Hyundai unveils its BlueOn EV for Korean test fleet

Hyundai unveils its BlueOn EV for Korean test fleet

Hyundai's formal unveiling today of its first full electric vehicle in Korea has been hailed by its UK arm.

Known as BlueOn and based on Hyundai's i10 hatchback, the EV version was first unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year, but will now enter Korean government test fleets by October.

Some 30 BlueOns will be used to develop and test charging infrastructure until August 2012, while the fleet will also be showcased as South Korean hosts the next G20 summit in November.

"We are hoping to get it [BlueOn] in the UK, but it has to go through the Korean market first," a Hyundai UK spokesman told just-auto. "We think electric vehicles make a lot of sense and [UK] EV infrastructure is coming along quite rapidly."

Korea has been the focus of fuel cell technology for some time, as the country has an abundance of hydrogen surplus from its chemical industry, but Hyundai's unveiling of its BlueOn electric model could also see it eye "other markets friendly towards EVs."

"We are proud to introduce the world to BlueOn, which was fully developed in Korea and displays Hyundai's latest technological advancements," said Hyundai corporate R&D centre vice chairman Hyun-Soon Lee.

"Consumers' interests and demand for eco-friendly cars are rising and securing such advanced technology is critical in becoming an industry leader. Hyundai is dedicated to reducing its carbon footprint and satisfying market needs."

The BlueOn uses LiPoly batteries that Hyundai says deliver the same power with 30% less weight. The car also features a Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS), which creates an artificial sound for the safety of pedestrians.

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.

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.

Nissan's Leaf electric vehicle is slated for launch in December this year.