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Kia unveils first production EV, zero-emissions concept

The Kia Ray, the company’s first electric car, and the Naimo concept vehicle debuted at CES 2012

by Caitlin AdamsPublished: January 10, 2012 03:15 PM

The Kia Ray
Irvine-based Kia will unveil two company firsts at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. The Kia Ray is the automaker’s first production electric vehicle, while the Naimo, a new concept vehicle, will be the company’s first zero-emissions car. Among the features on the vehicles is the Naimo’s User Centered Driving (UCD) telematics concept technology interface.

According to Kia, the UCD represents the future of “vehicle/occupant relations.” The fully working prototype is equipped on the Kia Naimo and features a “glass cockpit” interface, including a digital display that takes the place of the traditional grouping of speedometer, gas and RPM gauges. The UCD display also incorporates features that provide navigation directions or downloadable applications. Both cars also feature new advanced lithium-polymer battery packs.

The Naimo also includes several other innovative technology features; the five-door, four-seater vehicle comes without wiper blades on the windshield, but instead employs a high-intensity air jet at the base of the windscreen that acts as an “air wiper.” The car’s side-view mirrors have also been replaced with miniature cameras in the A-pillars. The car gets its power from a PMSM –– Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor –– an electric motor capable of a maximum output of 107 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. The Naimo is expected to get 124 miles out of a single charge of its 27 kWh Lithium Ion Polymer battery twin-pack.

The all-new Ray EV, capable of 86 miles on a single charge, is marketed for Kia’s domestic Korean market. It is being built on the same production lines as its gas-powered sibling; it's the first EV in the world with that distinction. The vehicle’s 50kW electric motor and high-capacity 16.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack give it 167 Nm of torque and plenty of power for an EV of its size.

"With the Kia Ray, which is Korea's first production electric vehicle, and the Naimo concept's forward-thinking UCD telematics, Kia is demonstrating leadership in the area of advanced technology development as our global R&D team pursues the goal of taking the vehicle-driver relationship to new levels with facial-recognition technology and a number of interactive features," said Michael Sprague, vice president of marketing & communications for Kia Motors America. "Where the Naimo EV concept looks into the future of zero-emissions vehicles from Kia, the Ray EV is the first realization for the brand and represents exciting new possibilities for the future in the North American market."

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