Hyundai is preparing to launch a hybrid Avante sedan, the Korean-market Elantra, in 2009. The Avante hybrid will be the first Hyundai hybrid offered to the general public. Hyundai has been building hybrids for government fleets since 2004, using those cars as development vehicles for the hybrid program.
Early Avante hybrids will be powered by LPG and electricity, but the Avante hybrid should run on gas and electricity by 2010. Hyundai has plans to expand its hybrid vehicle lineup to include larger cars and wants to reach 50,000 hybrid sales per year by 2011. A fuel-cell hybrid could be on the market by 2012.
A key component to Hyundai’s hybrid success is the Korean government offering tax incentives for hybrid buyers. Contrary to earlier reports, the Korean government is not subsidizing Hyundai’s hybrid by funding lithium-ion battery development. A spokesman told Automotive News “We don’t get any subsidies to that effect.”
Source: Automotive News