Kia Ray EV is Korea’s first step into electric car market


South Korea Kia automaker has just unveiled its first production electric vehicle for the country. Since Kia and Hyundai are sharing the same technology, it is a signal that Hyundai will have its version out soon.

The Kia Ray EV will be used mainly for the metropolitan area. The electric car is compactly built and can provide up to 86 miles of driving range, but that also depends on your driving conditions as well. Too much pedal to the metal, and you will see a shorter driving range.

To power the Kia Ray EV, a 16.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack is used to for a 50-kW electric motor that drives the front wheels. Even though the electric motor produces about 123 pound-feet of torque, its 0-60 mph time is slow. But for comparison sake, it can sprint from 0-62 mph in about 15.9 seconds. And that is slow by most standards, but its top speed at 81 mph should be enough to take you from point A to point B in the city.

What the Kia Ray EV lacks in speed, it makes up in its electric charging system. It has a fast-charging option that can fully recharge the cells in around 25 minutes. But if you choose a standard charging system on a 220-Volt circuit, it will take around six hours to fully recharge the lithium-ion battery pack.

To save energy, the Kia Ray electric is equipped with a new type of regenerative braking system in which the electric motor generates boost for the hydraulic brake assist. The energy is then recuperated from the brakes during deceleration. To further enhance battery life, the Kia Ray EV also comes with an automatic transmission that features three driving modes for different conditions: ‘D’ mode for normal driving, ‘E’ (eco) mode for energy saving by optimizing the torque to increase the driving range, and ‘B’ (brake) mode for going down hill.

Initially, there will be about 2,500 units of the Kia Ray EV manufactured for government agency use in Korea. The public will soon get its chance once it’s done with the test run by the government. So, we don’t expect to see the Kia Ray EV anytime soon.