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Hyundai Readying Electric Vehicle for US Market

Several options available “at some point.”

by on Jun.07, 2013

Hyundai's BlueOn battery car went on sale in the Korean market late last year.

Despite its long reluctance to adopt battery power, Hyundai is apparently getting ready to bring a battery car to the U.S. market its American CEO had revealed.

Exactly what and when remains uncertain, though the maker is already selling a compact battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, called the BlueOn in South Korea. Hyundai Motor America may have no choice but to enter the electric vehicle market, however, if it is to stay on the right side of regulators in the critical California market.

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“Our primary zero-emission vehicle focus is fuel cell right now,” tweeted HMA Chief Executive John Krafcik, “but we will certainly field a BEV at some point.”

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First Look: Hyundai BlueOn Battery-Electric Vehicle

First battery car for Hyundai and for Korea.

by on Sep.09, 2010

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.

(Even Ferrari goes electric. Click Here for more on the Italian maker’s hybrid Enzo replacement.)

“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.

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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.

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