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Kia Unveils Korea’s First Battery Car

Ray EV gets 86 miles per charge and outperforms gas model.

by on Dec.22, 2011

The Kia Ray EV is Korea's first battery car.

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.

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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.