Corporate / Design & Technology
Environmentally friendly car of the future April 22nd, 2008
By Hyun Jin Cho
Strategy Planning Team
Kia Motors Corporation
Hello. This time I would like to talk about environmentally-friendly cars.
Diverse environmentally-friendly cars are currently in fierce competition to lead the global auto market. Hybrid or clean diesel cars, and cars that run on bio-fuel have taken the early lead, followed by plug-in hybrids and fuel cell vehicles. It’s anyone’s guess which will become the most popular, but one thing is sure, only the winning companies will be able to survive in the 21st century.
Kia Motors has worked on developing environmentally-friendly vehicles for some time now. In 1986, it developed Korea’s first electric vehicle (Besta) and released it on the market in 1993. In 2000, Kia succeeded in developing the country’s first fuel cell vehicle and completed the development of a hybrid electric car in 2005 and began domestic supplies. Based on such efforts, Kia is now pursuing a plan to sell hybrid electric cars to the general public in 2009.
Kia is continuing to take bold, progressive actions. On March 25th, Kia provided Sportage hydrogen fuel cell cars to Korea Energy Management Corporation. Through road test evaluations on driving experience, fuel economy and durability, Kia is spurring on development for commercialization technology.
The hydrogen fuel cell-powered Sportage features Kia’s proprietary 80kW fuel cell stack, enabling the vehicle to run up to 350km on one charge of 350bar compressed hydrogen. Starting the engine and driving are possible in sub-zero temperatures, while a hydrogen leak detection sensor and collision sensor have minimized risks. A wide range of tests, including crash test, have been conducted to guarantee the safety of the hydrogen and electric system.
Kia Motors had a relatively slow start in joining the environmentally-friendly car race. However, as Kia’s strength stems from its ‘We can do it!’ spirit, there’s no doubt that we will pull off a major upset in the marketplace.