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While the price of gasoline continues to rise and the pressures are increasingly important for vehicles destined greener, more manufacturers followed suit, in the production of vehicles using alternative technologies. If GM and Honda have clearly announced their intention facing production vehicles using a fuel cell, Kia also plans to make a grand entrance. A little history

Kia began operations in 1944 and while building bicycles. It was not until 1962 that the manufacturer has submitted its first motorized vehicle, a van three wheels called K-360. Today, Kia has become a major manufacturer, with several factories and research centers around the world. Moreover, Kia will open in 2009 in Georgia its first plant in North America. This facility will enable it to produce vehicles better adapted to North American market and all begin with the production of the Kia Borrego, the first seven-passenger SUV intermediate manufacturer and the first vehicle to be offered with a V8 engine.

Detained since 1998 more than 75% by the other Korean giant Hyundai, Kia intends to stand out a little more over the next year. Indeed, it has repeatedly questioned the strategy of Kia and Hyundai offered us similar products without major real distinction. It seems that Hyundai will now the trend of luxury while Kia will move toward driving pleasure and style, or their new slogan, The Power to Surprise, "The power to surprise." Is this to say that we will soon sport cars Kia? It should, because Hyundai hers, Tiburon. Funny contradiction!

Since 2001, the number of units exported by Kia has doubled from 488,000 to over 870,000 in 2006. Manufacturer hopes to continuing this momentum and expand into new markets. That compensates a significant loss of sales on the domestic work as sales drop almost by half, from 411,321 units in 2001, 269,575 in 2006. Korea has recently opened on foreign manufacturers, which strongly affects domestic products. Despite everything, the combined sales of Hyundai and Kia still represent 73.3% of all vehicles sold in Korea, while getting the sixth largest global total sales for all manufacturers.

Kio Rio Hybrid uncertain output

Just to give a greener vocation, Kia began producing a hybrid version of its Rio, a model known as Pride in other markets. If the manufacturer can not confirm that this model will be imported into Canada in the near future, he said that nearly 4,300 Rio Hybrid will be produced and tested mainly in their local market. According to the manufacturer, these tests allow for a greater production volume for 2010.

The Kia Rio Hybrid contains a petrol engine 1.4-liter mated to an electric motor of 12 kW. Similar to the system proposed by the Japanese Honda, the electric motor is placed between the engine and transmission. The latter constantly petrol engine assists. Unlike that used by Toyota, Kia hybrid system works only simple mode, so you can operate only thanks to the electric motor. This engine is combined with a CVT box, this type of gearbox offering at any time an ideal ratio, thus maximizing engine power. Finally, when your stops, the engine will turn off automatically and will reboot once the brake pedal RELEASED, all to improve the fuel economy.

On the road, the Rio Hybrid proved pleasant to drive and very effective hybrid system. The car has enabled us to 0-100 km / h in just over 12 seconds, according to the manufacturer, it shows a fuel consumption of 5.2 L/100 km. That comparable figures to those of its rivals, except perhaps for the key performance. Moreover, the driving remains transparent and similar to the traditional Rio.

Kia Sportage FCEV, an entry in the era of the hydrogen

Several manufacturers have already followed suit not in the development of vehicles using the fuel cell, a technology requiring no fossil fuel and produce no harmful emissions. Such process uses hydrogen in a tank that stores via a chemical reaction in a fuel cell, produces electricity, powering the electric motor of the vehicle. Traditional batteries provide extra power when needed. In this chapter, GM and Honda took advantage of the last Los Angeles Auto Show to unveil a first program allowing individuals to try the vehicles using a fuel cell. A first step towards mass production and is crossed.

For its part, Kia Sportage offers FECV, a hydrogen-powered version of the popular compact SUV. This new generation, the second based on this template, has an electric motor generating 80 kilowatts and has an autonomy of 337 km. Kia is one of two manufacturers, odds Honda to offer a technology allowing a cold boot, or -20 degrees Celsius at the moment. The next generation should have an electric motor of 100 kW, equivalent to a 134 horsepower, all reaching a similar yield a common engine. In fact, it may Sportage 0-100 km / h in about 10 seconds and travel 600 km with a tank, all without a drop of gasoline and emitting only water vapor.

Kia did indeed intend to impose among manufacturers offering alternative technologies. Moreover, as the Rio Sorento Hybrid the VEGF have been developed to Eco-Technology Center, a center built at the end of 2005 at a cost of $ 60 million and a dedicated research and development of cleaner technologies. The design and architecture of this building maximize energy saving and want witnesses ambition manufacturer.

In short, in the race for non-polluting vehicles, the competition will be fierce. If Asian manufacturers seem to follow suit quickly, North American manufacturers seem somewhat late except perhaps in the case of GM. For Europeans, it seems to rely mainly on diesel, but the fuel does not represent a solution for the future, no more than ethanol.

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