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Hyundai eyes demand for hybrid cars

autos Updated: Mar 25, 2008 00:17 IST
Suprotip Ghosh

Hyundai Motor Company, the South Korean carmaker, is planning to launch its first liquid petroleum gas and electric ‘hybird’ car by 2010. Hyundai is India’s third largest producer of passenger cars.

Hyundai will begin its first mass production with the compact-sized LPG model, the Avante, or Elantra Liqufied Petroleum Injection (LPI) hybrid, a car that uses both LPG and electricity.

In 2010, Hyundai plans to introduce mid-sized hybrids that use gasoline and LPG. Hybrid cars use two engines and a computer to shift between the two while driving.

Hyundai-Kia chairman Chung Mong Koo had said on March 21 that the automobile company would mass-produce environment friendly cars from 2009.

“The importance of developing futuristic, environmentally-friendly cars is increasing for sustainable growth,” 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 will develop technology, create a mass production system and expand its model line-up in that order.

Currently, Hyundai provides Verna 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 2009.