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by Tim Beissmann

Kia will launch a small, box-shaped electric vehicle in South Korea before the end of this year, and has revealed plans to add a second EV to its line-up in 2014.

 

Codenamed the Kia TAM (the production model will get a different name), the all-new EV is based on the Kia Picanto sub-compact hatchback.

This leaked rendering (accessed by South Korean site Motorblog) reveals a design similar in philosophy to the Volkswagen Bulli Concept. The production model will reportedly sport flared wheel arches and a sliding rear door layout.

The Kia TAM will enter mass production later this year, with 2000 units targeted by the end of 2012. Initially, Kia’s first EV will be sold in its domestic market only, although Kia apparently has ambitions to sell the TAM in other markets in the future.

A second Kia EV will follow in the first half of 2014, while parent company Hyundai will launch its own mass-produced EV in the second half of 2015.

Hyundai Motor Group says its early EVs will be compact vehicles designed for city use due to the limited range and high cost of batteries.

Hyundai is also focusing on adding a plug-in hybrid to its range, as well as a hydrogen fuel cell-powered version of the ix35.




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