The Hyundai BlueOn
Hyundai has announced their first all electric car, the BlueOn. The compact EV has a 140km range (87 miles), is powered by a 16.4 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery system and is capable of 130km/h (80 mph) – making it highway capable. Interestingly the BlueOn is capable of being 80% recharged in just 25 minutes if you have access to a 380 volt charger, the usual 220 volt chargers will take 6 hours to reach 100% putting it inline with the Nissan Leaf.
The BlueOn will be limited to South Korea until 2013 where it will undergo testing in government fleets, Hyundai is widely expected to sell the 2.0 version of the car internationally once it has ironed out any potential bugs. The car features a “Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS)” which allows you to choose a “car tone” to simulate engine noise, the hope being that if the car makes more noise you won’t inadvertently wipeout pedestrians who aren’t paying attention, personally I would prefer to let Darwin’s Law speak for itself.
Hyundai announced that they invested 35 million USD to develop the BlueOn, this seems remarkably cheap considering companies like Tesla and Fisker took on government grants of 465 million and 528 million respectively to develop their 4-door luxury electric and hybrid models.
Hyundai followed up the BlueOn announcement with a more vague promise to begin selling a Kia (a Hyundai owned company) badged electric car by December 2011, Hyundai’s Hong John-hee, director of Hyundai Motor’s Electric Vehicle Development Group had this to say about the upcoming model;
“We will debut a new electric car model in December next year. It will be a box-type car with a high ceiling to maximize interior space, if it is converted into a two-seater to carry cargo in the back it could see high demand from post offices or delivery companies for business use.”
Referring to the car as “box like” won’t win them any eloquence awards but the potential for the electric car to have an industrial use could win them quite a number of sales as companies continue their push to become more eco-friendly, if for no other reason that the good PR associated with it.