Blue is the new green in the car industry – at least when it comes to environmental matters
Volkswagen has its BlueMotion line, Mercedes-Benz has BlueTec, and now Hyundai is in on the act with Blue Drive, aimed at producing low emission, extremely fuel efficient vehicles which have a minimal impact on the environment.
Blue Drive will include hybrids that use new lithium polymer batteries which are cheaper, lighter and more durable than nickel-metal hydride batteries.
Hyundai says the battery pack will be 10 percent more efficient, weigh 30 percent less, require half as much space, and be more durable, easier to cool and cheaper to build.
First Blue Drive models will be petrol-electric hybrid versions of the Accent and Elantra with improved aerodynamics, low-resistance tyres, transmission tweaks and engine modifications aimed at improving efficiency.
However, the first car to use the new battery technology will be the new-generation Sonata which will have an efficient 2.4-litre petrol engine, six-speed transmission and a 30kW electric motor to provide an all-electric mode to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
The hybrid Sonata will also have regenerative brakes and an integrated starter-generator that turns off the engine when idling and restarts it automatically when the driver presses the throttle.