Plug-in versions of Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima coming in 2015

Since they didn’t display any plug-in hybrid models like all of the other global carmakers at the 2014 Paris Auto Show, Hyundai Motor Group faced criticism that they are not coping with the changing face of the global auto market. It’s welcome news that, according to the KoreanCarBlog.com, Hyundai Motor Group will release plug-in hybrid models of the Sonata and Optima next year.

A report from research and development vice chairman at the company, Yang Woong-Chul, said the PHEV models are scheduled for 2015. Yang said “We will roll out a plug-in hybrid model of Sonata and K5 [Optima in North America] next year. Since we will use locally made engines, inverters and batteries, we expect them to have strong price competitiveness.”

The Sonata is already a new model, and the Optima is set to be replaced by an all-new version that Kia has been testing on all continents.

At the Paris Motor Show, Hyundai showcased an Optima concept that has a 1.7 liter diesel engine and a 15 hp electric motor. It didn’t come with a plug, and to be able to run on electric power alone, the company will have to increase the electric motor by a substantial amount.

Woong-Chul said Hyundai Motor Group will use all locally made parts from Korea in order to keep costs down – similar to the Kia Soul EV.

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