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Kia Powers Forward on the Road to Electrification

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You’ve probably heard about EcoDynamics being mentioned a lot from us. It is an innovative technology aimed to contribute to the sustainability of our planet by reducing fuel consumption and emissions. Kia is one of a few global automakers developing all types of electric propulsion technologies including a parallel hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric vehicle and fuel cell electric vehicle. Kia puts continuous efforts to come up with the best solution to reduce CO₂ emission.


Today on Kia BUZZ, we’d like to show you a bit of Kia’s stylish environment-friendly vehicles, the Ray EV production model as well as three other concept cars – the Venga EV, the POP and Naimo, to prove that pursuing environment friendliness does not mean giving up on design.

Kia Venga EV


Kia’s zero-emissions, all-electirc, plug-in Venga EV concept car made its world premiere at the Geneva Show in March 2010. It features an electric powertrain placed within the existing engine bay and a twin-pack battery located under the (slightly raised) trunk floor. It could drive approximately 160 km (99 miles) on a single charge – Sufficient for most daily commuting needs – with acceleration to 100kph (62 mph) in 15 seconds and a top speed of 130kph (80 mph).

Power comes from a high-efficiency kW electric motor and a battery pack. The pack used innovative LiPoly (Lithium Ion Polymer) technology which is much more resistant to ambient temperature fluctuations – a crucial factor in battery electric vehicles – and could be recharged to 100 percent in five hours using a household current.


Unveiled at the 2010 Paris Show in September, the unconventional features of the POP – its side-window design, dot-pattern head and tail lights, back-lit front grille, full-length glass roof, and simplistic looking wheels – all pointed to inspiration from outside the usual automotive spheres, such as gliders and high-speed bicycles.


Inside, the purple color scheme created a calm and peaceful environment within the space-ship like three-seater cabin. Behind the front bench seat, the single rear seat was positioned at an offset angle, resulting in remarkable legroom for a 1,740 mm (5.7 ft) wide car with a wheelbase of just 2,055 mm (6.7 ft).


Kia Naimo


The third electric vehicle, 3.9-meter (12.8 ft) long Naimo concept car made its world premiere at the Seoul Motor Show in March 2011. Naimo can drive up to 150 km/h (99 mph) and can go 200 km (124 miles) on a single charge.

Conceived by Kia’s international design team in Seoul, the uncomplicated overall design was accentuated by a number of striking key details, such as the wraparound widescreen and asymmetric sunroof design, and the front and rear dot-style LED lights. Simple & complex is a common trait of many traditional arts and crafts, while the typical jade coloring of Korean pottery gave Naimo its unique exterior finish. The showcar was fitted with special low-drag 20-inch diameter alloy wheels. Inside, Naimo was designed to evoke a strong sense of tranquility and featured hand-crafted materials alongside modern features such as a TOLED (transparent organic light emitting diode) instrument panel.

Kia Ray EV


The Venga, POP and Naimo joined Kia’s growing fleet of hybrid, electric and fuel cell vehicles and played a part in the development period for the next vanguard on Kia’s road to electrification – the Kia Ray EV. Korea’s first mass produced battery electric vehicle celebrated its premiere in December 2011 and is now on sale to government agencies in Kia’s home country with plans to expand sales to the general Korean public in 2013.

The front-wheel drive Ray EV is powered by a 50 kW 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. The Ray EV offers drivers’ a choice ‘E’ (‘eco’) mode which minimizes battery consumption and maximizes range or ‘B’ (‘brake’) mode to increase regenerative braking power when driving on downhill mountain roads.

Although the Ray EV weighs more than the gasoline model, the electric motor’s generous torque of 167 Nm (an increase of 77 percent) ensures lively performance, with faster acceleration (0-to-100kph (62mph) in 15.9 seconds) than the gasoline models, plus a top speed of 130 kph (80 mph) and a range up to 140 km (87 miles) on a single charge.

Kia’s first full EV for global markets is expected to be based on a compact CUV model and will go on sale during 2014. Kia is continuously studying market trends and keeping options open to add further EV models to its product line-up if there is sufficient consumer demand.

At present, electric vehicle technologies do not provide the ultimate transport solution that is ideal for every motoring situation and free from all limitations, due to the infrastructure issues such as the battery charging and price. Research work is continuing across broad range of candidate technologies here at Kia, and we hope EV will soon become the ultimate transport for our future, to become the best solution for the environment.

Learn More

Get more information and images of our featured electric vehicles from our previous BUZZ postings:


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