Hyundai may beat Japanese rivals Honda and Toyota to the market with a lithium-ion hybrid by 2010. According to a report by Automotive News, Hyundai is planning a hybrid version of the Elantra sedan using lithium-ion batteries in the U.S. by 2010.
According to Jae Won Lee, Hyundai’s senior executive vice president of product planning, a lithium-ion battery is being developed by Korea’s own LG Electronics and could be ready for production by 2010. While Lee doesn’t see much additional cost for lithium-ion over nickel-metal batteries, he does worry about stability and overheating problems.
Lee said that Hyundai has no plans on following Toyota and Honda with dedicated hybrid models. He says the company can’t afford to such a route as of yet and will offer its hybrid technology into existing vehicles in its lineup.
Hyundai is also promising to bring its European 3.0 diesel Hyundai Veracruz mid-sized crossover to the United States by 2009 or 2010.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
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