South Korean auto manufacturer Kia has announced it will release its first EV vehicle, named the Kia Ray EV. Though the Ray won't be coming Stateside anytime soon, the electronic vehicle does give us a glimpse into the future, towards EV products the company could eventually bring to the U.S.
Plans for the Kia Ray currently include a 2,5000 unit deal with the South Korea government for use by officials and agencies, but with stats like an electric range up to 86 mpg and an extremely fast charging times of a mere twenty-five minutes with the advanced charging option, we would certainly be pleased to see something like the Ray hit the States. (Traditional charging takes up to six hours, by the way).
The new Kia Ray EV is brother to a Ray CUV, which is already cruising the streets in Korea. It shares a similar design, including related engine parts. The new EV will work well with Korea's 500 fast/slow charging stations, which will be upped in number to 2,100 total stations by the end of 2012. Stations like this make the Ray easy to market in Korea; the U.S. has yet to offer these kinds of EV-friendly options to American drivers. The Ray EV will feature a 50 kW electric motor that produces 123 lb.-ft. of torque.
Though you won't be seeing a Kia EV on the American market this year, Kia of Chattanooga will be sure to let you know a Kia EV does arrive on the market here. In the meantime, why not check out some of our current fuel-efficient new Kia models? You're sure to save a buck or two with low prices and less trips to the gas pump!