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Hyundai takes orders for LPG hybrid Elantra

Lean machine: The LPG hybrid Elantra is 50 per cent cheaper to run in its domestic market.

LPG hybrid Elantra goes on sale in Korea, but is not a certain starter for Australia

23 Jun 2009

HYUNDAI Korea has started taking orders for its LPG hybrid Elantra which goes on sale in South Korea on July 7.

It is still not clear if the vehicle, which is 50 per cent cheaper to operate than a petrol Elantra in South Korea, will make it to Australia.

Hyundai Australia spokesman Ben Hershman said the company was looking at the possibility of sourcing the car.

“As with any new model we would do a feasibility study,” he said.

“We are continuing to discuss product opportunities with HMC (Hyundai Motor Company).” GoAuto understands that the Elantra LPI is only designed as a left-hand drive.

The Elantra LPI Hybrid Electric Vehicle is the twin to the Kia Forte LPI Hybrid which uses the same powertrain in the vehicle known as the Cerato in Australia.

Kia Australia is also not sure if it will be able to bring its hybrid LPG vehicle to Australia or if it will only be available in South Korea.

The cars will be the first models to be introduced combining hybrid technology with an LPG-fuelled combustion engine.

Both run a 1.6-litre four cylinder engine assisted by a 15kW (105Nm) electric motor and a continuously variable automatic transmission.

They have a mild hybrid system with an electric motor that can provide assistance to the petrol motor, but is not powerful enough on just electric power.

Hyundai says the hybrid Elantra produces 90 per cent less carbon dioxide than the standard petrol model with a figure of just 99g/km of CO2.

When running on LPG it returns fuel consumption figures of 5.6 litres per 100km and on petrol records a figure of 4.5 litres.

The Elantra and Cerato hybrid twins are the world’s first mass produced hybrids to use lithium polymer batteries which Hyundai says are a better option than lithium ion batteries as they have a higher energy density, can be recharged more often and are more robust.

Hyundai says all the hybrid components for the green Elantra have been developed by it and its local partners.

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