Hyundai has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success here in the US over the last few years. They have avoided the hybrid market segment so far – leaving it to Toyota. Well, it seems they’ve re-thought that strategy, and plan to introduce a Sonata Hybrid in 2011, as a 2012 model.
Word is that Hyundai plans to use the newer-technology lithium-ion batteries, instead of the current generation NIMH. Lithium-ion allows for smaller, lighter, more powerful batteries, potentially giving the Sonota hybrid better fuel economy and a longer electric-only range. Interesting choice, considering the fact that lithium-ion batteries are more expensive than NIMH. Hyundai usually plays the value card, pricing their vehicles lower than similar Toyota and Honda vehicles. With li-ion – that may be tougher. Stay tuned for details.