• Apr 5th 2011 at 6:51PM
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2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

Hyundai Motor has reportedly finalized a development plan for its plug-in hybrid vehicle and is tentatively eying a 2013 launch at home and abroad, according to the Chosunilbo. That jives with what we've reported before, but there's more to this developing story.

According to the report, Hyundai wheeled out a prototype Sonata plug-in hybrid from its plant in Asan, South Chungcheong Province. Apparently, this plug-in has been in the making for three-plus years and is finally – finally – ready for some real-world testing. A Hyundai spokesperson told the Chosunilbo that:
Practically, full electric vehicles have a long way to go before commercialization due to short-distance driving and a lack of charging facilities. So we decided to commercialize a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle first.
Hyundai says that the plug-in hybrid will be a stepping stone towards its battery-powered vehicles. The Korean automaker has not officially confirmed that its production plug-in hybrid will be based on Sonata.

[Source: The Chosunilbo]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      I've got high hopes for Hyundai's hybrids, and this PHEV seems to be a logical progression. From what I've read the regular Sonata hybrid is very well thought-out and well executed.
      The PHEV version should be even better. I hope they use a small battery pack with limited range, to keep weight and cost down.
      It'd be great if a way could be found to automatically plug in a PHEV. I know there's the possibility of inductive devices, but seems there's always a substantial power loss. Maybe some sort of robotic arm?
      My reasoning is that people may not think it's worth the trouble to manually plug in a vehicle if it has a limited EV mode range.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hyundai seem to be using this pack:
        'SK has assembled three sample PHEV packs and is currently designing a compact 360V, 7.9 kWh pack, targeted at a 20-mile all-electric range PHEV. The PHEV20 pack uses 96 cells and is 65 liters (0.065 cubic meters or 2.3 cubic feet) in volume.'


        Some companies reckon they have hit 90% efficiency for inductive charging:
        'As part of the Phantom EE project, Rolls ROyce will test induction charging, allowing re-charging to take place without any physical connection, delivering greater convenience for owners and hinting at the potential for a network of remote charging facilities.

        There are two main elements to induction charging; a transfer pad on the ground that delivers power from a mains source and an induction pad mounted under the car, beneath Phantom EE’s battery pack. Power frequencies are magnetically coupled across these power transfer pads.

        The system is around 90% efficient when measured from mains supply to battery and it is tolerant to parking misalignment. For example, it is not essential to align the transmitter and Phantom receiver pads exactly for charging to take place. While pads are capable of transmitting power over gaps of up to 400mm, for Phantom EE the separation is in the region of 150mm. '


        I wouldn't hold your breath for it on the Hyundai plug in though! ;-)
      • 4 Years Ago
      I thought that they might release something in 2012, but the later release date makes me wonder if instead of a Sonata PHEV they might be able to do something based on the Blue Will concept car:
      • 4 Years Ago
      You know, I'm not crazy about the new Sonata's styling since I find it overdone, but the Hybrid version takes it another step further... it looks horrible and disjointed... especially the front end styling.;
      • 4 Years Ago
      I hope they anounce a definate plan soon, some people may wait for their product instead of going to a competitor if they have a definate release date.
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