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Hyundai Brings Elantra LPI Hybrid to Market in Korea

Hybrid Elantra uses new lithium ion polymer batteries and gets 41.9 mpg

 |  Jul 10 2009, 12:10 PM


Today Hyundai introduced a hybrid version of its compact Elentra sedan for the Korean marketplace. This mild-hybrid system makes use of an unconventional 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that is powered by LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), or what is also known as propane. That engine is then mated to an electric motor, which receives its power from Lithium Ion Polymer battery packs.

Together these two motors combine to make 134hp and propel the hybrid Elantra to 62 mph in 11.7 seconds, which, says Hyundai, is about two seconds faster than the Civic Hybrid. Hyundai claims the car will deliver $1,100 in saving annually over a conventional gasoline powered car, but much of that savings has to do with the fact that LPG costs roughly half the price of gasoline.

In total, Hyundai claims the Elentra LPI (liquid petroleum injected) Hybrid gets an average of 41.9 mpg. To achieve this it also has a Start-Stop function and an ‘Eco Guide’ tree icon to let drivers know when they are driving in a fuel-efficient manner. There is also an E or “Eco Drive” gear, which the driver can select, to optimize gearing, while increasing the level of electric power assistance and regenerative braking.

Hyundai will build 7,500 units for the Korean market with a starting price of 20.5 million won ($16,180). There are no immediate plans to export the car to other markets, but the Korean automaker is exploring the possibility in regions where LPG is readily accessible.

GALLERY: Hyundai Elantra LPI Hybrid


Official release afteer the jump:

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Hyundai Planning Plug-In Hybrid to Compete With Prius, Volt

Compact PHEV based on Blue-Will Concept to go on sale in 2012

 |  Jul 07 2009, 11:02 AM


While Hyundai has already announced plans to enter the hybrid market in 2011 with a hybrid version of the new Sonata, due out in 2011, the company has now made clear plans for a state-of-the-art plug-in hybrid electric for 2012. This new model will be based on the Blue-Will Concept, which debuted at this year’s Seoul Auto Show and will be aimed squarely at the Toyota Prius PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle), as well as the upcoming Chevrolet Volt.

Yang Woong-chul, the head of R&D at Hyundai told Automotive News that the Hyundai PHEV will be powered by a 1.6-liter direct injection powerplant and a 100kw electric motor, with a range of 38 miles on just electric power. When in gasoline mode the acr will achieve an average of 55 mpg.

Woong-chul did not say if the Hyundai PEV would use the same lithium-polymer technology expected in  he 2011 Sonata, which Hyundai claims is superior to the lithium-ion batteries that will be used in the Toyota and Chevy PHEVs.

[Source: Automotive News via Autoblog]

 |  Mar 24 2009, 10:53 AM


Ahead of it’s official unveiling at the Seoul Auto Show, Kia has dropped the curtain on its first ever hybrid, the Forte LPI hybrid.

Based on the upcoming Forte compact sedan, the hybrid model makes use of a 1.6-liter engine that runs on liquid petroleum (more commonly known as propane). The Liquefied Petroleum Injected (LPI) engine makes 114hp with an electric motor that adds an additional 20hp for a total of 134hp.

The battery pack in the Forte LPI is a new state-of-the-art product that Kia has developed with parent company Hyundai and LG Chem. This lithium polymer battery (as opposed to the lithium-ion batteries used in most other hybrids) is lighter and smaller and has a higher output than a nickel-metal hydride unit.

A new CVT transmission is also a part of the package.

Kia says the Forte LPI hybrid will achieve a combined fuel economy rating of 40.5 mpg – which is says is the equivalent to 50.6 with gasoline (presumably due to the lower cost of propane).

Unfortunately LPI or propane isn’t readily available in most markets and so this vehicle isn’t likely to make it to most of the world. The vehicle will, however go on sale in South Korea in August.

While unveiling the car Kia did, however, state that it will bring another full hybrid car to production in 2010, with a hydrogen fuel cell car and plug-in hybrid in 2012. Parent company Hyundai is also planning a hybrid version of the Sonata for 2010.

GALLERY: Kia Forte LPI Hybrid