Kia Motors will put on show two of its all-electric cars – a concept car and a mass-production one – for the first time in North America at this years International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas today.
Just launched last month, the Kia Ray EV can run up to 86 miles on a single charge from its 16.4-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion polymer battery pack. Its batteries take six hours to charge using a 220-volt outlet, and 25 minutes through fast-charge mode.
Kia said the Ray EV is South Korea’s first mass-produced electric vehicle.
Though the Kia Ray will be shown in CES 2012, the car will not be available in the United States, instead selling exclusively for the South Korean market.
With the Kia Ray is the Korean car company’s concept car called Naimo. Naimo packs a bigger 27-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery and promises a range of about 125 miles on a single charge. It was first revealed at the Seoul Motor Show in March last year, with design cues derived from its name which means «square shape» in Korean.
Interestingly, Kia Motors chose to reveal its two electric cars in CES rather than with rivals Toyota, Ford, General Motors and BMW at the North American International Auto Show, which began in Detroit yesterday.
Naimo’s notable design includes removing the center «B-pillar,» use of rear-hinged rear doors to optimize access, and dot-style headlamps using light-emitting diodes.
Rear-view mirrors and traditional wipers were scrapped in favor of miniature cameras and «air wipers» that use air jets located at the base of the windscreen. To enhance range, Naimo is fitted with special low-drag 20-inch diameter alloy wheels.
The Naimo to be shown in CES 2012 will also house a working prototype of the User Centered Driving Concept, Kia’s idea of the future of car telematics.
Naimo can plot information including speed, distance and battery life on its windshield instead of gauges clustered on the dash board.
The U.C.D. concept also includes Color Night Vision and cameras inside the car that can alert the driver if he’s falling asleep. U.C.D. also has a touch screen 4.3 inches to 12.3 inches in size to improve screen visibility and accessibility. – Oliver M. Bayani