The Koreans are entering the hybrid race as Hyundai reaffirms its commitment to build a production version of the Blue-Will concept by showing it off at the Detroit motor show.
So far the Japanese have dominated the petrol/electric passenger-car market, with Toyota, Honda and Lexus the major manufacturers with a grip on the sector.
But Hyundai has a couple of high-efficiency cars up its sleeve, with the Blue-Will likely to head to UK dealers in 2012.
In the meantime, a Hyundai source confirmed the brand is also intending to bring an electric version of its i10 city car to the UK for testing as early as the end of 2010. The i10 EV should be able to charge its battery to 80 per cent in as little as 15 minutes from an industrial strength 415 volt plug socket.
But there are still no plans to bring the hybrid Santa Fe off-roader to Britain, even though it made its debut at the Paris motor show in 2008.