The Kia Ray EV, an electric version of the Korean make’s latest city car that has a range of up to 86 miles on a single charge, has broken cover. The Ray EV is a close relative of the 1.0-litre petrol-powered Ray, which went on sale in Korea last month. It is assembled on the same production lines as the regular Ray and shares that model’s major dimensions.
The front-wheel drive Ray EV is powered by a 50kW electric motor and a high-capacity 16.4kWh lithium ion polymer battery pack that is engineered for a 10-year life cycle and packaged under the rear seat and cabin floor.
The electric motor has 123lb ft of torque and has a top speed of 81mph. It can accelerate more briskly than the petrol equivalent and covers 0-62mph in 15.9sec.
The Ray EV’s automatic transmission offers the driver a choice of two modes while in ‘D’ drive. ‘E’ (or ‘eco’) mode optimises the delivery of the motor’s torque to achieve minimum battery consumption and maximum driving range. ‘B’ (or ‘brake’) mode can be selected when driving downhill on highways and on mountain roads to maximise braking power.
The Ray EV is destined solely for the Korean firm’s domestic market and 2500 examples will be produced in 2012 for use by government agencies.
Recharging times are six hours using a 220-volt household supply and 25 minutes in fast-charge mode. Currently there are 500 slow/fast recharge stations in Korea, and the government plans to increase that figure to 3100 stations by the end of 2012.
The Ray EV has been fitted with a Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS). When driven at speeds below 12 mph (in a busy town centre, for example) this system delivers a mixture of recorded gasoline engine noises, which are also emitted whenever the car is backing up.