More information revealed on Hyundai's hybrid vehicle

While we've known of Hyundai's plans to build a hybrid version of its Elantra sedan for quite some time, new specifics emerged today. Along with being the first mass-produced hybrid to run on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), the car will also be unique in its use of lithium polymer batteries.

The batteries, to be supplied by LG Chem, feature a higher energy density, are less costly to produce, are capable of withstanding more physical abuse and have a longer life before capacity fades than the currently common lithium ion batteries.

The car will at first be launched in South Korea, now known to be in July of 2009, before moving on to other global markets. Hyundai claims the car's higher price than the standard gasoline-powered Elantra will be offset in as little as two years, basing that claim on South Korea's current LPG prices.

The fuel-injected LPG engine, dubbed Gamma in Hyundai-speak, will displace 1.6 liters, with its output bolstered by a 15kW (20hp) electric motor, and the two will drive the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission. The car is said to produce 103g of carbon dioxide per kilometer. In comparison, Hyundai's 2.0-liter Tiburon emits 193g/km.