Benny Oeyen, Kia's marketing and product planning boss, told What Car? that range-extending "is a fantastic thing" and confirmed that Kia (and perhaps even sister-company Hyundai), will consider bolstering its model lineup with the addition of range-extended plug-in models in as little as two year's time. Oeyen said that conventional hybrids are part of the company's near-term product plan but, looking further ahead, also firmly believes that range-extended technology could be key to the company's success:
With Hyundai-Kia already supporting advanced vehicle technologies like electrics, hybrids, and PHEVs, an extended-range model would certainly fit in with the company's go-green plans.I can't see an electric car the size of the Optima working without something like this. If it hasn't got range, then forget it. If there is demand, it could go quickly, perhaps within a couple of years.