Automotive News reports that Kia will launch a small electric vehicle by the end of this year, and that it will be the first car in a wave of forthcoming Korean EVs. It's not known if or when the new electric cars will eventually arrive in the U.S., though it would hardly be surprising if they did. Hyundai Motor Group calls this EV initiative the TAM project, and that the first vehicle to come out of it will ride on the subcompact Hyundai i10 platform.

All told, Automotive News says that Kia will produce 2,000EVs for 2012. A small group of BlueOn Hyundai i10 EVs has been ongoing in South Korea, and it's thought that the lessons learned will be applied to the upcoming Kia vehicle.

This is Hyundai's first real push into the electric vehicle segment. While Japanese and domestic automakers have already brought production EVs to market, Hyundai and Kia have contented themselves with offerings like the Sonata Hybrid and Optima Hybrid.

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