Hyundai Motor America, which distributes cars and sports utility vehicles through dealers in the United States as a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co., believes its entire product lineup in the United States will average at least 50 miles per gallon by 2025.
The improved average would be about a 60 percent increase from Hyundai’s current average, 30.9 mpg — the nation’s highest. Honda (30.1 mpg) has the second-highest mpg, followed by Toyota (29 mpg).
Hyundai Motor America’s chief executive, John Krafcik said the goal was a stretch, but said he was “very confident” the company could reach it. “We don’t know precisely how to get there right now,” he said. “We do have a road map.”
According to Krafcik, Hyundai expects to mostly use technologies available today with modifications to minimize fuel consumption. He said the company envisioned a 2025 lineup in which 75 to 80 percent of vehicles still ran on traditional gas engines. He said 15 to 20 percent would be hybrids or hybrid plug-ins, and 5 percent would run on fuel cells or batteries.
By 2016, the United States will require automakers to have an average rating of at least 35.5 miles per gallon under rules created last year.
Hyundai has been heavily focused on improving the fuel economy of its newest models, offering the 2011 Sonata sedan with only a 4-cylinder engine and no option to choose a more powerful V-6. By doing so, it was able to cut 130 pounds from the car’s weight.
Hyundai will introduce a hybrid version of the Sonata — its first hybrid in the United States — this fall.
Krafcik said Hyundai could sell more than 500,000 vehicles in the United States this year for the first time ever. In the first six months, it sold 255,782 vehicles.