Efficient but lacking style
Kia Ray EV

Korea is beginning its electric charge, with Kia unveiling the nation's first electrified production vehicle this week, the Ray EV city runabout.

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The car is for Korea's domestic market only, which perhaps won't cause all that much disappointment in Australia given its boxy look.

Kia's first global electric vehicle is likely to be an SUV, probably arriving in 2014.

The Ray EV, which has a range of 140km per charge, comes with a navigation system tailored to an electric car.

Appropriately, the sat-nav can direct the driver to the nearest charging station and show a range radius on a map according to the battery power left.

The near-silent running would make the car a danger to pedestrians, especially the sight-impaired, so recorded petrol-engine noises are emitted when the vehicle is travelling at low speed.

Smart thinking.

The West Australian

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