Hyundai has a corporate initiative, dubbed Blue Drive, which is an attempt to meet the 2020 fuel economy standards five years early. That plan means an average of 35 mpg for all Hyundai vehicles by 2015. The 2010 Hyundai Sonata hybrid is the first major product for this initiative.
The Sonata hybrid will use lithium polymer batteries, said to surpass the performance of lithium-ion batteries other automakers are so keen on, in conjunction with a parallel hybrid architecture, a six-speed automatic transmission, and a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. Other key components include an electric air-conditioning compressor, integrated starter generator, regenerative braking, a 30 kW electric motor, and a hybrid power control unit.
It will be possible to drive the Sonata hybrid on electric power alone, or to use the electric motor to supplement the gasoline engine's power during hard acceleration. When the Sonata is at a stop, the engine will stop running to save on fuel. As soon as the driver presses on the accelerator, the gas engine will fire up and provide the driver with normal power. Regenerative braking takes advantage of the power most cars lose during braking.