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New Environmental Technology R&D Center


Hyundai Kia Automotive Group today held the grand opening of the new Environmental Technology R&D Center. As the new home of Hyundai-Kia’s environmental research efforts, the Center will spark new synergies and generate greater efficiency in Hyundai-Kia’s efforts to develop cleaner, more eco-friendly vehicles.

Located on the southern edge of Seoul in Mabuk, phase one of the center was completed with a total investment of US$58 million after start of construction in July 2003. The scale of the investment is a clear sign of the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group’s commitment to attain global leadership in environmental management.

Situated on a 30,488-sq. meter site, the five-story 14,233 sq. meter 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 specialized equipment for testing electric propulsion systems. A pilot plant for automated vehicle dismantling focuses on improving the material recycling rate of end-of-life vehicles.

The new center will allow both Hyundai and Kia to proactively respond to the intensifying environmental regulations in the areas of product development, manufacturing, sales, after service, and vehicle recycling.

Of particular note, the 700-bar hydrogen filling station, coupled with the 350-bar station at the Group’s Namyang R&D Center, will enable fuel-cell vehicle tests within the Seoul metropolitan area and will help accelerate the commercialization of fuel-cell electric vehicles.

“The mission of the R&D center is to enable Hyundai Kia Automotive Group to realize 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.

“Through world-class environmental management practices, we look forward to playing a leading role in helping to solve global environmental issues,” he added.

The Group plans to invest heavily in next generation green vehicles and environmental technologies with focus placed on development of core technologies for fuel-cell and hybrid cars and mass production of such vehicles, development of technologies for lowering gas emissions and improving fuel efficiency, enhancing vehicle recycling as well as investigation into alternative materials to ferrous metals, and development of technologies for lowering air/water pollution during the manufacturing process and for recycling waste materials resulting from energy production.

Furthermore, in line with the purpose it seeks to serve, the center itself was contracted using environment-friendly materials and processes such as vacuum toilet systems which result in 1,500 tons of water savings annually by using one-tenth the water of a conventional flush toilet; heating and air conditioning systems using heat pumps; natural light systems using solar reflectors; floors made of scrapped tires; and electric power created from actual fuel-cell tests used during technology development that will result in a 1,000-ton reduction in CO2 emissions.

Kia Motors Corporation ( ) – one of the fastest growing automakers in the world -- was founded in 1944 and is Korea’s oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. As part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Kia aims to become one of the world’s premier automotive brands. Kia’s 16 manufacturing and assembly operations in 12 countries produce more than 1.1 million vehicles a year that are sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 155 countries. Kia today has over 32,000 employees and annual revenues of $14 billion . It is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open and an official worldwide sponsor of the Davis Cup. Kia Motors Corporation’s brand slogan -- “The Power to Surprise” -- represents the company’s global commitment to surpassing customer expectations through continuous automotive innovation.