Hyundai put itself at the forefront of the eco-car market with the BlueOn fully electric vehicle, which it debuted at none other than South Korea’s presidential residence, the Blue House. The unveiling featured more than 50 prominent people in attendance, including South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak himself.
The BlueOn is one of the products of a 40-billion-won investment by the company. The prototype for the BlueOn was the i10 hatchback. The development of the BlueOn took more than a year, but was finally completed in a ceremony that had President Lee ride one of the vehicles that were brought to the Blue House event together with Hyundai’s R&D vice president Dr. Hyun-Soon Lee.
After the unveiling, Hyundai went on to supply a fleet of 30 BlueOn units intended for use by governmental organizations in South Korea. This is part of the “beta testing” phase wherein Hyundai researched and obtained information to further develop the essential accessories for the electric vehicle.
The test phase was set to be concluded by August 2012. During that period, Hyundai also assisted the South Korean government on an extensive marketing campaign to showcase the country’s efforts towards becoming eco-friendlier. During the unveiling, Hyundai VP Lee stated that it is “critical” for any entity claiming to be an industry leader to be able to exert efforts towards reducing carbon emissions and taking advantage of clean energy sources to power its vehicles.
Lee then expressed his company’s commitment to answer its consumers’ demand for eco-friendly cars and to step up to the challenge of reducing its vehicles’ carbon footprint. Indeed, Hyundai’s choice for naming its innovative electric car is indicative of its dedication to the effort to become eco-friendlier.
It named the car after its Blue Drive strategy to achieve eco-friendliness, and the act of “switching on” an electric appliance. At the core of Hyundai’s electric core are lightweight and space-saving LiPoly batteries. These batteries have excellent power capacity without being bulky.
That’s what sets it apart from the nickel-metal hydride batteries previously used in automobiles. The 16.4 kilowatt-hour LiPoly batteries also deliver exceptional performance through the electric motor. The BlueOn’s powertrain can deliver 81ps or 61 kilowatts maximum.
For an electric vehicle, the BlueOn’s acceleration is impressive. It takes roughly 13.1 seconds to jump from a standstill to a speed of 100 kilometers per hour. This means that the BlueOn’s batteries have better acceleration performance than gas engines in the hatchback class.
As for top speed, you have 130 kilometers per hour to play with. Fast, but definitely safe – the BlueOn’s safety features have been rigorously tested during the design and manufacturing process. Hyundai also made sure that the vehicle emits enough of a sound to warn pedestrians that the BlueOn is incoming.
After all, the use of an electric battery eliminates engine rumbling when the car is driving real slow. This is all possible thanks to the Virtual Engine Sound System technology. The BlueOn also has exceptional battery performance. A single charge can mean around 140 kilometers’ driving distance.
Best thing about it is that an ordinary 220-volt power outlet can juice up the batteries when you run out. It takes but six hours for the 16.4 kWh batteries to reach full charge, so you can be back on the road while you are, say, at your office. For emergency purposes, a 380V power source can make fast charging possible – it can provide 80% of the battery capacity in a charging period of roughly half an hour.
BlueOn has the following dimensions: 3,585 millimeter overall length and 1,595 millimeters of width. It also has a riding height of 1,540 millimeters. Inside the car, drivers have access to an information system that’s mated to the car’s dashboard.
From the dashboard, the driver can find out just how much power his car has left remaining. If the battery reaches dangerously low levels, the system will inform the person behind the wheel where to drive to get the powertrain charged.
The system can also provide voice-based information using a 4.2-inch TFT LCD Supervision Cluster. Other specifications for the BlueOn include a power steering system that also runs in electric power, and a water pump that runs entirely on electricity as well. The regenerative braking system has also been configured to be compatible with BlueOn’s all-electric systems as well.