According to Hyundai America’s CEO John Krafcik, the Korean automaker is planning to bring a battery-powered electric vehicle to the American market in the near future.
Currently Hyundai offers hybrid variants for its Sonata and Elantra models, but doesn’t have a full electric vehicle on the market. It does however, sell the BlueOn EV in South Korea. But regulations might cause Hyundai to push an EV to market faster in America since the state of California will mandate that all major automakers include some form of zero-emissions vehicle in their lineup.
For the most part, Hyundai is hoping to fill that mandate with its hydrogen fuel-cell Tucson, but the lack of readily-available hydrogen will limit its market viability — at least initially. There’s a good chance that Hyundai could just come out with a “compliance car” that’s only available in California, and that model could very well be the BlueOn since it would be cheap and easy for the Korean automaker to export to the U.S. The problem is, the BlueOn would be comparable to the struggling Mitsubishi i-MiEV.
The Hyundai BlueOn has a range of just under 90 miles on a full charge and has a top speed of around 80 mph. It accelerates to 60 mph from a standstill in 13.1 seconds. It’ll be interesting to see if Hyundai attempts to be competitive in the EV market by building a different model for America.
[Source: The Detroit Bureau]
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