Hyundai BlueOn 2011 is first Korean electric car

Hyundai BlueOn 2011 is first Korean electric car

Hyundai has unveiled the company’s first Full Speed Electric Vehicle (FSEV) named ‘BlueOn,’ and has become the first Korean manufacturer to release a proper electric car. Hyundai unveiled the car in the presence of Korean President Lee Myung-Bak and other ministers.

Hyundai invested time and money over a one-year period to create BlueOn, which is based on Hyundai’s small i10 hatchback. The electric version of i10 was first unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2009 as a concept.

Beginning with the ceremony, Hyundai is planning to provide 30 BlueOn vehicles as test fleets 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 name ‘BlueOn’ derives from Hyundai’s Blue Drive strategy, which encompasses the company’s eco-friendly products and technologies. The word ‘On’ symbolizes “switch on.”

The BlueOn is equipped with a highly efficient electric motor powered by a 16.4 kWh LiPoly (lithium-ion polymer) battery that offers numerous advantages over other battery types. The car boasts a maximum power of 80 hp and maximum torque of 210 Nm.

As pure electric vehicles operate only with the battery and electric motor, the battery’s lifespan and storage capacity determines the vehicle’s performance. Hyundai chose LiPoly batteries because compared with previous nickel-metal hydride batteries (NiMH), LiPoly delivers the same power with 30% less weight and 40% less volume, boosting efficiency and leaving more interior space for passengers.

Furthermore, the car has been designed to prevent overcharging and collision-related safety issues. Hyundai also conducted hundreds of thousands of kilometres’ worth of endurance testing. BlueOn boasts a maximum speed of 130 kph and 0-100 kph 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 on a single charge. It also accommodates dual recharging methods: a 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, an advanced telematics system showing the charge status and location of recharging stations is installed. A 4.2-inch TFT LCD “Supervision” gauge 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.

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