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The road to energy independence is quickly filling up with with many and varied concepts. Apparently Korean budget car maker Hyundai-Kia intends to muscle into a plug-in hybrid niche.

According to company R&D President Yang Woong-chu, Hyundai plans to bring its Blue-Will concept into production.

"We're going after Prius and the Volt with the plug-in," he said.

The Blue-Will combines a 1.6 L gas engine with a 100 kw electric motor powered by lithium-ion batteries that will be supplied by LG Chem. LG Chem is also supplying the Chevy Volt's batteries.

The plug-in parallel hybrid will travel up to 38 miles electric-only and will get between 50 and 55 MPG in gas-electric mode.

"We want to be the leader in fuel economy and alternative fuels," said Yang . "We want to show our technology and improve our image, not necessarily make money on hybrids.

The vehicle will appear under the Hyundai brand in the US in late 2012. Planned production volumes are unknown.

Source (Automotive News, subscription required)