Kia Motors, one of Korea’s popular car manufacturers, has announced the launch of Korea’s first Electric Vehicle (EV) – the Kia Ray EV. If the first thing that popped into your mind was the sleek curves of a manta ray’s body when you heard the name “Ray” you’re not alone – that was my first though. However it looks like Kia has decided to go with a not-so-sleek boxy shape for the Ray EV. It shares the same dimensions as the Ray CUV (crossover utility vehicle) that was launched last month, but instead of the 1.0 liter gasoline engine, it makes use of a 50KW electric motor and a 16.4 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack to run.
The car is said to have a range of up to 86 miles (139 km) on a single charge. It can accelerate from 0-62 mph (100km) in 15.9 seconds, and has a top speed of 81 mph. The Ray EV is said to be rechargeable in six hours via a regular 220 V household outlet, and 25 minutes in fast-charge mode. Other features include a regenerative braking system that uses an Active Hydraulic Booster that uses the electric motor to create hydraulic pressure for the brake system. It also harvests excess braking energy to recharge its battery.
The Ray EV also has a Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS) that emits noises when the car is travelling at low speeds or reversing, and features a 7″ display that functions as a navigation system. The Ray EV will only be available in Korea and only to selected customers at launch – for testing and research purposes. No word on when Kia plans to release it to the rest of the world and to other people, but we’ll just have to wait and see.