Hyundai is taking a slightly different approach to electro-combustion hybrid powertrains. It will be releasing a hybrid version of the Hyundai Elantra in 2009, and it will be powered by an LPG-electric hybrid engine!
Estimated fuel consumption for the new hybrid LPG Elantra is 30% of the standard Elantra. Hyundai decided to make an LPG hybrid for the Korean market because Liquid Petroleum Gas is cheap (half price in Korea) as well as sufficiently available at most pumping stations. There are currently only two hybrid cars sold in Korea – the Lexus RX400h and the Honda Civic Hybrid.
This move by Hyundai takes advantage of a recently announced new ruling that gives hybrid cars in Korea tax breaks and subsidies. An Elantra hybrid using gasoline for it’s combustion engine instead of LPG will be released in 2010, and this might find it’s way to the US market.