Hyundai Motor Company, South Korea’s largest carmaker, has begun taking pre-launch orders for its Avante LPI Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV), its first hybrid vehicle for commercial sale.
Hyundai will accept pre-launch orders until July 7, a day before it officially introduces the car in the South Korean domestic market.
The car, which is the world’s first hybrid electric vehicle to be powered by a Liquefied Petroleum Injected (LPI) engine, was first unveiled at the 2009 Seoul Motor Show in April.
To be sold under the Avante badge in Korea, the LPI HEV will ensure eco-friendliness as well as economical operating costs and differentiated design.
A Hyundai Australia spokesman said the car would be evaluated in conjunction with head office in Korea before any decision was made on bringing it to Australia.
He said it was too early to say if, or when, the car would be released in Australia.
Powered by an LPI ‘Gamma’ engine displacing 1.6-litres, plus a 15kW/105Nm electric motor and using a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), the Avante LPI HEV emits just 99g/km of CO2 and 90 per cent fewer emissions than an equivalent standard 1.6-litre petrol powered Avante to qualify as a Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV).
In addition Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is a low carbon emitting hydrocarbon fuel which burns more cleanly than petrol or Diesel.
In addition, the Avante LPI Hybrid is a mild-type hybrid, with a fuel economy rating of 5.6 litres/100km.
This represents a 47 per cent improvement over a conventional 1.6-litre Avante with automatic transmission. It’s even cheaper to operate as the average price of LPG in Korea is 50 per cent less than that of petrol.
Avante LPI Hybrid is also the world’s first hybrid vehicle to adopt advanced Lithium Ion Polymer rechargeable batteries that have higher energy density, lower manufacturing costs, are more robust to physical damage and can also take more charge-discharge cycles before storage capacity begins to degrade than Lithium Ion Batteries.
Hyundai and its local partners have developed the technology and all key components in the Avante LPI HEV including the motor, battery and low DC/DC converter.