California's stringent automotive emissions mandates, which require that all automakers include some form of Zero-Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) in the lineup, may be forcing the hand of Hyundai, suggests The Detroit Bureau after a recent tweet from John Krafcik, HMA Chief Executive. Up until now, the Korean automaker has been attempting to meet future regulations with fuel-cell vehicles like the modified ix35/Tuscon models (the technology uses hydrogen to generate electricity), but consumers have been slow to warm to hydrogen citing an immature and undeveloped refueling infrastructure.

While battery-powered EVs are far from perfect, they appeal to consumers who have short commutes and owners who find it convenient to recharge at home. If Hyundai were to get into the EV game in short order, one solution could be the BlueOn battery car (shown above) that is sold in the automaker's domestic market. In its current state, the BlueOn offers a 16.4-kWh lithium polymer battery, which provides a range of just over 85 miles and a lethargic 0-60 time of 13.1 seconds.

To be competitive, Hyundai would have to boost performance or seek another more expensive solution. We'll have to wait for official word, or another tweet from Krafcik, to see which way the company is heading.


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  • 56 Comments
      Awhattup
      • 1 Year Ago
      S. Korea already supplies batteries to many production EVs including the MB SLS AMG electric car.
      DaveMart
      • 1 Year Ago
      'consumers have been slow to warm to hydrogen citing an immature and undeveloped refueling infrastructure.' I have checked the source quoted, and this is ABG's typically utterly absurd gloss. Since they are not on sale, how can customers be slow to warm to them? Exactly which customers were interviewed, and who cited immature and undeveloped fueling infrastructure as a reason not to buy a car that is not on sale? There were a few Honda FCXs knocking around, lease only, clearly on a trial basis, and that is it. Awful, awful writing. What on earth is the editor here doing to allow such nonsense to be posted?
        m_2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        @DaveMart
        Facts be damn here on AB. Might as well just make up BS based on very little knowledge of the facts.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @DaveMart
        You are right . . . we can't say that consumers have been slow to warm to hydrogen cars . . . BECAUSE THERE ARE NOT HYDROGEN FUEL CELL CARS AVAILABLE FOR SALE! Nothing but a few heavily-subsidized leases which are really nothing but driving science experiments.
          DaveMart
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          Weird that you are so ready to give BEV cars a free pass, and say that it is early days. But then that is your hobby horse, and you make no effort at all to be open minded and impartial. Do take the blinkers off from time to time - the view is better.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          " Nothing but a few heavily-subsidized leases..." As if BEV purchases/leases aren't heavily subsidized...
          ElectricAvenue
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          "As if BEV purchases/leases aren't heavily subsidized..." As if ICE purchases/leases aren't heavily subsidized... Check out all the direct and indirect government subsidies manufacturers get! Taking a random recent sample: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_Chattanooga_Assembly_Plant "Volkswagen invested approximately one billion U.S. dollars to construct the facility, with local, state and federal governments subsidizing the project with an estimated $577 million in incentives."
          Actionable Mango
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          That is a jobs program, not an ICE program. Theoretically EVs could be built there some day.
          Spec
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          Weird that you can can remark on my BEV car opinion considering my post did not mention BEV cars. Are you a mind-reader?
          DaveMart
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          @Spec: What a dumb comment! You have made your predilection for batteries abundantly clear many times, are we supposed to forget that? If there is a mind there, you can perhaps assume that I have read it. Alternatively you might assume that I have read and remembered previous posts of yours. Perhaps you are right, and that was a waste of time.
      mary.keana
      • 1 Year Ago
      Knowing how Hyundai admitted they can't do simple math and calculate MPG for the EPA estimates, would you really want to leave home in an electric Hyundai. Halfway to your destination you run out of charge.
        Grendal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mary.keana
        With a 16.4 kWh pack you'd only get around 40 miles anyway, and 50 if you drive carefully. With this car you'd have your commute with little else.
          Rob Mahrt
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          Maybe. Spark EV is at 20 kwh? It has an ~80 mile range? This is about the same size? so ~62 mile range? I think for US market they would upgrade to ~20kwh for ~$22k (after rebate) to be on par with others, Fiat, Spark, etc, but just speculation.
          methos1999
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          The Volt has a 16.5 kWh pack, but only uses ~60% and comes out anywhere from 35-50 mile range. If this Hyundai pack uses more like 90%, it should be closer to 60-70 mile range.
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      Reality set in on their fuel-cell dreams?
        Letstakeawalk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        Where did Hyundai say they were backing away from fuel cells? The only quote I saw was this: “Our primary zero-emission vehicle focus is fuel cell right now,” tweeted HMA Chief Executive John Krafcik, “but we will certainly field a BEV at some point.”
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          "Not only do you ignore that the article actually says, but you have managed to delete from your memory the countless links you have been given to Hyundai's roadmap, and incidentally the roadmap of almost every other automaker and the DOE." Here it is, for the umpteenth time: "Small vehicles for short driving range → EV Large vehicles for long driving range → Hydrogen FCEV" http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/htac_may2012_hyundai.pdf
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          FCVs and BEVs are complementary technologies. Both have strengths and weaknesses that allow them to fit into a variety of niches and appeal to a wider variety of consumers than either would independently. Most automakers plan on producing both BEVs (typically for smaller short range commuters) and FCVs (typically larger intra-city longer range vehicles). Come on Spec, you know this.
          DaveMart
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          LTAW: Spec is happy to appear as though he has not only zero powers of reading comprehension, but a spectacularly defective memory, so long as he can make his 'point' by reiterating negatives about fuel cells. One can only imagine that he hopes that newcomers who are not familiar with the dialogue here will think that he is making some sort of valid comment, not simply once again repeating canards which have been demonstrably shown to be groundless umpteen times before. In any case he is certainly not interested in rational debate, which involves having some memory and acknowledging that points have been covered. He is rather indulging in some sort of quasi religious repetition of mantras, not subject to reason, or intellect.
          Spec
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Why do they need an EV if fuel cells are so much better?
          DaveMart
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          @Spec: Your resolution in ignoring anything which does not fit your wishes is almost heroic. Not only do you ignore that the article actually says, but you have managed to delete from your memory the countless links you have been given to Hyundai's roadmap, and incidentally the roadmap of almost every other automaker and the DOE. This is presumably on the grounds that they are 'ungood'. Hyundai like almost everyone else sees fuel cells as initially appropriate for larger vehicles, but is willing, mainly through its partner Kia to give batteries a go in smaller vehicles, where the energy density/cost works better. Of course, Toyota was initially going to produce the IQ as an electric vehicle in volume, but since batteries did not progress as fast as they had hoped shelved that and made it a compliance car, whilst their fuel cell car is to be only Prius sized, as they reckon that that is the most appropriate even for that comparatively small car. It is positively uncanny the way you manage to forget every setback for battery vehicles, whilst rejoicing in any delay, real or imagined by yourself, for fuel cell vehicles. Personally I support electric vehicles full stop, and cheer on every advance either of batteries or fuel cells. No doubt you will succeed in unlearning this information on the fact that most see batteries as suitable for small city cars, and fuel cells as the best bet for bigger and long range vehicles, but if so please do us the favour of not posing fake innocent 'questions'. Your mind is already made up, and you are very good at dismissing anything which might in any way run contrary to that.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          [blocked]
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          " The only faulty memory here is yours when you hide from sight when HFC is failing." Care to back that up with a link?
        Dave
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        Nissan builds the Leaf. That hasn't stopped them from working on hydrogen fuel cells. They will coexist in showrooms. The rivalry between them is only in your head.
          ElectricAvenue
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dave
          The existence of hydrogen fuel cell cars in showrooms is only in your head. We'll see if it ever comes to pass. I doubt it.
      DaveMart
      • 1 Year Ago
      That car is an electric version of my little car! Weirdly, you can get two people in the back with decent legroom and headroom. The boot is tiny though.
      FIDTRO
      • 1 Year Ago
      Since this is an EV, and because Hyundai "engineers" can't do math, what does Hyundai compensate you with instead of a gas card?
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      Koenigsegg
      • 1 Year Ago
      not another ugly electric car smh why not an electric genesis why this ugly box looking thing
        DaveMart
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Koenigsegg
        Not all areas of the world have unlimited road space, especially in the cities. This is efficient packaging of the maximum passenger space for the least road area. You may not have heard of such things, but there is not one 'right' way to design a car, as they perform a variety of functions in a variety of conditions. Hard to get your head around, eh?
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Koenigsegg
        [blocked]
          EZEE
          • 1 Year Ago
          Light weight and aerodynamic you say? Hmmmmmm....(scratches chin) :)
      Carguy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Bringing the car pictured to the US would be a big mistake. Hyundai/Kia have made monumental advances in design in the US - if their strategy is to lose money on their EV compliance car they should try to offer a low volume EV with some flair.
      paulwesterberg
      • 1 Year Ago
      With the iMiev not exactly flying off of dealer lots I am surprised they decided to go with a similar small vehicle/battery. It someone wants a small vehicle the e500 has a much better range & styling.
      The Wasp
      • 1 Year Ago
      If they do bring this to the US, I hope they don't make any effort to "improve performance" -- at least not in terms of acceleration. I don't have any problem with a car focused on efficiency having slow acceleration.
      Sahngseok Lee
      • 1 Year Ago
      What the... Kia has already announced they will sell Kia Soul EV next year around $35,000. Soul EV is expected travel 200km per charge. That Hyundai Blueon is now an "old" EV in Korea and Kia Ray EV is much popular here. If hyundai really need an EV with its logo, they'll make a new EV, not Blueon. I really doubt if the author of this article knows any about Korean automakers.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Sahngseok Lee
        "I really doubt if the author of this article knows any about Korean automakers." He certainly doesn't seem to have a well-informed opinion. He jumped to conclusions that were in direct contradiction to direct quotes of Hyundai management.
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