Kia Corporation plans to relaunch battery-powered versions of the Ray small city car in its domestic market next month, according to local reports.

The Ray mini electric vehicle (EV), which was sold exclusively in South Korea, was discontinued in 2018 because of its limited battery range and a lack of recharging infrastructure in the country. Battery technology has improved significantly since then and costs have fallen sharply, making EV models feasible once again. Engine-powered versions of the Ray are still available in the local market, with sales exceeding 25,000 units in the first half of 2023.

Kia has developed a new version of the Ray EV with an extended range, targeting budget-conscious customers. The new model will be available with a more powerful 64 kilowatt (KW) motor and a much larger lithium-ion battery, pack giving it a range of 210 km on a single charge – twice that of the previous model.

A Kia spokesperson told local reporters “the new Ray EV is set to expand customers’ options with a mileage of more than 200 km, optimized driving performance for the metropolitan centre and a spacious interior. It is the best choice for customers looking for an entry-level electric minicar”.

According to reports, a small van variant of the Ray will be released later on – a low-cost option for small businesses and self-employed.