Kia commits to lowering car fuel consumption

Fleet managers looking to lower fuel consumption amongst company vehicles may be interested to learn that Kia has recently announced it will be investing US$2.52 billion into improving the eco-efficiency of its green cars during 2012.

According to an environmental report released earlier this month, that is a 12 per cent increase over the US$2.25 billion set aside by the company for research and development in 2011.

Kia claims that more than 30 per cent of all staff recruited since 2010 are now working in this area, as the company looks to build on its reputation as an environmentally conscious organisation.

"The progress that Kia has made in the past 12 months is phenomenal, both technologically and socially," said Kia Motors Corporation vice chairman and chief executive officer Hyoung-Keun Lee in a statement published September 7.

"It is testament to the quality of the work that all Kia employees achieve every day and proves that we are steadily moving closer to our goal of Vision 2016."

Kia has pointed to the fourth-generation 2011 Kia Rio 1.1 litre diesel as an example of its commitment towards environmental awareness and lowering car fuel consumption.

The 2011 diesel Kia Rio is reported to be 41 per cent more efficient than the 1.5 litre diesel variant that was released in 2005, while still retaining the same level of power.

Other environmentally friendly manufacturing initiatives introduced by the company include a commitment to using a greater level of recycled materials during the manufacturing process as well as a new hazardous chemical management system.

Kia claims that these initiatives have contributed to a significant reduction both in carbon dioxide emissions and atmospheric pollutants.