With the globe heading towards usage of green energy, the demand for anything that does not consume non-renewable resources is going up. The same trend is being observed in the automobile industry as people are tilting their choices towards electric and solar cars. These electric cars are not only environment-friendly but they also prove to…
AT&D Korea Online Blog Writers-Korean Hybrid Cars; Eco-friendly Vehicles
As the global phenomenon of high oil prices continues, sales of eco-friendly hybrid cars in Korea have risen steadily. While the purchase price of hybrids is still higher than conventional vehicles, they are becoming an increasingly attractive option for consumers due to their outstanding fuel economy, low CO2 emissions, and reduced environmental impact.
Over recent years, research and development of hybrid vehicles, which are powered by a traditional gasoline or diesel engine combined with an electric motor, has grown rapidly in Korea. According to the Patent Office, in the past decade Korean companies filed 2,489 patents related to hybrid vehicle technology, more than triple the number of applications from overseas companies. As a result, today Korean patented hybrid technologies are globally recognized.
The first hybrid car on the Korean market was Kia Motors’ Pride HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle), which was launched in 2005. Rather than going on general sale, however, the vehicle was made available exclusively to government organizations. After the introduction of tax incentives for hybrid vehicles in 2009, sales of hybrids increased significantly, leading to the full-scale domestic production of hybrid vehicles by Hyundai Motors and Kia Motors in 2011.
In 2011 Hyundai Motors and Kia Motors announced the launch of the Sonata hybrid and K5 hybrid respectively, both of which employ a proprietary parallel-hybrid engine system developed by the companies. In addition to a whisper-quiet engine at low speeds, the vehicles feature restyled bodywork and wheels for improved aerodynamic performance.
Following the successful introduction of the Sonata and the K5 and heightened consumer interest, the companies extended their line of hybrids to models including the Morning and Forte (Kia) and Avante and Tucson (Hyundai).
The growth of the market for eco-friendly hybrid vehicles, with their reduced carbon dioxide emissions and excellent fuel economy, looks set to continue, which can only be a positive development for drivers and the environment.