On Tuesday, Hong John-hee, director of Hyundai Motor Group's electric vehicle development program announced that Kia Motors will jump into the electric vehicle (EV) fight by producing 2,000 EVs based on an upcoming compact SUV. The electrified CUV will hit the South Korean market in late 2011 and will likely be sold to government organizations beginning in 2012. If all goes well, it could be ready for the public by 2013 with a range of about 80 miles. By year's end, Hyundai also plans to produce 500 electric BlueOns, a vehicle based on the company's highly successful, but not available in the U.S., i10 minicar.
Hong John-hee was eager to reveal this info, but reluctant to comment on any of the company's plans beyond those 2,500 EVs, all of which will likely land in government fleets. In regards to Hyundai-Kia's public sales of EVs, here's what we know as of right now: Hyundai will launch retail sales of battery-powered vehicles by 2013. That's about it. We're still waiting to be clued in on which models will be sold and whether or not those vehicles will hit U.S. shores. What's more interesting is that Hong John-hee said the cost of battery-electric vehicles will fall off much quicker than most analysts are anticipating.