Hyundai will introduce an Avante Hybrid in its Korean home market in 2009. The Avante (known as the Elantra here in the US) will use an LPG/electric setup in order to take advantage of LPG's price advantage over gasoline (it's half the cost) and because Korea already has a workable LPG infrastructure in place. The automaker will follow up with a gasoline-electric hybrid by 2010. It's anticipated that the LPG/electric system will pay off with fuel economy between 44 and 47 mpg (US). Hyundai also wants to take advantage of planned government incentives on hybrid vehicles, and if it doesn't get its own entrant into the market in a timely manner, it will effectively cede the space to Japanese automakers like Honda and Toyota.

There are still some hurdles to clear, as currently, LPG-fueled cars are only legal for rental cars and vehicles that transport the handicapped, but the government is expected to find a workaround that will allow private citizens to buy the cars when they arrive.

No mention of it is made in the article, but one has to wonder if we'll be seeing that gasoline/electric hybrid from Hyundai soon after it makes its anticipated 2010 debut in Korea.

[Source: The Chosun Ilbo]

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