Low Carbon Manufacturing

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions occur during all stages of an automobile’s lifecycle, from the manufacturing process to vehicle recycling. Hyundai promotes low carbon manufacturing, and is in the process of establishing a GHG inventory for our manufacturing operations in the U.S. In compliance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requirements, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama completed its GHG report and is in full compliance with the new GHG reporting rules.

Blue Drive Initiative

Blue Drive is Hyundai’s new brand for developing environmentally friendly vehicles equipped with new green technologies to lower GHG emissions. With Blue Drive products and technologies, Hyundai will be able to achieve a fleet average of 35 miles per gallon by 2015 – a full five years ahead of government guidelines. Blue Drive vehicles are built in ISO 14001 certified plants, which means that the environmental aspects and impacts of the production process are formally managed to meet Hyundai’s environmental objectives and policies, as well as our continuously improving environmental performance.

Blue Drive also encompasses our technology development strategy, which in the short-term focuses on improving the fuel efficiency of internal combustion engine powered vehicles, with the ultimate goal of developing vehicles with zero CO2 emissions.

Fuel Efficiency
In order to minimize energy loss, Hyundai is increasingly applying improvements in aerodynamics, low rolling resistance tires and weight-reduction technologies to our vehicles.

Our R&D teams are currently developing a number of new energy recovery technologies, such as regenerative brakes that recoup energy during vehicle deceleration, and enable the use of exhaust heat and solar cells. In addition to improving the energy efficiency of our vehicles, we are also working on developing an ecotelematics service that will enable drivers to travel using the most energy efficient route, leading to a savings in fuel and GHG emissions on the road.

Hyundai is an industry leader in fuel economy, with adjusted fuel economy ratings of 27.2 mpg for 2011 and a preliminary 28.2 mpg for 2012 model year vehicles. We remain the only manufacturer to report fleet fuel economy data on a monthly basis. Hyundai has committed to achieving 50 miles-per-gallon by 2025.


Hyundai has developed vehicles that run on various biofuels.

In the U.S., we have created flex-fuel vehicles that use a mixture of ethanol and gasoline. Our technology is ready, and we will soon introduce vehicles that run on E85 fuel (85 percent ethanol, 15 percent gasoline), which will have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions.

Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Hyundai recently released our first mass-produced gasoline model, the Sonata Hybrid, in the U.S.

It is equipped with a customized hybrid engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. Hybridization adds extra value to the already popular Sonata model and enables consumers to contribute to CO2 reductions while enjoying the amenities of a mid-sized sedan. The Blue Drive system used in the Sonata Hybrid is a proprietary, parallel hybrid system unlike hybrid systems used by our competitors. The Sonata Hybrid utilizes a lithium-ion polymer battery, which is up to 30 percent lighter than nickel metal hybrid batteries and has higher power and energy density. Four layers of safety measures are employed to ensure maximum safety.

Light Electric Vehicle

Since the Sonata Hybrid, Hyundai has developed several additional electric vehicles including Excel and Accent versions.

In 2000, we began a Santa Fe electric vehicle demonstration project in Hawaii, in partnership with the State of Hawaii, City of Honolulu, the U.S. Air Force and Enova Systems, which provides the electric drive system to power the vehicles. Participation in the project is part of Hyundai’s ongoing research to develop alternative energy vehicles that are environmentally friendly and commercially viable. Fifteen electric-powered Hyundai Santa Fe SUV prototypes were distributed to the city and county of Honolulu, the Hawaiian Electric Company, Hickam Air Force Base and the State for use in fleet applications. During the first 12 months of operation, the vehicles covered a combined 75,000 miles in hot weather conditions and proved to be reliable and highly efficient, with recorded range between 70 and 90 miles.

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles

Hyundai holds proprietary design technology for fuel cell systems.

We participated in a five-year demonstration and validation project designed to showcase practical application of hydrogen energy technology with the U.S. Department of Energy, ChevronTexaco Corporation and UTC Fuel Cells. The project developed and demonstrated safe, convenient and reliable hydrogen-based distributed power generation, fuel cell vehicles and vehicle fueling infrastructure. Throughout the project, Hyundai provided a fleet of hydrogen-fueled Tucson fuel cell vehicles, powered by UTC Fuel Cells power plants.

There are a lot of promising directions that environmentally conscious cars are taking. One thing is for certain, though: gas-guzzling won’t be an option. It’s why Hyundai is branching out into a number of different avenues for ecologically smart cars.

Fuel Cell Vehicles

Fuel cell technology is an ideal solution in many ways. Zero use of gasoline, no harmful emissions whatsoever. Powered by clean hydrogen. In fact, the only by-products are heat (which is used to power the car) and water. Hyundai introduced the i-Blue concept car at the 2008 Chicago auto show, showcasing a third-generation fuel cell engine and the first-ever Hyundai built from scratch around the fuel cell itself. The i-Blue is capable of running more than 370 miles before refueling and can achieve a top speed of more than 100 miles per hour.


Hyundai will be introducing a line of hybrid vehicles, starting with the ’09 Elantra in Korea, with production expected in the U.S. shortly after. The hybrid Elantra will be powered by liquid petroleum gas (LPG) and it will be the first vehicle to adopt advanced Lithium Polymer (Li-Poly) batteries. Both of these will lower the operating costs of the car by more than 50% over a typical Elantra. And Li-Poly batteries give the added benefit of durability while holding a high-density charge.

Electric cars

A total of 15 Santa Fe electric vehicles have been supplied to the state government of Hawaii for actual usage. An electric Santa Fe can travel just under 100 miles on a single charge with zero emissions and very little noise, demonstrating the impressive capabilities of Hyundai in electric advancements.