The KIA Ray EV is Korea’s first electric vehicle and boasts new technology unique to EVs. Credit: KIA Motors Corp.
TheKIARay was recently introduced as Korea’s first production electric vehicle (EV). The Ray EV is a zero-emissions car with a range of 86 miles on a single charge. Similar to the gasoline-powered Ray, the Ray EV shares major dimensions and can be manufactured on the same production line as conventional combustion engine cars.The front-wheel drive Ray EV is powered by a 50kW electric motor and a high-capacity 16.4 kWh lithium ion polymer battery pack that is engineered for a 10-year life span and packaged under the rear seat and cabin floor. Recharging times are six hours on a 220-volt household supply and 25 minutes in fast-charge mode.The Ray EV’s automatic transmission gives drivers the choice of two modes during ‘D’ drive. ‘E’ (eco) mode optimizes the delivery of the motor’s torque to achieve minimum battery consumption and maximum driving range. ‘B’ (brake) mode can be selected for downhill on highways and mountains to maximize braking power.The interior houses an instrument cluster that displays electric motor operation battery status and distance to recharge. It also features a unique navigation system that holds a 7-inch screen and provides EV specific information such as the nearest recharging stations. The display shows a circular-shaped area in which the model can travel with its current level of power, so drivers can see which destinations are reachable without a recharge.The Ray EV is equipped with a new type of regenerative breaking system featuring an Active Hydraulic Booster that utilizes the electric motor to create hydraulic pressure for the brake system, resulting in consistent brake pedal force throughout a variety of driving conditions and the ability to harvest less energy and use it to recharge the car’s battery.Unlike gasoline vehicles, the Ray EV does not generate engine noise. KIA has fitted Ray EV with a VESS (virtual engine sound system). When driven at speeds below 12mph and during backup, this system emits recorded gasoline engine noises to warn pedestrians of the approaching vehicle.In 2012, KIA plans to manufacture 2,500 units of the Ray EV that will be provided to government departments and public offices as part of KIA’s long-term research and development program to provide environmentally friendly transport to KIA’s customers around the world during the next decade.