Kia might be a car company growing in quality and reputation in North America, but it seems we aren't in line for every vehicle the company produces.

While the U.S. is one of the strongest markets for electric cars, Kia's new Ray EV won't be hitting American shores, according to USA Today. Instead, it's only due on sale in Kia's homeland.

That might not be such a bad thing in some respects, as the Ray's boxy styling certainly wouldn't be to all tastes. It's tall, narrow and maximizes interior space at the expense of sleek lines, though there are a few neat details, as we've come to expect from modern Kias.

It actually looks very much like a Japanese Kei car (just as the Mitsubishi "i" began), the Ray is normally powered by a 1.0-liter gasoline engine.

The Ray EV swaps this for batteries and an electric motor, that actually offers greater performance than the gasoline Ray. It can reach 60 mph from rest in fifteen seconds and range is said to be 86 miles.

Kia Ray EV electric car

Kia Ray EV electric car

A full charge from empty takes six hours using a 220-volt outlet, or 25 minutes using a fast-charge facility.

The Ray EV also has an eco mode, that presumably offers greater braking regeneration and cuts power to current-sapping items like the air conditioning, to eke out a few extra miles.

Sadly, we still won't be getting an electric Kia in the States for quite some time, so in the meantime the closest you'll get is an Optima Hybrid. Still, the Optima is a bit easier on the eye...


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