Hyundai Blue-Will plug-in hybrid concept, Seoul Motor Show, April 2009

Hyundai Blue-Will plug-in hybrid concept, Seoul Motor Show, April 2009

Hyundai already boasts the title of most fuel efficient automaker in the U.S., with its fleet-wide fuel economy of 30.9 mpg, but the automaker is confident it can do better, much better. Hyundai announced yesterday that its fleet-wide fuel economy in the U.S. will average 50 mpg by 2025, an increase of 60 percent on current levels.

The information was revealed by Hyundai’s U.S. chief, John Krafcik, speaking yesterday at the Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminars. Krafcik admitted that the task will be difficult but was confident Hyundai could do it despite the automaker not having a clear roadmap of how. Krafcik did, however, reveal that Hyundai would most likely use more developed versions of technologies available today, such as hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles.

Hyundai is determined to turn itself into a leader in hybrid technologies and has already unveiled a number of production hybrids and concepts, including an LPG version, as well as a fuel-cell vehicle. The automaker predicts that by the 2025 deadline, 75 to 80 percent of its lineup will still rely on conventional gasoline engines but a large proportion of these, roughly 15-20 percent, would have some form of hybrid technology. Only about 5 percent of Hyundai’s lineup is expected to be comprised of zero emission all-electric vehicles.

By contrast, the U.S. government’s fuel economy regulations for automakers call for a 35.5 mpg fleet-wide average by 2016. While Hyundai is close to reaching this target already, the automaker will need vehicles rated at 60 mpg or more if it hopes to have a fleet-wide average fuel economy of 50 mpg--but there are such models in the pipeline.

Pictured above is Hyundai’s Blue-Will plug-in hybrid concept vehicle that was unveiled last year. The automaker is expected to launch a production version of this concept by late 2012 and has confirmed that it will be sold in the U.S.