Hyundai Hybrid Avante ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Hyundai Hybrid Avante

Monday, March 24, 2008

Hyundai Hybrid Avante

Hyundai is still on track to bring the Avante Hybrid to mass production in 2009. Despite having hybrids for years, they have only been available to government agencies in South Korea.

The first hybrid from Hyundai to be available will be the compact sedan Avante. The Avante will be the new version of the Elantra. Hyundai will follow this first hybrid compact model up with a midsize model in 2010, and a fuel cell in 2012.

One caveat, the Avante will be a hybrid LPG-electric, not a gas-electric hybrid.

Press Release Follows:

# Hyundai´s First Hybrid Car for Mass Production Will be Avante (Elantra) LPI
# Hyundai to Produce Small Fleet of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles by 2012
# Greatly Improve Fuel Efficiency, Cut CO2 Emissions:
Opening a New Era for Environmentally-Friendly Cars

(Seoul, Korea) Hyundai Motor Company plans to mass produce Hybrid Electric Vehicles starting next year, opening a new era for environmentally-friendly cars.

While accompanying South Korean President Lee Myung Bak on a Kia Motors´ plant tour on March 21, Hyundai-Kia Chairman Chung Mong Koo said the automobile company will mass produce environmentally-friendly cars from 2009 to create new jobs and develop the industry into a next-generation value-adding growth engine.

"The importance of developing futuristic, environmentally-friendly cars is increasing for sustainable growth," Chairman Chung said. "Therefore, technology for advanced cars, like the hybrid, is imperative. We also plan to produce a small fleet of fuel cell electric vehicles from 2012."

To meet its 2009 mass production target, Hyundai´s step-by-step plan is to

– Develop Technology

– Create a mass production system

– Expand model line-up

In accordance with this plan, Hyundai will begin its first mass production with the compact-sized LPG model, the Avante (Elantra) LPI (Liqufied Petroleum Injection) hybrid, a car that uses both Liquefied Petroleum Gas and electricity. In 2010, Hyundai plans to introduce mid-sized hybrids that use gasoline and LPG.

Currently, Hyundai provides Verna (Accent) hybrid models to government agencies as pilot projects. The plan is to expand the line-up to mid-sized sedans and beyond for mass production, starting from 2009.

Hyundai entered the environmentally-friendly auto market in October 2004, when it supplied the government with 50 Click (Getz) hybrid cars. Since then, Hyundai and Kia have supplied the government with 350 hybrid cars in 2005, including the Verna model. This number increased to 730 cars in 2006 and 1,682 cars in 2007, totalling about 2,800 cars so far.

Based on the technology accumulated from producing these cars, Hyundai will from 2009 mass produce hybrid cars that use LPG, which creates less pollution than conventional cars. Hyundai is also kicking its development plans into full gear with the aim to mass produce Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) beginning 2012.

Hyundai plans to expand a demo fleet of FCEV´s to 500 units by 2010, including mid-to-large size SUV´s, then establish a small production system to begin mass production from 2012.

The mass production of hybrid cars in 2009 will be a turning point for Hyundai, which will increase its competitiveness in the environmentally-friendly car sector, an area automakers worldwide are counting on for their strategic survival in the next-generation business sector.

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