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Korea: Korea gets its first electric vehicle – the Kia Ray EV

Korea might be home to a couple of the world’s biggest automakers in Hyundai and Kia but, with the exception of concept cars, it isn’t until now that the country has launched an electric vehicle. Intended exclusively for the Korean market, the Kia Ray EV shares the same dimensions as the Ray CUV (crossover utility vehicle) that was launched last month, but instead of a 1.0-liter gasoline engine, the car is powered by a 50 kW electric motor and a 16.4 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack that gives it a range of up to 139 km (86 miles) on a single charge.

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In what Kia claims is a worldwide first for an EV manufacturer, the Ray EV’s sharing of dimensions with the Ray CUV allows it to share a production line with conventional combustion engine vehicles. Although the front-wheel drive Ray EV is some 187 kg (412 lb) heavier than its gas-powered cousin, the Ray EV boasts faster acceleration (0 – 100 km/h/62 mph in 15.9 seconds) thanks to 77 percent greater torque (167 Nm). Kia says the vehicle has a top speed of 130 km/h (81 mph).

Kia says the Ray EV can be recharged in six hours from a 220 V household outlet or in just 25 minutes in fast-charge mode. The inlet for the 220 V supply is located under a flap in the front grille, while the fast-charge inlet can be found where the fuel intake is usually located on regular models. The 330 V lithium ion polymer battery pack is located under the rear seat and cabin floor.


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