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

Hyundai Elantra LPI first in line

Hyundai-Kia Chairman Chung Mong Koo said last Friday, while showing South Korean President Lee Myung Bak around the Kia facility, that Hyundai will start production of its first hybrid car by 2009. Further plans are to produce a small fleet of electric cars starting 2012.

Mr. chung said: "The importance of developing futuristic, environmentally-friendly cars is increasing for sustainable growth. Therefore, technology for advanced cars, like the hybrid, is imperative.”

Hyundai has set out a plan to achieve this target, first to develop the technology, create a mass production system and expand the model line-up. The first car to receive the hybrid treatment is the compact Elantra (Avante) LPI (Liqufied Petroleum Injection), the Elantra LPI Hybrid will run on both Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and electricity. 2010 should see the introduction of mid-sized hybrids using LPG and regular petrol.

Hyundai hopes to turn a new corner with the introduction of hybrid LPG powered cars and be improve its competitiveness in the environmentally-friendlier car segment, which Hyundai considers to be a next-generation business sector.

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