Kia continues quest to build world’s most efficient vehicles

November 2nd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Kia is continuing its quest to become the producer of the world’s most fuel-efficient and greenest vehicles. New developments will see the Korean carmaker introduce an all-electric city car, along with a range of other technologies to make its cars go further on various fuel sources.

Full technical details on Kia’s new EV haven’t been revealed, but the new model will enter the light CUV segment and is expected to use an advanced LiPoly battery to power an electric motor. Officials says it will be able to travel a 160 kilometres on a single charge and deliver a maximum speed of 130km/h.

The Korean carmaker initially plans to produce 2,000 of its small EV cars in 2012 for use in its domestic market. Automotive commentators say the Kia Naimo concept (pictured), revealed at the Seoul Motor Show earlier this year, could offer a hint for the new EV’s styling. Kia has also confirmed it will introduce a second EV in 2014 in the form of a Soul-sized small car.

In addition to hybrids and all-electric vehicles, Kia Motors has been introducing other fuel-saving technology under its green Eco-Dynamics brand.

New Zealand has already seen elements of this technology in the recently launched Kia Picanto mini car, which features fuel-saving technology called Idle Stop & Go (ISG), which stops the engine when the car is idling at traffic lights and automatically re-starts when the clutch is depressed. Combined with its small 1.25-litre engine, the Picanto ISG is currently New Zealand’s most economical petrol dedicated car with a 4.3L/100km combined economy rating. Continue reading “Kia continues quest to build world’s most efficient vehicles” »

Kia Naimo electric concept car dazzles Seoul show

April 1st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Kia has just unveiled its new Naimo electric car concept at the 2011 Seoul Motor Show.

The name Naimo is the Korean word for “square shape,” and the new Kia EV concept is certainly a boxy design. The funky aesthetic also features no B-pillars and rear hinged doors that open up in a clamshell style. The concept also features huge 20-inch wheels which further the square theme and come wrapped in 20-inch rubber. Apparently the design is influenced by Asian Celadon-style pottery with asymmetrical shapes that reflect in the roof design and dotted LED front lights.

The hectic exterior design is contrasted with a more peaceful cabin for the concept. Korean oak covers the concept’s floor and door panels. A transparent organic LED display instrument panel and full connectivity gives the Naimo an advanced feel.

Powering the Naimo is a PMSM. What the hell is that? It’s a permanent magnet synchronous motor of course, and it provides a maximum output of 80 kW and 280Nm of torque. The juice comes from a 27 kWh lithium ion polymer twin battery pack, giving the EV a range of 200kms on a full charge. Kia claims that a special quick charge system enables the driver to charge the battery to 80 percent capacity in just 25 minutes. Strangely, a full charge takes five and a half hours. Continue reading “Kia Naimo electric concept car dazzles Seoul show” »