What’s in a name? Hyundai mulls importing its ‘BlueOn’ EV to placate California lawmakers

Hyundai BlueOn

As we’ve reported before, automakers wanting to sell cars in California have to also sell a zero-emissions vehicle as well. This has prompted several automakers to sell EVs in California and a few other select markets. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, for example, admitted that the Italian automaker would lose $10,000 for each Fiat 500e electric car that it sold.

One major holdout so far has been Hyundai, which had hoped to meet the zero-emissions regulation with a hydrogen fuel-cell-powered car, the ix35. Should the hydrogen-powered Hyundai ever hit Stateside, it would be called the Tucson Fuel Cell. Although the South Korean automaker has rolled out a few examples in Denmark, it’s unclear if and when the fuel-cell vehicle will be ready for the U.S. market.

So Hyundai might have to follow in the footsteps of several other automakers, including Honda and Fiat, and halfheartedly sell an all-electric car in California instead.

Hyundai already has an EV for sale in South Korea called the “BlueOn.” While this seems like the perfect car for Tobias Funke from Arrested Development, we’re going to go ahead and presume a name change will be in order before it hits American showrooms.

The South Korean market BlueOn will only go 90 miles on a single charge, powered by a 16.4-kilowatt hour lithium polymer battery, according to The Detroit Bureau. The compact Korean EV will make a 0-60 crawl in 13.1 seconds. From there it will hit a top speed of only 80mph.

If you think those figures are rather unimpressive, you’re not alone. So do we. Reminds us of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, which was a sales flop. We wager Hyundai would have to revisit the power output and battery range before it shipped any BlueOns to the U.S. – especially if it wants to compete with the extremely powerful and extremely cheap Honda Fit EV.


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