South-Korean Automakers Could Help Make EVs More Affordable
I have a love/hate relationship with concept cars. It's always fun to see what automotive engineers can come up with, and they have a lot more freedom to innovate with concept cars than with production models, but a lot of the time, the results can be impractical and/or silly, and you just know that they'll never make a production version. That's why I'm happy to see that Kia's electric car concept is based on a production model. Read on for the technical specs.
From the Kia release:
Making its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show, the all-electric, zero-emissions Kia Venga EV concept car is the same size as the regular Venga B-segment MPV now on sale in Europe. It features an electric motor with top power of 80 kW and maximum torque of 280 Nm.
Showcasing Kia's 'EcoDynamics' range of fuel-saving vehicles at Geneva, Venga EV includes a twin-pack 24 kWh battery using innovative LiPoly (Lithium Ion Polymer) technology that offers numerous advantages over other battery types, and provides a driving range of 180 km on a single charge.
The quality of South-Korean vehicles has improved rapidly in the past few years. Kia and Hyundai should follow Nissan and put a large bet on the future by making affordable electric cars. It's their chance to get ahead of bigger automakers that are dragging their feet, and the faster they start investing in the manufacturing capacity for EVs, the faster they'll benefit from economies of scale.
Under the quick recharging cycle (50 kW), the battery can be recharged to 80 percent of its capacity within 20 minutes. Under the normal cycle (3.3 kW), 100 percent power is attained after eight hours.
Venga EV is a front-wheel drive vehicle with the electric powertrain placed within the existing engine bay, while the battery pack is located under the trunk floor. Venga EV is capable of accelerating from standstill to 100 kph in 11.8 seconds, and reaching a top speed of 140 kph.
Definitely not a Tesla, but the 0 to 60 MPH numbers can be a bit misleading. Electric motors provide lots of torque at low RPM, so subjectively, a Venga EV could feel quite fast in city driving. It's also possible that a final production version would be tweaked and polished some more, making it accelerate faster (and possibly have a longer electric range).
And the fast charging is the cherry on top. Most cars are parked so often that it probably wouldn't be used too often, but when needed, it's good to know it's there (if you can find a charging station with a fat pipe, that is).
More Electric Cars
Combatting EV Range Anxiety with Roadside Assistance
Daimler Partners with BYD to Make Electric Cars for China
Motor Trend: 2010 Tesla Roadster Sport vs. 2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder (Video)