South Korea’s top carmaker, Hyundai Motor has stated that it would introduce its second pure electric car next year. The company also said that this electric car would be based on a small sports utility vehicle made by its affiliate Kia Motors. It is to be mentioned here that last week, the company had revealed its first pure electric car, BlueOn. The Blue On is based on its Hyundai i10 hatchback. This model will be introduced in Korea this year. Hong John-hee, director of Hyundai Motor’s Electric Vehicle Development Group stated that they plan to produce 2,000 electric vehicles based on Kia’s upcoming cross utility vehicles (CUVs), and 500 BlueOns by 2012.
A company spokesperson said that the commercial sales of Hyundai’s electric vehicles will begin in 2013, but which models will be sold in which markets has not been decided yet. He also added that there is a high possibility that the CUV model will be sold to the general customers starting in 2013. Hong also said that Kia is planning to introduce a gasoline-based CUV in September 2011 whereas Hyundai is planning to launch an electric-version of the model in December that year. The CUV-based electric vehicle would be able to cover 130 kilometres on a single charge, added Hong. The BlueOn can cover 140 kilometres on one charge. Hong also said that the expected prices of electric car batteries would fall faster than expected.
Earlier, Seoul had also announced its plan of replacing 20 per cent of the country’s passenger cars with electric vehicles by 2020. The other auto giant Toyota Motor Corp will also offer a plug-in version of its Prius which is supposed to be the cheapest green car of its kind, by 2012. The company executives said that Toyota could have two electric cars in the US market by that time. Toyota is also planning to add six hybrid vehicles to its global lineup by 2012 and has adopted a slower approach for launching all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in comparison to its rivals like Nissan and General Motors.