2012 Kia Ray EV introduced in Thailand

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 24, 2011

The Kia Ray electric vehicle – the first one ever to come from Korea – was introduced recently. This is only available for the market in Korea. This car can be driven as far as 139 km (86 miles). Its production line is the same as its combustion-engined model (which it is based on) – the first EV in the world to do so. There are a few exterior elements that differeniate the electric version from the petrol one.

These include a flap in the front grille, which hides the charge inlet for the slow recharge mode. Instead of the fuel filler cap, there’s a cover for the fast recharge mode. Furthermore, there’s a new aerodynamic design for the set of 14-inch alloy rims and ‘Zero Emissions EV’ decals on the front doors. Kia has set a goal to make 2,500 units of the Ray EV in 2012. These can be offered to government departments and public offices under Kia’s eco R&D program.

Kia Ray EV bears a striking look with four distinguishing points: 1) a 220V electricity inlet for slow recharge mode located on the front radiator grille; 2) an inlet for fast recharge mode found in the same location as the intake for regular gasoline-fueled models; 3) smooth 14-inch alloy wheels that help improve aerodynamics by reducing drag; and 4) special decals placed on the front doors, indicating that it’s a “Zero Emissions Electronic Vehicle.”

Inside the Kia Ray EV is a unique instrument cluster that displays the electric motor operation, the status of the battery, and the distance to recharge. Moreover, the car features the very first EV-specific navigation system with a 7-inch screen, where you can see useful information like the locations of the nearest recharging stations and the radius of the distance it can go with its remaining battery power.

There are currently 500 slow and fast recharging stations in South Korea, with the government planning to add more and increasing that number to 3,100 stations before 2012 ends.

Meanwhile, the Kia Ray EV also reflects many innovations. For one, its electric motor delivers an efficiency of 93%, the best in its class. There’s also the car’s lithium ion polymer battery cell, which is highly integrated and optimized, and has helped reduce the battery’s weight by 13% and increase its energy density by 15% compared to that of its competitors’. Moreover, the car’s onboard charger, high-low voltage converter, current inverter, and EV-specific vehicle control unit separately feature advances over the previous equipment used.

Additionally, the car has also been fitted with a new kind of regenerative braking system that features an active hydraulic booster. This hydraulic booster utilizes the car’s electric motor to create brake system’s hydraulic pressure. This, in turn, results to a consistent force for the brake pedal throughout various driving conditions as well as an ability to harvest energy then use it to recharge the battery of the car.

"During 2012, Kia is planning to manufacture 2,500 units of the Ray EV, which will be provided to government departments and public offices as part of Kia’s long-term real-world research and development program to provide environmentally friendly transport to Kia customers around the world during the next decade." said the press release.

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