Kia launches Korea’s first electric vehicle with the new Ray EV. In its first phase of production in 2012, 2,500 units of Ray EV will be be provided to government agencies for test and evaluation.
Kia Ray EV will be built in the same produciton line as the petrol version, because apart from the powertrain, they are basically the same.
The EV is about 80kg heavier though, because of its electric motor which is a a 50kW unit with 167 Nm of torque, backed by 16.4 kWh lithium ion polymer battery pack. It has a range of 139 km (86 miles) and a recharge time of six hours (25 minutes with fast-charging systems). Its simple transmission has different driving modes with ‘D’ drive, ‘E’ (or ‘eco’) and ‘B’ (or ‘brake’) that can be selected when driving downhill on highways and on mountain roads to maximize braking power.
The performance is frankly terrible. Zero to 100 km/h (62mph) takes 15.9 seconds and the top speed is 130 kph (81 mph). Kia says it’s brisker than the gasoline models, and that begs the question, how bad is the gasoline model?!
For the driver’s peace of mind, the Ray EV comes with first-ever EV-specific navigation system that features a 7-inch screen and provides crucial information for EV drivers such as the nearest locations of the slow/fast recharging stations. The display shows a circular shaped area in which the model can travel with its current level of battery power, so that drivers can see which destinations are reachable without a recharge.
In terms of safety, the car with six air-bags, and electronic stability features – VDC (Vehicle Dynamics Control) and HAC (Hill Assist Control, to prevent roll-back) – as standard. It also features a VESS (Virtual Engine Sound System). These days it’s mandatory for electric cars to have this system.
Looks like Kia has covered all the bases for an electric urban commuter with the Ray EV.