Coming 12 years after the introduction of the Prius in Japan, Hyundai may be extremely late to the hybrid party, but they’re hoping to play catch up quickly.
Hyundai’s new Elantra LPI will be sold only in South Korea. It runs on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and uses lithium-ion batteries. Although Hyundai has no immediate plans to export the Elantra LPI overseas, the company plans to release a gasoline electric hybrid version of the Sonata in late 2010. Presumably the hybrid Sonata would be marketed in the US to compete directly with offerings from Toyota and Honda.
Reportedly the Elantra LPI gets about 41 mpg using LPG. Given that LPG is about half the price of gasoline in South Korea, the Elantra LPI can travel 82 miles for the cost of one gallon of gas. The new LPG hybrid also only emits a scant 99 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer traveled, which, if the car was sold in the US, would qualify it as a Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle in California.
The Elantra LPI will sell for between the equivalent of 16,000 and 18,000 US dollars (20.5 million to 23.2 million won).
Image Credit: Hyundai