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The debate on whether or not Electric Vehicles (EV) are viable in South Africa rages on.

Kia Ray shown in Chicago

2010-02-12 10:08
Kia has revealed its Ray plug-in hybrid concept, showing a bold four seater sedan based on its Forte platform.

The concept is designed using lightweight, recycled materials and has solar cells in its glass roof to power certain of the car's systems.

It has a flat, yet curvaceous silhouette with a long "tail" to improve the car's aerodynamics. This also helps to reduce drag, aided by a one-piece underbody panel and narrow, custom designed tyres with a low rolling resistance.

Rather than using conventional wing mirrors and door handles (which negatively impact on drag), motion-sensing cameras are mounted flush with the body.

Ray's touch-screen controls, drive-by-wire steering, “cool-glazing” solar glass and a lithium-polymer battery are all possible indicators of future technology from Kia.

“It is important to imagine early in the design process what people will want in the future from a green perspective. People want to reduce their carbon footprint without driving carbon copies,” said Peter Schreyer, chief design officer for Kia.  

“Being green doesn’t have to be an obvious statement anymore and the Kia Ray exemplifies a viable blend of modern, eco-minded features for today’s environmentally conscious consumers,” he added.

Ray is designed to be powered by an all-aluminum 114-kW direct injection 1.4-litre petrol engine combined with a 78 kW electric motor and mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).

Kia claims a range of up to 80 km using the electric motor alone, with a total range of around 1 200 km.

The Ray concept is currently being displayed at the Chicago Motor Show.


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