Hyundai, Kia and Mazda's green future
In Japan, Mazda has started commercial leasing of its Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid, which uses both a hydrogen rotary engine and an electric motor. It can also run on petrol if necessary.
The new model – which also features some interior plastic parts derived from plants – will initially be leased to local Government authorities and energy-related companies.
In Korea, Kia has unveiled its first hybrid production vehicle, the Forte LPI hybrid. It has an engine powered by Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG), which works in tandem with an electric motor powered by lithium polymer batteries.
The new model was unveiled as Kia launched its Eco Dynamics brand, which it says will be used for developing vehicles with a reduced environmental footprint.
Kia's sister company, Hyundai, has also released details of a new concept car called Blue-Will, which will make its public debut at the Seoul Motor Show from April 2.
Blue-Will has a direct-injection petrol engine and an electric motor powered by a lithium ion polymer battery pack. It also has a panoramic glass roof with 'dye-sensitized' solar cells that can generate power for the batteries, without blocking the view out.