Mike Stevens | Oct 4, 2011

Korean giant-slayer Kia has confirmed it will introduce a new electric vehicle into the South Korean market before the year is out.

Developed under the project name 'TAM', the new EV will be based on Hyundai's electrified i10 BlueOn city car. The carmaker plans to produce 2000 of its small EV cars in 2012.

Kia's take on the BlueOn is expected to introduce its own unique styling, although a restyled version of the recently-revealed Picanto could also be on the cards.

The Kia Naimo concept, revealed at the Seoul Motor Show earlier this year, could offer another hint for the new EV's styling.

Above: Hyundai's i10 BlueOn EV
Above: Hyundai's i10 BlueOn EV

Technical details for Kia's new EV have not been revealed. In the Hyundai i10 BlueOn, power is provided by a 16.4 kWh LiPoly (lithium-ion polymer) battery, powering a 61kW electric motor.

Driving range from one charge is listed as 140km. Hyundai says the BlueOn will reach 100km/h in 13.1 seconds, with top speed listed as 130km/h.

Kia has also confirmed that it will introduce a second EV in 2014 in the form of a Soul-sized small car. This second Kia EV will be followed by a Hyundai-badged version in 2015.



Whether the electrified Kia cars will make their way to Australia remains unclear. With the launch of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and the upcoming Nissan Leaf EV, the local market for electric vehicles is slowly growing.

Getting in on the ground floor, being among the first to market with an electric vehicle, could prove a wise move for the Korean upstart.

As with the Optima Hybrid, which is only built in left-hand-drive form, an Australian debut for Kia's EVs will depend on the available of a right-hand-drive option.

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