Hyundai launches world’s first LPG-electric hybrid


Hyundai LPG-electric hybridCar manufacturers all over the world are looking for new and ingenious ways to cut down on pollution and the consumption of fossil fuels. One way of doing this has been the development of hybrid drivetrains – engines which combine battery-powered electric motors with conventional petrol-powered internal combustion motors to power the car. Hybrids have been around for some time now and Japanese auto giants like Honda and Toyota are pretty much considered to be on the forefront of this technology. Now however, the Koreans have decided take a swing at hybrids as Hyundai just launched the Elantra LPI. But Hyundai’s ingenuity goes beyond the conventional hybrid, as the engine under of the hood of this Elantra is the world’s first LPG-electric hybrid.

The Elantra LPI Hybrid combines a four cylinder 1.6 LPI “Gamma” engine and 15kW electric motor to deliver a mileage of 17.8kmpl and CO2 emissions of just 99grams/km. Hyundai believes the combination of hybrid power and low-cost fuel will enable the Elantra LPI to pay its way faster than any other hybrid on the market. Of course the mileage isn’t as high as some of the latest generation of petrol-hybrids such as the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight, Hyundai believes that the lower cost of running LPG as the combustible fuel will yield cheaper running costs. Similar to India, LPG is widely popular as a transportation fuel even in Korea, and the boffins at Hyundai estimate that when compared to a conventional petrol-powered 1.6-litre Elantra, the LPI Hybrid would result in savings of about US $1100 (approx Rs 53,000), assuming the car is run for about 20,000km in that year.

Of course, for efficiency like this from a 1.6-litre engine, Hyundai has loaded the Elantra LPI with a large number of fuel efficiency features. An “Auto-Stop” function will automatically switch off the ignition at idle, provided the battery is more than 30% charged. An “Eco Guide” display is designed to help coach drivers into more economical driving habits. And a driver-selectable “Eco-Drive” gear reduces fluctuations in torque, increasing electric motor assist and charge regeneration when the brakes are applied. High mileage apart, the Elantra LPI doesn’t suffer on the performance at all. The 1.6 LPI engine produces 114-odd horsepower, which combined with the 15kW (20.4 PS) electric motor means a total power output of over 134 PS. All this extra horsepower means that the Elantra LPI can accelerate to 100km/h in just 11.7 seconds, which is about 2 seconds faster than the Honda Civic Hybrid.

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  1. […] Hyundai launches world's first LPG-electric hybrid « Car World […]

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