South Korea’s largest automaker is ready to expand its eco-friendly vehicle line-up, with Hyundai revealing it’s in the process of developing its first dedicated gas-electric model, designed to take on the best-selling Toyota Prius.
The strategy to develop the model is an easy way to diversify its eco range, securing another direction in the ever-lasting battle between the automaker’s green-technology and the increasingly stricter fuel economy and emissions regulations.
“We will take the lead in the future by raising the competitiveness of our environment-friendly cars like hybrid-only cars, plug-in hybrid cars and fuel cell hydrogen cars,” said Hyundai Motor CEO Kim Choong-ho during an event in South Korea.
Hyundai would develop the new model as a dedicated hybrid – a model designed from the ground up to use a combination of internal combustion engine, electric motor and batteries, not just a variant of an existing gasoline model. So far, the carmaker has been a big supporter of fuel cell powered vehicles, leaving battery-operated electrics for its affiliate Kia Motors. The company had a recent change of hear though, revealing it aims to introduce its first fully electric, battery-powered model in certain markets (South Korea, US, Europe, maybe China) from 2016.