S.Korea's Kia to introduce electric car in 2011

South Korea's Kia Motors said Wednesday it would introduce its first electric car in 2011, a week after its bigger sister firm Hyundai Motor unveiled the nation's first full-speed electric car.

Kia, South Korea's second-largest carmaker, plans to introduce its first electric model in December 2011 and produce 2,000 units in the following year, spokesman Michael Choo told AFP.

"We plan to sell the first batch of 2,000 cars mostly to government agencies like the postal service before selling to ordinary consumers in 2013," Choo said.

The electric vehicle will take a form of compact crossover utility vehicle (CUV) model, he said.

Hyundai Motor last week unveiled the country's first full-speed electric car, designed to tap into the increasingly competitive electric auto market.

The country's largest carmaker introduced BlueOn, with President Lee Myung-Bak test-driving it at the presidential Blue House.

Hyundai, with its affiliate Kia, is the world's fifth largest carmaker.

The government has said it would help local carmakers produce up to one million electric cars by 2020.

Japanese rivals such as Nissan, Honda and Toyota have already rolled out new electric models. Nissan has predicted that by 2020, electric cars will account for 10 percent of the global auto market.

jhw/sm/dan

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