South Korean President Lee-Myun Bak drives the first Hyundai BlueOn electric vehicle.
Hyundai has launched what is not only the Korean carmaker’s first battery-electric vehicle but the first BEV produced in that country. The maker says a limited run of the BlueOn will be put through a two-year field test, with Hyundai planning to steadily increase production capacity by the end of 2012.
The company says it has invested $34 million over the last year to bring to market the Hyundai BlueOn, which first appeared in concept form at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. Both the show car and production vehicle are based on the small Hyundai i10 hatchback.
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“Consumers’ interests and demand for eco-friendly cars are rising and securing such advanced technology is critical in becoming an industry leader,” said Hyun-Soon Lee, Vice Chairman of Hyundai’s corporate R&D center.
Rated at a top speed of about 82 mph (130 km/h), the BlueOn is able to travel almost 90 miles (140 km) on a single charge of its lithium-ion polymer batteries, the maker today announced. Among other features, the BEV will be equipped with an advanced telematics system capable of not only showing the current state of charge but also the location of the nearest charging station.
The maker says it is working with the metropolitan Seoul government and other government agencies to set up a network of recharging stations. Using 220-volt household power, BlueOn’s 16.4-kilowatt/hour LiPoly battery pack will be able to recharge in about six hours. Special, high-speed 380V chargers will be used to provide an 80% quick charge in just 25 minutes, according to Hyundai.