Korean manufacturer Hyundai has announced plans to launch a hybrid electric version of the Elantra sedan next year, with or without support from the Korean government.
Although some media outlets reported earlier that Hyundai will receive funds from the Korean government for research into lithium ion battery technology, the company says that's not the case.
"We don't get any subsidies to that effect," Hyundai spokesman Oles Gadacz said.
Initially the hybrid Elantra will only be available in Korea, where it's known as the Avante and should hit showrooms by 2009.
The big news of course, is that it runs on electricity and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), subtly named the Avante LPI (liquefied petroleum injection).
Hyundai says Gasoline-liquefied petroleum gas versions should follow in mid-2010 while larger vehicles such as the Grandeur are in the long-term plans.
The Korean manufacturer, which many analysts see today the same way they saw Toyota in the 90s, does not expect to sell many hybrid electric vehicle, aiming for just 50,000 in 2011, and that's factoring in the launch of a hybrid electric vehicle in the United States.
It does make us wonder though, how can Hyundai have such low expectations given the benefits and relatively cheap cost of LPG?