Hyundai has decided not to wait until 2020 to get its fleet average fuel economy up to 35 mpg, aiming instead for 2015. That will provide several advantages for the Korean manufacturer, including earning credits for being ahead of the curve. Perhaps more importantly now that Democrats are controlling both Congress and the White House, there is a strong possibility that California may get its waiver for CO2 standards from the EPA. If that happens, Hyundai and everyone else will have to get well beyond 35 mpg. By targeting that amount by mid-decade, Hyundai will be a lot closer to the stricter targets.

Hyundai's strategy to get to 35 mpg is officially called Blue Drive. Blue Drive kicks off in 2009 with new "Blue" editions of the Accent and Elantra that will get better fuel economy at a lower price than current models. The following year, Hyundai's hybrid system will debut in the next generation Sonata along with a lithium-polymer battery. At about the same time a new CUV based on the HED-5 concept will go into production with a new 2.0L turbocharged direct injection engine. Over the following years, downsized turbo DI engines will also appear in other Hyundai models. You can read more about Hyundai's plans over at AutoblogGreen.

[Sources: AutoblogGreen, Hyundai]