them to government offices for testing. No word on when they’ll get it to the consumer market or if it will travel to other markets.

1 Comment

  • very cool car seems like more EV cars are becoming more stylish. One thing i would like to see with the EV’s and hybrids is the price go down on them a little bit, if that happened i think alot more people would be more interested in them.

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