The Hyundai Kia Automotive Group has opened a new Research and Development Centre in Seoul to "develop cleaner, more eco-friendly vehicles" (related post)
The US$58 million center will be a place where company engineers can fiddle with hydrogen, emissions, electric drive systems, and end-of-life recycling, among other things (see the full list in the press release after the jump)

Group Vice Chairman Sang-Kwon Kim said in that statement that, "The mission of the R&D centre is to enable Hyundai Kia Automotive Group to realise its vision of becoming the world leader in environmental technology through the development of products and core technologies that are in full compliance with global environment regulations."

True to the green spirit, the center's architecture is fairly low-impact, with low-water toilets, natural light systems, and floors made from recycled tires. It's not the Google HQ, but that sounds pretty cool. Hyundai's press release is after the jump.

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[Source: Hyundai Kia]

HYUNDAI KIA AUTOMOTIVE GROUP OPENS ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER

With a total investment of US$58 million, Hyundai Kia's Research and Development Centre in Seoul will spark new synergies and generate greater efficiency in efforts to develop cleaner, more eco-friendly vehicles.

This investment is an indicator of Hyundai Kia's commitment to attaining global leadership in environmental management. It will allow them to proactively respond to the intensifying environmental regulations in product development, manufacturing, sales, after service and recycling of vehicles. Situated on a 30,488-sq. metre site, the five-storey, 14,233 sq. metre facility is home to 200 researchers and more than 400 pieces of high-tech equipment.

Facilities include a 700-bar hydrogen filling station, a fuel-cell endurance tester, an emissions lab, dynamometers and other specialised equipment for testing electric propulsion systems. The centre also contains a pilot plant for automated vehicle dismantling focusing on improving the material recycling rate of end-of-life vehicles.

Together with the 350-bar station at the Group's Namyang Centre, the 700-bar hydrogen filling station will enable fuel-cell vehicle tests and help accelerate the commercialisation of fuel-cell electric vehicles.

"The mission of the R&D centre is to enable Hyundai Kia Automotive Group to realise its vision of becoming the world leader in environmental technology through the development of products and core technologies that are in full compliance with global environment regulations," said Group Vice Chairman Sang-Kwon Kim.

The Group plans to invest heavily in next generation green vehicles and environmental technologies, focusing on the development of core technologies for fuel-cell and hybrid cars and mass production of such vehicles. As well as developing technologies for lowering gas emissions and improving fuel efficiency, investigations into alternative materials to ferrous metals and the development of technologies for reducing pollution and waste from the manufacturing process will be undertaken.

Setting the standard, the centre itself was constructed using environmentally friendly materials and processes such as vacuum toilet systems which result in 1,500 tons of water savings annually; heating and air conditioning systems using heat pumps; natural light systems using solar reflectors; floors made of scrapped tyres; and electric power created from actual fuel-cell tests that result in a 1,000-ton reduction in CO2 emissions.

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