At the 2010 Chicago Auto Show, Kia introduced their new plug-in hybrid concept vehicle which uses solar energy for some of its functions. This new vehicle, the Kia Ray is designed to reach driving distances of more than 50 miles using its electric motor on a single charge, and has fuel economy of more than 202 miles per gallon and has a total range of 746 miles
The Kia website states that the Ray Concept is designed to be powered by and all aluminum 153-horsepower Gasoline Direct Injected 1.4 liter engine mated to a permanently engaged fixed ratio Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), used in combination with a 78kw electric motor. The car also features solar cells that are in the vehicles glass on its roof. When the car is parked, the cells generate a small charge of solar energy to operate cooling fans to reduce the car’s interior temperature.
“It is important to imagine what people will want in the future from a green perspective early in the design process, because people want to reduce their carbon footprint without driving carbon copies,” said Peter Schreyer, chief design officer, Kia Motors Corporation.