2013 Hyundai i30 plug-in hybrid to compete with Prius Plug-in from 2013 image

According to a report by Auto Motor und Sport Magazine, Hyundai is getting ready to launch a competitor to the upcoming Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, which will hit markets sometime next year.

Word is Hyundai’s first-ever mass-produced plug-in hybrid – to be based on the recently unveiled i30 model – will debut in late 2012, with its European launch scheduled for some time in 2013.

Now if we look at Prius, the Plugin Hybrid is expected to achieve an equivalent of 87 miles per gallon in combined driving and 49 mpg in hybrid mode. Prius Plug-in will allow drivers to operate in electric mode exclusively if they limit their excursions to 15 miles at speeds of up to 62 mph.

If the upcoming i30 plug in hybrid will be better remains to be seen …

Despite the overall decline in the European market, Hyundai has managed to increase by 10.1 percent.

“The i30 could help us even more,” Rushforth said. “We might even be able to finish 2012 with those half million sales.”

While hybrid vehicles make up a small part of the market, they have been making slow but steady gains, and some major automakers are expanding their hybrid offerings.

In 2012, J.D. Power & Associates expects sales of 500,000 hybrids, a 3.4 percent market share, up from a 2.1 percent market share expected by the end of this year.