Kia is about to expand their green car portfolio in the European market by launching the all-electric Venga mini-mpv and hybrid version of the up-coming Optima mid-size sedan.
Do not expect to see the Kia Venga EV at your local Kia showrooms anytime soon, as the model is currently undergoing some serious development testing at the carmaker’s research & development center in Namyang, Korea.
According to the sources close to Kia, the automaker operates around 250 prototypes of Venga EV, which are undergoing evaluation.
Kia Venga EV production is rumored to begin next year and will be limited to 2,000 units in the first year. This will lead to full production by 2013 and entry into the European Kia showrooms.
The 2013 Kia Venga electric car will feature similar powertrain as shown in the Venga EV concept car, unveiled at Geneva Auto Show in 2010.
The car will feature a 60kw (80 horsepower) electric motor and a driving range of 140kms – around 90 miles – on a single charge.
It will take around 6 hours to charge Venga’s highly advanced battery pack when using a 220V household power supply or less than half an hour with a 380V industrial-strength power supply.
In addition to Venga EV, Kia is also testing the Optima hybrid car developed exclusively for European and Korean markets.
Unlike the North American market Optima hybrid, which features a 2.4L petrol engine and 30kw electric motor, the Euro-specs Optima hybrid will mate a 2.0L engine and electric motor.
By using a smaller four-cylinder engine in the Optima hybrid destined for Europe will help Kia engineers to further improve the car’s fuel efficiency and make it the most economical gasoline-powered vehicle in the crowded D-segment.