Hyundai Unveils BlueOn Electric Vehicle; Targeting Manufacturing 2,500 Units Per Year By 2012

Hyundai Motor Co. unveiled the company’s—and Korea’s—first full-speed electric vehicle (FSEV), named BlueOn. Hyundai invested a total of about 40 billion won (US$32 million) over a one-year period to create BlueOn, which is based on Hyundai’s small hatchback, i10. The electric version of i10 was first unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2009. (Earlier post.)

BlueOn has a compact body with an overall length of 3,585 mm, overall width of 1,595 mm and overall height of 1,540 mm. The electric motor is powered by a 16.4 kWh LiPoly (lithium-ion polymer) battery pack. BlueOn boasts a maximum power of 81 ps (80 hp, 61 kW) and maximum torque of 21.4 kg/m (210 N&iddot;m, 155 lb-ft).

The car has been designed to prevent overcharging and collision-related safety issues. Hyundai says it has conducted hundreds of thousands of kilometers’ worth of endurance testing to secure safety. BlueOn boasts a maximum speed of 130 km/h (81 mph) and 0-100 km/h is achieved in 13.1 seconds.

BlueOn also features a Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS), which creates an artificial sound for the safety of pedestrians, as electric vehicles make little to no sound when driving at low speeds.

BlueOn can travel as much as 140 km (87 miles) on a single charge. It supports recharging via 220V household power and a 380V industrial-strength power, which promises quick recharging speeds. Under the household power, the battery will be fully recharged within six hours. Under the quick charge method, the battery can be recharged to about 80% of its capacity within 25 minutes. Hyundai will collaborate with the Seoul Metropolitan Government and other government agencies to build recharging facilities.

In addition, the engine-driven components were electrified so that the electric motor-driven power steering, electric water pump and regenerative brake system could be adapted to BlueOn. Furthermore, for the driver’s convenience, an advanced telematics system showing the charge status and location of recharging stations is installed. A 4.2-inch TFT LCD Supervision Cluster that provides voice guidance has also been installed.

Hyundai plans to expand its manufacturing capabilities for BlueOn next year, carrying out test productions and making about 2,500 units by the end of 2012.

Hyundai unveiled the car at the Blue House, in the presence of Korean President Lee Myung-Bak and Ministers from the Ministry of Knowledge Economy and Ministry of Environment. About 50 other government and electric-vehicle industry officials were also present. During the unveiling ceremony, President Lee and Hyundai’s Vice Chairman Lee test drove one of the new vehicles together on the Blue House premises.

Hyundai is planning to provide 30 BlueOn vehicles for test use to various government organizations in Korea by October. These vehicles will be mainly used to help develop and test charging infrastructures for about two years, until August 2012. Furthermore, these cars will be used for promotional purposes, starting with the upcoming G20 summit, to boost Korea’s eco-friendly image, the company said.


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