Hyundai Plans To Add Subcompact Hybrid EVs in 2016
Hyundai is on a mission to go green and is slated to release a number of hybrid, electric, and fuel-cell cars by the end of the decade. The next step in its quest is to release a new hybrid model in 2016. The new model is being developed under the name AE, and will be a subcompact, five-door hatchback. It will use a 1.6-liter gasoline engine paired with an electric motor to deliver improved fuel economy over its current models. Kia, the smaller affiliate of Hyundai, is slated to release the same platform under the name DE.
Following the launch of the Hyundai AE and Kia DE, the South Korean automakers expect to develop a plug-in hybrid line-up as well. The fist model will be the 2016 Hyundai Sonata plug-in hybrid. It should go on sale sometime before the end of 2015, according to Hyundai’s U.S. website. The Sonata has come in hybrid form since the 2011 model year, but it has been the only hybrid model from Hyundai.
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Why it matters
This is all a big deal for Hyundai, as it has been virtually non-existent in the hybrid market – except for the Sonata, of course. Hyundai may be showing up late to the party, but something tells me they don’t have much to worry about. Sitting back and watching the market, as well as the competition, is a strategy that can yield profitable results. The only question is, will this new AE model be the Prius fighter that Hyundai has been planning? Spy shots have shown a model that looks strikingly similar to the Prius, so it is possible. Rumor has it that Hyundai’s Prius fighter is slated to exceed the fuel efficiency and affordability offer by the Prius, so Toyota better watch out.
Read more about the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid here.