Hyundai, besides showcasing its i-Flow diesel hybrid concept at the Geneva Auto Show, also brought a small armada of other green cars with it. The ones which seem to be the most interesting are the ix35 – a revamped hydrogen fuel cell version of the popular Tucson SUV – and the liquid petroleum gas (LPG) powered Elantra LPI Hybrid.
The Tucson ix35, according to Hyundai, is the next step in its quest for commercially viable fuel cell electric vehicles. This particular go around of the Tucson FCEV tweaks the fuel cell design to make fuel cells easier to manufacture. This in turn should allow Hyundai to ramp up production of this vehicle “into the thousands,” which is precisely what the auto manufacturer plans to do by 2012 in South Korea. Also among the technology changes is adoption of an induction motor over a magnet-type motor for cost savings.
The Elantra LPI Hybrid, meanwhile, is the world’s first such vehicle to marry LPG and lithium-ion polymer batteries. It delivers CO2 emissions of just 94g/km, said to be “among the best in the world for a mass production car in any segment.” Hyundai says that, at least in South Korea, LPG, at half the cost of regular gas, makes a more viable option for its hybrid. It stated that “over the course of a year, Elantra LPI Hybrid would result in about 1.35 million won (approximately US$1,100*.) in fuel savings compared to a conventional Elantra, assuming an annual average driving distance of 20,000 km.”