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Hyundai i10 hatch goes electric

2010-09-10 09:03

Hyundai's new BlueOn is based on the Hyundai i10 hatchback.

Hyundai has unveiled its first pure electric car with a goal of starting mass production of battery cars in 2012.

The BlueOn, based on its i10 hatchback, will be powered by batteries made by SK Energy with a capacity of 16.4kW/h, Hyundai said without disclosing the possible price of the vehicle.

The BlueOn, the automaker says, can run for 140km/h on a charge and has a top speed of about 130km/h.

Hyundai will produce and supply a small number of electric vehicles to government agencies through the rest of 2010 and in 2011 before starting sales to the general public in 2012, by which time it plans to manufacture 2500 units. Potential markets were not named.

"We're taking a baby step," a spokesperson said. "There is no infrastructure such as charging stations in Korea or in many other countries."

There are a number of electric vehicles in the works by other automakers but their high cost and limited range are cited as the biggest hurdles for their widespread adoption. Japan's Mitsubishi, for instance, is rolling out pure electric cars. Its i-MiEV was introduced in Japan in April, 2010.

Nissan intends to introduce a mass-market electric car in the US in December and Ford will have an all-electric version of its Focus available in late 2011.

The South Korean government plans to replace 20 percent of the country's cars with electric vehicles by 2020.


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