Report: Hyundai testing prototype plug-in hybrid; launch set for 2013

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.

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[Source: The Chosunilbo]

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