Japan and the USA are considering the introduction of a legal requirement for EVs to have a virtual engine sound, and Kia has taken the first step to commercialize this system in their newly released Kia Ray in order to anticipate the global industry's trend.
Unlike regular gasoline vehicles, Ray EV generates no engine noise, which can be a potential problem with pedestrians being unaware of the approaching car. To prevent accidents, Kia has fitted Ray EV with a VESS (Virtual Engine Sound System). When driven at speeds below 20 km/h (12 mph) this system delivers a mixture of recorded gasoline engine noises, which are also emitted whenever the car is backing up.
For supply exclusively to the domestic Korean market, the Kia Ray EV has a range of up to 139 km (86 miles) on a single charge and is a close relative of Kia's 1.0-liter gasoline powered Ray CUV, which went on sale in Korea in November. It shares that model's major dimensions and, in a global first for an EV manufacturer, can share a production line with conventional combustion-engine cars.
The front-wheel drive Ray EV is powered by a 50 kW electric motor and a high-capacity 16.4 kWh lithium ion polymer battery pack that is engineered for a 10-year life cycle and skillfully packaged under the rear seat and cabin floor.
Although the Ray EV weighs 187 kg more than the gasoline model, the electric motor's generous torque - 167 N·m (an increase of 77%) - ensures responsive performance. The EV's acceleration is brisker than the gasoline models (0-to-100 km/h in 15.9 seconds), while top speed is 130 km/h (81 mph). Recharging times are six hours using a 220 V household supply and just 25 minutes in fast-charge mode.
Inside, the Ray EV features a unique instrument cluster, displaying electric motor operation, battery status and distance to recharge. It is also equipped with the first-ever EV-specific navigation system that features a 7-inch screen and provides crucial information for EV drivers such as the nearest locations of the slow/fast recharging stations. The display shows a circular shaped area in which the model can travel with its current level of battery power, so that drivers can see which destinations are reachable without a recharge.
Currently there are 500 slow/fast recharge stations in Korea, and the government plans to increase that figure to 3,100 stations by the end of 2012.
The Kia Ray EV embodies numerous innovations. The electric motor achieves 93% efficiency, which is the best in its segment. The lithium ion polymer battery's cell is optimized and highly integrated, which has enabled its weight to be reduced by 13% and its energy density to be increased by 15% compared to competitors' systems.
The EV is also equipped with a new type of regenerative braking system featuring an Active Hydraulic Booster that utilizes the electric motor, instead of the gasoline engine in the regular model, to create hydraulic pressure for the brake system. The result is consistent brake pedal force throughout a wide variety of driving conditions and the ability to harvest excess energy and use it to recharge the car's battery.
During 2012, Kia is planning to manufacture 2,500 units of the Ray EV, which will be provided to government departments and public offices as part of Kia's long-term real-world research and development program to provide environmentally friendly transport to Kia customers around the world during the next decade.
For more attend Electric Vehicles Land Sea Air USA 2012,where Phoenix International - A John Deere Company (leader in agricultural vehicles), BMW (cars etc), Mitsubishi Motors (small commercial vehicles and cars), Daimler AG (commercial and military vehicles and cars) and Toyota (leader in electric forklifts, cars, buses) will present. Uniquely, a large number of electric vehicle manufacturers not seen in conventional EV events will present including WheelTug airliner electrification on the ground, Pipistrel manned electric aircraft, University of Michigan unmanned solar aircraft, SolTrac electric farm tractors, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute Autonomous Underwater Vehicles AUVs. Many manufacturers of industrial, commercial, military, e-bike, cars and other EVs will be there. At last you can meet those responsible for the majority of the hybrid and pure electric vehicle market and they all need components!! Most are prosperous growing businesses not reliant on government support that can be withdrawn at any time.
Learn more at the next leading event on the topic: Electric Vehicle Materials Europe 2020 on 13 - 14 May 2020 at Estrel Convention Center, Berlin, Germany hosted by IDTechEx.