Kia Picanto to go electric by 2013
The next-generation Picanto goes on sale next year and electric versions will go into production in Korea in 201, according to news source headlineauto.
The Picanto EV will be powered by a 50kW lithium polymer battery, which the South Korean carmaker prefers to lithium-ion because they are smaller and produce more power according to Chi Young Jeong, senior research engineer at the company's technical centre in Namyang.
The EV will be among a raft of eco-friendly technologies being rolled out by Kia in the coming months and years.
The Picanto will also be equipped with a new 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine which in 2012 will be turbocharged to give a "hot" version of the small car with 110bhp.
Last year Kia launched an LPG hybrid version of its Forte C-segment model on the domestic Korean market – a precursor to diesel hybrid systems that will come to Europe within the next two years, according to company insiders.
Kia's plug-in hybrid is currently being trialled by government fleets in South Korea and is expected on the market by the end of 2012 or early 2013.
The eco roll-out will be completed when Kia's hydrogen fuel cell vehicles goes on sale later in the decade. Mr Joeng said that fuel cell vehicles are currently on trial in South Korea and the United States.