Hyundai Joins EV Fray
Hyundai demands its fair share of a market that doesn’t exist. The Koreans are stepping up the development of EVs. Two days ago, Hyundai held a test drive event in the suburbs of Seoul. The invitees could drive a (blue is the new green) Hyundai BlueOn EV. The Nikkei [sub], who was invited, reports:
“The BlueOn accelerates smoothly to over 100kph and the inside is quiet, free from engine noise. It climbs steep slopes without a problem. Though a certain instability unique to small cars is evident, the vehicle’s performance appears no different than that of a gas-powered car.”
A Japanese news service praising a Korean car? Hyundai must be doing something right. According to The Nikkei, the BlueOn contains all South Korean technology. Its 61kw Hyosung motor brings it in 13.1 seconds to 100kph. Maximum speed is 130kph. The lithium-ion battery is made by SK Energy, the inverter hails from LS Industrial Systems.
At the meeting, Hyundai said that the car leaves a rival in the dust. Although the rival was not mentioned, the data displayed was immediately recognized as the stats of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV,
The BlueOn might be better than the Japanese competition, but it is plagued by the disease that has affected EVs around the world: Price.
The BlueOn’s production costs are believed to be about the same as those of a large luxury sedan. In order to not lose too much money, Hyundai plans to sell 2,500 electric vehicles by 2012. A price has not been decided yet.
South Korea’s government plans to replace 20 percent of the country’s passenger cars with EVs by 2020.
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