Hyundai has unveiled the company’s – and Korea’s – first Full Speed Electric Vehicle (FSEV). The BlueOn boasts a maximum speed of 130 km/h (80mph) and a range of 140 km (87 miles), making it capable of matching it on the highway with traditional fossil-fuel powered vehicles. With a maximum power of 81ps (61kW) and a maximum torque of 21.4kg/m (210Nm), the BlueOn can go from 0-100km/h (62mph) in 13.1 seconds.
The BlueOn is based on Hyundai’s small hatchback i10, the concept electric version of which was first unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2009. It has a body measuring 3.58m (11.7 ft) long, 1.59m (5.2 ft) wide and 1.54m (5.05 ft) high, making it pretty compact, even for a hatchback. It is powered by 16.4 kWh lithium-ion polymer (LiPoly) battery technology that the company says delivers the same power with 30 percent less weight and 40 percent less volume compared with previous nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries.
The BlueOn also accommodates dual recharging methods – 220V household power and 380V industrial-strength power. Using household power the battery will be fully recharged within six hours, while using the 380V quick charge method, the battery can be recharged to about 80 percent capacity within 25 minutes.
Hyundai will collaborate with the Seoul Metropolitan Government and other government agencies to build recharging facilities and plans 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. They’ll also be used for promotional purposes, starting with the upcoming G20 summit, to boost Korea's eco-friendly image.
The BlueOn also features a Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS), which, like Toyota’s recently announced onboard audio alert system, creates an artificial sound to alert pedestrians of the vehicle’s approach.
Hyundai says it invested about 40 billion Korean Won (approx. US$35 million) over the course of a year to create the BlueOn, which was unveiled in the presence of Korean President Lee Myung-Bak who took the vehicle for a test drive.
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.