Kia is to expand its green car portfolio in the UK with a hybrid version of the Kia Optima executive model and an all-electric Kia Venga small MPV.
Both are currently under development in South Korea and the Kia Optima hybrid will be the first to arrive, possibly late next year.
The new Kia Optima range, which replaces the Kia Magentis, is being launched in the UK later this year. Kia UK is deciding whether to take both the 2-litre petrol and 2-litre diesel engines rather than going for diesel only.
The hybrid model is now being rolled out in the US with a market-specific 2.4-litre petrol engine and 30kw electric motor. A 2-litre petrol engine is under development which will be used in the Kia Optima in Korea and Europe.
Engineers in South Korea say the hybrid will be the most economical car in the large D segment.
Kia's first all-electric car will be the Kia Venga. The company currently has 250 of the EVs undergoing evaluation in Korea and senior research engineer C Y Jeong said a small production run of about 2,000 cars will start next year followed by volume production from 2013.
The Kia Venga EV will then go on sale in markets around the world, including the UK.
Jeong said the car will have a range of 140kms - around 90 miles and it 60kw electric motor will take 6 hours to charge - although a fast charge can be carried out in 25 minutes.
He added that Kia also plans to start marketing hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles in 2015, in line with a number of other manufacturers.
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