Hyundai to introduce compact electric vehicles in 2015! Kia EVs coming in 2014!

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 30, 2011

Small electric vehicles will be presented by Hyundai in the second half of 2015 while Kia will do so in the first half of 2014. Hyundai revealed these plans at the ‘Green Car Symposium’ hosted by the Korea Automobile Journalist Association (KAJA) when it presented ‘Hyundai’s Green Car Global Leading Strategy.” In 2010, Hyundai launched the BlueOn, its first highway legal full speed electric vehicle design.

This compact electric car is based on the i10 hatchback design and it can be driven for around 87 miles (140 kilometers) on a single charge. Kia is also preparing to launch its electric car named TAM later this year.

More than 2,000 units are expected to be produced by the end of 2012. The automaker added that its focus had been on small-sized electric models, with its high cost and limited battery technologies. But it believes that as the green-car market becomes mature and the battery technology improves, the compact-size electric vehicle models may go mainstream.

Out in the markets by the third quarter of 2014, the Kia Soul EV will be the South Korean automaker’s first all-electric car sold in the United States. The no-emissions car will expand the carmaker’s line of environmentally friendly vehicles.

The Soul EV joined the redesigned 2014 Optima Hybrid on the stage, as well as the Niro hybrid concept, all manifesting Kia's aim to lead the industry of technologically advanced vehicles that lowers our dependence on non-renewable fuels and resources. The carmaker’s eco-friendly commitment was highlighted when Underwriters Laboratory honored the Soul EV with its first automotive environmental validation because of the car’s use of at least 20 bio-friendly materials.

KMA vice president of product planning Orth Hedrick says that the new Soul EV is leading Kia’s Clean Mobility program and will give customers an environmentally friendly car when it gets out in the market. Hedrick also says that the new car retains the funky and fun style, usefulness, and packaging efficiency that you have come to love in earlier Soul cars. Adding to all of these, you have the usable range and a variety of charging options that makes the new Soul the perfect electric vehicle for everybody.

The Soul EV will first be available in Oregon and California in the west, as well as a number of eastern states such as Maryland, New York and New Jersey. These are the states with the biggest EV markets. The company will also offer the car in other markets in the future after demand and infrastructure are in place. Pricing for the Soul EV will be announced at a later time.

Range anxiety has always been a top concern for electric vehicle buyers. The new Soul EV puts these fears to rest by using a lithium ion polymer battery that gives you 80 miles to 100 miles of driving in real road conditions on a single full charge. The 27 kWh, 200 watt-hour/kg battery can also go for more than 100 miles in some conditions.

The 360 volt 96-cell battery has been designed for high capacity, safety, and thermal stability. It has a nickel-cobalt-manganese cathode that increases capacity, as well as a graphite-based anode that makes it lightweight and durable. The cells also use a gel electrolyte and have ceramic separators to help it become more thermally stable and safe.

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