The hybrid Elantra is cheaper to operate than other hybrid models currently available as LPG prices are lower than gasoline.
SEOUL - Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS: Quote, Profile, Research) plans to start retail sales of a hybrid version of the Elantra in South Korea in July 2009, the country's top auto maker said on Tuesday.
Hyundai does not currently plan to export the model, a company official said.
Hyundai, which controls almost half of South Korea's auto market, said the compact sedan would be powered by liquid petroleum gas (LPG) and lithium polymer batteries, which will be supplied solely by South Korea's LG Chem (051910.KS: Quote, Profile, Research).
Under the new 2008 standards, EPA estimates that the Toyota Highlander Hybrid will get 27 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. This is 10 mpg better in the city than the regular gasoline models will receive.
The hybrid components, including the 300-volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack, add about 400 pounds to the truck's weight. Engineers took out 320 of that by making lighter seats, making the hood and rear hatch out of aluminum and removing some unneeded bits such as the starter motor and alternator.