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Kia Motors introduces electric model for Ray

Yang Woong-chul (left), president of research and development at Hyundai-Kia and Chung Yun-kook, vice president for Kia’s domestic sales operation, charge the battery for an all-electric Ray at the company’s Namyang research center in Gyeonggi Province on Thursday. (Kia Motors)
Yang Woong-chul (left), president of research and development at Hyundai-Kia and Chung Yun-kook, vice president for Kia’s domestic sales operation, charge the battery for an all-electric Ray at the company’s Namyang research center in Gyeonggi Province on Thursday. (Kia Motors)
Kia Motors Corp., the second-largest carmaker in the country, introduced its first all-electric version of the small urban vehicle Ray Thursday.

The affiliate of Hyundai Motor Corp. said it will produce about 2,500 zero-emission versions of the Ray next year for government use.

“We are supplying an all-electric version of the Ray for government use next year, but we’re ready to also produce it for the general public as soon as infrastructure for the battery recharge is ready,” Suh Choon-kwan, head of the company’s domestic marketing group told reporters.

“We plan to supply the Kia Ray EV to the general public in 2013,” Suh added.

The KIA Ray EV is powered by a 50 kilowatt electric motor and a high-capacity 15 kilowatt per hour lithium ion battery pack which is engineered for a 10-year life cycle. The company boasted it could travel up to 139 kilometers on a single charge and can pull up to 130 kilometers per hour at its maximum speed.

There are 500 electric battery recharge stations in the country. The government plans to increase the number to 3,100 by the end of next year.

The gasoline and LPG version of box-shaped car went on sale last month for domestic sales only.

By Cynthia J. Kim  (cynthiak@heraldcorp.com)
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