Here's more news falling under the "Korean Automakers Are Taking Over the World" category. Hyundai plans to introduce a hybrid version of their popular midsize Sonata sedan for 2011. The Korean car company expects to meet the 2020 Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards in 2015.

The Sonata hybrid won't be like other hybrids though. Hyundai will use lithium-polymer batteries, whereas the Toyota Prius and upcoming Honda Insight use nickel-metal hydride. Hyundai says the lithium-polymer technology improves on the lithium-ion batteries used in the Tesla Roadster. Tesla's system requires 6,831 battery packs with heavy metal casings containing a liquid electrolyte.

The new Hyundai batteries replace the liquid with a gel that doesn't require such a heavy casing, leading to an equally powerful battery that weighs less. Hyundai believes this type of battery is more easily manufactured and can be modified for use in multiple vehicles. They also say that lithium-polymer batteries run cooler, which would allay concerns about battery longevity.

If you hadn't been taking Hyundai seriously even after their Lexus RX-like Veracruz SUV, or their "Car of the Year" Genesis luxury sedan, start now.

Source: Car and Driver