Kia has charged out Korea’s first full battery-electric vehicle, a city car dubbed the Ray EV.
A virtual clone of one of the Asian maker’s conventionally powered multi-purpose minicars, the lithium-ion-powered Ray EV will get about 86 miles per charge, the maker says. And, significantly, it will outperform the gas-powered 5-door.
Like its sibling Hyundai, Kia has been slow to embrace battery power, only recently introducing its first hybrid in the key U.S. market, a version of the midsize Optima sedan. But both Korean brands have announced plans to aggressively expand their electrified offerings, with an array of conventional hybrids, plug-ins and full battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, under development.
The Kia Ray EV uses a 16.4 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion polymer pack – about the same size as the larger Chevrolet Volt, and a third smaller than the battery pack in the Nissan Leaf. It powers a 50kW, or 67 horsepower, electric motor which turns out 123 lb-ft of torque.