All Charged Up: Kia Introduces Electric Ray for 2012

By Jacob Brown | December 22, 2011
We’ve already seen the new 2012 Kia Ray, the Korean market’s Honey-I-shrunk-the-Soul micro car. But just a month after we learned of that car, Kia has announced that it will be adding an all-electric version, perhaps foreshadowing technology we’re bound to see in the not-too-distant future. With just 68 horsepower from its electric motor, it’s never going to set drag strips on fire. But it does present a compelling case for itself with its compact dimensions, emissions-free driving range of 86 miles due to its 16.4-kilowatt/hour lithium ion battery pack, and spunky styling. Because of the battery pack’s compact size, the Ray sacrifices no room on the inside, as the power source is planted underneath the rear bench seat. Unique to the Kia Ray EV is a seven-inch LCD screen on the dashboard that displays the car’s diagnostic information and a vehicle engine sound system that simulates a car engine below 12 mph for pedestrian warning. Additionally, Kia has had to engineer a new regenerative braking hydraulic booster to work with the pint-sized hatchback to capture the car’s deceleration energy. Kia claims the Ray to be 93-percent efficient, one of the best numbers of any electric car.
Kia plans to build 2500 electric Rays, using the technology as a testbed to experiment as Korea expands from 500 electric charging stations to 3100 by the end of 2012. Rumor has it the Korean automaker will be bringing its electric technology Stateside eventually. But if you really want a Kia Ray EV, you’re going to have to fly overseas, as it’s not going to be sold outside South Korea anytime soon. Source: Kia