Hyundai, Kia plan 2,500 electric vehicles by 2012

SEOUL Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:37am EDT

A salesperson works at a Hyundai Motor showroom in Seoul September 1, 2010. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak

A salesperson works at a Hyundai Motor showroom in Seoul September 1, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Jo Yong-Hak

SEOUL (Reuters) - Kia Motors, South Korea's No.2 carmaker, plans to produce 2,000 units of its new electric vehicles by 2012, an executive at its affiliate Hyundai Motor said on Tuesday.

The model, based on Kia's upcoming compact sports utility vehicle, will be rolled out in South Korea in December 2011, said Hong John-hee, director of its parent Hyundai Motor Group's Electric Vehicle Development.

Hyundai Motor also plans to manufacture 500 units of its electric vehicle BlueOn, based on i10 hatchback, starting in 2010, he added.

"We plan to produce 2,000 electric vehicles based on Kia's upcoming cross utility vehicles (CUVs), and 500 BlueOns by 2012," Hong told reporters.

Hyundai said the two models will be sold to government organizations in South Korea by 2012 and commercial sales will start in 2013, but which models will be sold in which markets has not been decided.

Hyundai is behind the global race to produce full electric cars, as its Japanese and U.S. rivals plan to launch a series of battery electric models in the coming years to meet growing demand for fuel-efficient and eco-friendly vehicles.

(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)